Do you need a great website when starting a new Business?
with Tracy Weller-McCormack
If you are planning to start a business, you may wonder if you need a website right from day one. Or can you get away simply with a social media presence instead? After all, many businesses are built through social media pages and advertising.
Building, maintaining, hosting and producing content for a website costs time and money. Is it worth it?
A website is an essential asset as you own the domain, content and contacts that you grow through the site. In addition, a great website can give your business credibility and be a platform to grow your business. In contrast, a social media company owns and controls who sees your content and access to your audience.
In this episode of the “Should I Own A Business?” Podcast we discuss this question with marketing expert Tracy Weller-McCormack, principal at leading marketing agency, C4MG.
Do I need a Website?
“Yes” is the short answer but with one important qualification.
The qualification is that your website is a great one!
A quality website will boost your credibility with potential customers. A poor website will do more harm than good.
We all know that most people, after they’ve come across your business, will “google” it to check you out.
If they can’t find you, or if your website is below par, you are likely to lose some credibility in their eyes.
Websites work for you 24 hours a day, every day of the year. A good site enables potential customers to engage with your business at their convenience.
Tips for building a great website
- First, reflect upon who you are as a business. Then look for ways to effectively communicate that message through your site.
- Make it as engaging as possible. Include interactive elements where appropriate.
- Provide the answers that customers are seeking quickly and clearly.
- Don’t overload the site with too much content.
- Ensure your content is optimized for the search engines (a process called SEO – search engine optimization).
- Regularly update it so that the content is always accurate and relevant to your customers’ needs.
- Make sure it is optimized for use on a Mobile device.
The #1 rule is: Keep your site engaging and as simple as possible.
What content should your website include?
The content needs to clearly explain what you offer and how you help your customers.
- Who you, your business and the business culture are.
- What you do and why.
- How you are better than your competitors.
- Use simple and intuitive navigation with a clear site structure.
- Use quality images that support your message.
- Give clear messages that are spelling error-free.
- Provide answers to common questions.
It is essential to have the right amount of quality content to optimize your Search Engine Optimization results and give succinct information your customers.
Customer Experience (CX) is paramount in the website design process
Your site should be a business tool that enables customer interaction. It is a “doorway” into your business allowing for easy communication.
Building a great website that helps your business grow is not a “set and forget” exercise. Nor is it “once and done”.
Rather consider it as a work-in-progress that evolves with your business.
Less is more
In website design, the general guide is “less is more”.
Customers will not engage with cluttered sites that are difficult to navigate or slow to use.
Even potential customers, who may not have purchased from you before, can tell if the content is not fresh.
Great customer experience focuses on allowing easy interaction with a business. Allow people to “self-serve” by providing easy access to information about your products or services.
Consider using a “Chat-Bot” as a way to engage with your potential customers. Also check regularly for inquiries or comments that may be generated via your site.
The Customer Experience (CX) needs careful crafting to attract customers and make using your site a good experience for them.
Common mistakes to avoid when building a website.
- You fail to communicate the value proposition you offer to your customer.
- Constructing poor site navigation with too many tabs and dropdowns in the menu system.
- Failing to regularly maintain and update the site.
- Including the wrong type of content leading to poor messaging and a site that is too “busy”.
- Failing to optimize your content so that it is visible to search engines.
Having a professional help can enable you to:
- pick the website design, look, feel and structure that best fits with your business
- identify the real value you offer
- craft the messaging to explain your value
- provide a great customer experience
Why is a website better than just a social media presence?
- Your website should act as the hub of your marketing, and you own the content on it.
- Social media platforms change, and their relative popularity will change over time.
- Your Website is yours. Your content, domain and customer contact information belong to you.
- The Social media platforms control access to your customers, not you. You may have tp pay to reach the audience that you have built!
- Websites allow you to engage directly with a customer through complementary means like email.
5 reasons why you need a website
1 Websites open the whole a market to you (anyone on the internet) rather than just getting local or referral customers.
2 A great website will boost your credibility and brand message with prospective Customers.
3 It allows you to easily sculpt your message by providing a good balance of content.
4 Provides a way to interact with customers where you control the customer journey.
5 A great website is the “Mothership” for brand building. Investing time in your website is creating a valuable asset for your future.
Your website is where you control the messaging, brand look and feel.
Spending hours posting, sharing and liking on a social media platform is investing in their business not yours!
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