Things to consider before you build a website
Before you build a website there are a few key questions you should ask yourself to make sure you get it right. Whether you’re a self-employed startup looking for your first new business website or you already have a website and want a new site to drive more enquiries, you should put some thought into the following points.
Do you need to build a website and what are the benefits?
Probably the easiest one to answer, if you’re a new business without a website then the answer is most definitely a resounding yes. New businesses, no matter how small or what they sell, definitely need to build a website. Just like you, everyone searches on the internet, if you don’t have a website, you won’t get found in local searches it’s as simple as that.
If you already have a website then you need to understand how your website is working for you at the moment. Without a good understanding of where you are you’ll be going in blind. There’s no point getting a web developer involved until you’re sure that the money you’ll spend will be worthwhile and you actually need to build a website.
You don’t have to be super technical, a good way to start is to type into search engines what you do or sell and see if you appear in the results. If you do appear highly, then at least you know that your current website is built well. If your website isn’t generating enquiries, it could be that your website isn’t appealing to your visitors and turning them off. This could signify that you do need to build a website.
Understand what your website needs to do for your business
I can hear you saying “duh…. to get more business”, yeah we get that, but it’s not that simple. You’ll want your website to rank highly for certain criteria. Depending on the type of website it is (online shop, brochure website, membership website etc.), type or business you are, how competitive your industry is and who your customers are then you’ll have varying needs. To build a website for a company which sells products directly should be approached in a different way to someone who is looking to use a site to promote their business in general.
Make a list of what you initially need the website to do and decide on your three, six and twelve month goals for your website and what impact it could have on your business. Once you have this, talk to a website design company or a website consultant. They should give be able to give you a good idea on what you’ll need to do on the website build and what work needs to be done to achieve your goals.
Decide how much you can invest before you build a website
We’re not just talking about the initial website design cost here, although that should be factored into your decision before you decide on whether to build a website or not. We’re talking about the investment that will be needed post website launch, both monetary and time wise.
If you’re in a highly competitive industry then even with the best website in the world your website will need extra support to get you ranking highly and getting the phone ringing. This is where an ongoing strategy is vitally important. You have two options, either invest time and effort into blogging, social media, on page SEO , videos, backlinking and inbound marketing etc.
Option two will be cost which will be spent on adverts on the internet such as Google Adwords, promoted social media posts, professional SEO services and outbound marketing etc. There is a crossover here between the two and we would suggest that you do a combination of investing some time and some budget into your ongoing online strategy.
The main thing here is to make sure whatever you decide to do is to evaluate what has worked and what hasn’t or you’ll be wasting both your time and money.