setting up a
website - should you have one?
If you are reading this article, it's pretty certain you do
need a website.
These days most customers and prospects expect you to have
a website. It's almost become a sign of the legitimacy of
As well, a very high percentage of people do search for information
on products and services online (97% of web users) even if
they then visit the shop to purchase. So why shouldn't it
be your service and product they find on your website and
your service or product they buy? In fact nearly 60% of New
Zealand shoppers shop online (Neilson 2012).
Before you embark selecting a designer and building your
website it's helpful to determine your business goals
and the goals for your website.
The main goal of your website should be to build or improve
your business (not just to build a beautiful website!). So
decide whether you want to sell more product, launch a new
product line, grow your membership, offer new services, collect
donations and fees and/or establish yourself as the expert
in your area. All or any of these are possible and can be
achieved successfully through your website.
Next to consider are your customers and prospects
and what they are looking for. A common mistake businesses
make is not putting yourself in your customer's shoes and
considering what they are looking for. It's easy to focus
on yourself and easy to try to be all things to all people.
Frankly, the length of time you've been in business and your
mission statement are not the first things your prospect looks
for - they look for what's in it for them!
You have only a few seconds to grap your prospect, so make
sure your home page addresses your customer's and prospect's
interests and grabs their attention.
Once you've got your goals and customers clear, then
you need to think about your budget. Web design companies
have been around now for over a decade but costs and value
still varies widely. It's a bit like the difference between
a Mini and a Rolls Royce. It depends on the number of pages,
the complexity, the interactivitiy, the security, the ease
of updating, the discussion forums and blogs, newsletters
and, of course, the experience and skill of the developer/designer.
And, don't forget to take into account not just the build
and launch but the marketing
of your website.
There are several other things to consider:
content - who's going to write the content? Poor content is
a pretty expensive mistake to make - you need the right words
to make people take action.
domain name - is it important? Read
- how often to do this. Check
out our article about this here.
do people find your site. Website
engine optimisation, email
media (for example Pinterest
are all avenues to explore.
to find out if your site is successful. Keep an eye on your
statistics, the traffic to your site and the number
of products (for example) you are selling. Review your business
goals against these.
Developing a website can seem a little daunting to begin
with, but just come up with a plan and approach it step by