There are a plethora of things to consider when starting a new business, but having an effective website up and running is one of the most important investments you can make. Setting up a website isn’t an ego-massaging exercise. If you do it right from the outset, your website can become your single most important source of business leads and sales.
Here are my Top Ten Tips on what to consider before setting up your website:
If you’re a start up and have your business name registered, buy a domain name and load a landing page with your contact info asap. For SEO reasons, ideally your domain name should also include a relevant word to your chosen profession: For example, if you bake croissants and your business name is Dave the Baker, you should consider a domain name like www.davethebakercroissants.com.
When Google assesses a site, one of the ways in which it calculates its relevance (and therefore page rankings) is via key words. These key words inform the search engine what you do if you’re any good at. With that in mind, creating pertinent copy is an absolute must if you want to rank and be found by potential customers.
Content marketing strategy
I’ve written more in-depth posts on this previously but the concept is fairly straightforward: Content marketing is the practice of planning your published content to the world as part of your marketing strategy. It means thinking about how all of your content ties in to one central vision that engages with your audience.
Research shows that increasingly, consumers are looking for a more meaningful and personal connection with brands. That means having consistent and authentic tone of voice throughout all of your website copy. Don’t be formal in one place, and colloquial in another - it will come off as insincere. Your tone of voice is as distinctive as your visual design and identity. Get it right.
A blog is crucial to the SEO success of your site and an easy way of updating your content. It also provides a great opportunity to interact and engage with your existing / potential customers.
Keep it simple
Lose the jargon when you write and don’t assume everyone knows the various acronyms and terminology that exist within your sector. It shouldn’t be hard for people to work out what you do. The best rule of thumb I can give here is to write in a similar style to how you’d chat to a friend over a coffee. Likewise, keep your sitemap simple too. It should be really easy for people to navigate their way around and find what they’re looking for, quickly and easily.
Get in touch
It’s incredible how many sites don’t do this well: make sure your contact details are prominent and easy to find. When the purpose of your website is to drive people to get in touch with you, make it as easy as possible for them to do just that.
Design and style
Engage a good designer and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. It goes without saying that an unprofessional design will speak volumes about the credibility and professionalism of your business – and in our experience, will cost you more in the long run too.
Google analytics are free (yay!) and offer fabulous insight about your site performance. Analytics reports will tell you all the things you need to know about what works so you can stop doing what doesn’t.
A secure hosting platform goes a long way to help with the protection of your site. The higher the quality of the hosting provider, the better equipped they’ll be to minimise potential risks to your site.
The above points offer a simple taster of the things to consider with a new site set up but if you have further questions, please do get in touch!