After saying “hey, I want a website”
So, you want a website for your business. The variety of what you can do online is amazing and at a fraction of the cost compared just a few years ago.
Options are good, so you want to know:
- what you can do
- what you want to do
- what you should do
- but most importantly what you need to do to fulfill your business's strategic objectives.
How does a website fit into your overall business strategy? Knowing what you want to accomplish with a website will have a major impact on the next 5 points, and if you haven't answered this question then you do not yet have a strategy and it will be impossible to strategically think about the following considerations.
People will often come up to me and say. “Hey Joe, I need a website.” The first thing I respond with is “Why?”. And that usually gets a good conversation started.
- What do you want your website do for you (specific results)
- What experience do you want your visitors to have?
- Are you selling items and/or downloadable content?
- Are you providing information?
- Do you want a website for credibility?
- Is building relationships a consideration?
- Do you want your website to produce new business?
- Do you want your website to generate leads?
- Do you want to advertise online?
Where is your content going to come from? Good, fresh, valuable, well written content can keep visitors on your site, coming back, generate email sign ups, and establish yourself as an expert. Content will also help your search engine rankings. So how are you going to get content to your site?
- self generated
- freelance copywriter
- PLR Articles (Public Label Rights)
- user generated
3. Social Engagement
Social Engagement. It's all the rage right now...and for a good reason. Many marketing strategies are integrating social media marketing with website marketing. I have a client whose customers where posting good things to their facebook page and she wanted that “positive content” to also benefit her very simple website. One solution would have been to upgrade her website involving design and cost issues. Instead, for the price of a few beers I created a link to her facebook page right from her home page. Below is a brief list on ways you might engage your visitors:
- facebook integration, twitter integration, Google Plus etc...
- blog comments
- contact forms
- email capture
- private members only area
- multiple content providers
How important is design? Its not hard to spend thousands and have a beautiful website, but beauty doesn't always translate into function. The best websites today are a combination of simplicity and elegance. The idea being to provide a pleasing positive experience (consider what your target market considers pleasing) that quickly engages and directs the visitor to take action. Just because you can have auto play music, auto start videos, flashing pictures, falling snow, and text that changes colors, flashes and shoots fireworks....well, you get the idea, doesn't mean you should.
And here is the key: What action do you want your visitors to take? Is it signing up for an email list, purchasing products, joining, downloading an ebook at the same time signing up for an email list?
Where will your traffic come from? How will people find you on the web? Typically, a combination of the following will be employed.
- Search engine results
- Do you want/need to show up on the first page of google?
- Social media
- traditional marketing
- pay per click advertising
- traditional advertising
- brick and mortar clients
6. Designing and Hosting
There are basically three choices for design:
- Do it yourself
- There are even free options, but, although you can save some money you will spend between 8 & 80 hours depending on how much knowledge you are starting with and how sophisticated you want your website to be.
- Get some assistance but be involved in building it
- This can be a good option as a webmaster can create a layout and add your content and even create a format in which you can continue to add content. They may even make How to videos, and use a format that can make the process of adding content extremely easy.
- Hire someone for everything
- This can be the fastest, and easiest option. You can even hire copy writers to create content, but even so it is a good idea to have the overall strategy and objectives well defined so that your time and money will be invested to get the results you have decided to go after.
If you are beginning to think you want/need a website we'd be happy to talk with you about how a website can fit into your overall business strategy. Contact me