There is no doubt that merely having a website is a step in the right direction when it comes to advertising and promoting a business. However, it is the first step and there are many more to come and achieve before a business can enjoy all of the benefits which a strong website might afford them.
This is why it is exceptionally important that when they are setting up their business website, the owners of the business in question take the time to consider what to include as part of their site and why.
The first and most important consideration for any business owner is the audience they are attempting to reach. In any business, it is vital to establish and then speak to a specific customer group and many businesses do this by building a brand in which they target their customer and build up their trust by establishing an identity by which their customers get to know them.
A website is often the start of this brand building as the business starts to build their web content with their specific target audience in mind.
Part of establishing the audience of the website is to establish the purpose of the site itself. If its purpose is to generate sales then it’s likely that the content and layout of the site will be different to that of a company whose purpose is to provide information for the public.
Although many business owners consider the layout of a site to be its most important element, it is the web content which is likely to improve their business, using marketing techniques such as SEO to establish interest with search engines. Although this content might not be specifically written or planned to perfection whilst the site is being designed, any business who is considering investing into a website should be considering whether they wish or need to have product descriptions, articles, blogs or any other written content before launching into their site.
One of the most important aspects of a websites design is to keep it fresh and looking its best. Many businesses improve and update the content of their websites on a weekly basis and with this in mind, it is important to establish who will be in charge of managing the site and to establish a frame they are more than capable of managing.
Furthermore, the website should be simple enough that the customer is able to deftly navigate their way through it. Without this, the customer will be frustrated and may leave and it could prove near on impossible to bring them back.
An all-singing-all-dancing website which looks impressive might seem like a good idea but if the customer and the company cannot use the site effectively then it is more a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes than a good website.
The vast majority of businesses have a consideration of the future of their business and the chances are that they see growth. With this in mind, it’s vital that any website which is designed can be built upon to allow for growth and additional content should the need arise.
George Kirkwood is web designer, blogger and marketer.