Developing your website
Your customers want the convenience of finding businesses online. If you don't already have one, you may want to consider adding a website to your marketing plan, especially if your competitors have them.
Even if you don't plan to sell your products online, having a website can be an inexpensive and effective way of advertising your business. It allows customers to find your business quickly and to compare your products and services to those offered by your competitors.
The following information may help you develop your website.
Table of Contents
For your business to make the most of the Internet, you need to start with a basic understanding of the different technologies that make it all work. It might be a progressive learning curve, starting with getting your computer connected to the Internet by finding an Internet Service Provider (ISP). What access speed do you require? Remember, generally the faster the speed is, the higher the cost involved.
Domain name registration
Before you set up your website, you need to register your domain name. Also called a URL, it is the address that visitors type in to locate a website. You can register the domain name directly through an Internet Service Provider or through a domain registration company.
A basic business website is becoming a standard expectation from the buying public. Your site also provides quick, easy access to your target audiences. When you design a website, it's best to start small and expand as your business grows.
- Plan the website and decide what content should be on it
- Put a team in place to develop and manage the website
- Plan the information flow and structure
- Develop the user interface
Learn more about the website development process.
Enhancing your online presence
Make the most of your online presence by ensuring that your website is working effectively for your business. Learn how using the right tools can lead to more visitors for your website; after all, an active online presence is to the benefit of your business.
Tools for collaboration and sharing
A website can be your most important marketing asset. Potential customers may contact your business and make buying decisions based on the availability and quality of the website. Prospective employees review websites in detail before submitting a resume, and possible suppliers study websites to determine the business' validity and product range.
When you develop a website, include a strategy to ensure your content is kept up-to-date long after the launch. An outdated website can reflect poorly on your business.
There are services and online tools that could add value for your website visitors, such as:
- Displaying your social media activity by inserting embed code in the html of your website
- Adding widgets and other useful web tools to your website, such as clocks, online maps or the local weather
- Including a customer feedback mechanism, such as reviews or commenting
- Enabling Real Simple Syndication (RSS) can allow users to subscribe to information updates from your website
Other online sales and marketing strategies for your website can include:
- Customer Relationship Management systems that allow you to track prospects and clients
- Content marketing — creating and sharing helpful content that can attract future customers through:
- Social networking
- Social bookmarking
- Media sharing (photos, videos, podcasts, audio files)