It's really not difficult to set up your own website today. There are simple DIY (Do-It-Yourself) programs. Just follow the instructions, choose your options – before you know it, you've got a website.
Whenever you do anything in your business you first need to figure out why you want to do it and what you hope it will accomplish. A website can accomplish many different things. Here are just a few:
An online catalogue where purchases can be made
An online resource for your employees to access records and files
A resource where the public can learn more about the types of things you sell
A communications hub for you, your customers, prospects, employees and the general public
Setting up a basic, static website is not technically complex with the tools that are available. There are also tools out there to help you remodel your own office, build your own toaster, and put a new transmission in your car. But ask yourself – will you do it as well as a pro? Is this the best use of your time? What else could you be doing?
The Question is “Why” – Not “If”
It's not about being able to build it. It's about deciding whether or not you will build one that will help grow your profits. Building an attractive, cool-looking, site is like building a flashy retail showroom. Once someone is in a retail store, their buying decision is rarely going to be based on the neon signs and modern looking displays. They'll buy because buying from this store is the best way to help them with their current needs. Keeping to the retail analogy, many people shop around when they make purchases – comparing one store to another. They will compare prices, of course, but they will also compare the added value. Why is this retailer better than the others? After they visit multiple stores, they'll return to one of them and make a purchase. They will not return to the others.
Keep Them Coming Back
So in terms of your website, what can you do to ensure that yours is the one people will come back to when it's time to buy? There are quite a lot you can do. The single biggest idea is really quite simple – provide them with much more than just pictures and prices. Provide visitors with fresh, relevant information that will help them make the best use of the product or service they are considering.
Provide content that goes beyond self-serving promotions. Help them to learn. Make yourself an industry expert – a learning resource, not just a vendor. Update the content frequently. Link to content from other online sources. Drive people to your site from social marketing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and a host of others. Another area you have to manage if you are the web designer is keeping up with technology. Thing change at blinding speed in the digital world and the rate of change in increasing exponentially as the population of innovators rises. Economies of scale provide an outside web designer the opportunity to keep up on the changes since he or she will be implementing the changes for multiple clients.
If They Can't Find You – They Will Not Come
The other area that needs ongoing attention is making sure that potential customers find your site when they are searching on Google or other search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has to be kept very current, as the search engines seem change their processes often.
Prioritizing Your Time
In a small business you obviously have to wear many hats. One of most difficult decisions is when to wear which hat and when to pass a particular hat to someone else. Generally speaking, you should personally devote your time to tasks that are tied to revenue and that are in your core competencies. If you invest time on something that someone else can do better, you're losing out on two fronts.
Both of these conflict with your overall business goal – which should be making money. Besides, if you spend your time building a website who is going to make the toast?
If you decide you do want to pass the hat on your web design and engage the help of a professional, call Central Coast Web Design and speak to one of our friendly staff 02 4341 3313.