Hello and welcome to the next installation of our blog series regarding online tools to help your business thrive in an ever growing digital environment! Our next topic of discussion: Websites. What is it? Why is it important to your business? Where do I start? We will be answering all these questions and more below!
What is a Website and Why is it Important?
A website is essentially your business’ online portfolio. It would contain all the important information that you would like your clients to know about your business.
Here are the key components that make up a website:
Home Page - should contain buttons/prompts to key information you would like guests of your website to visit.
About Us/History of the Business Page
Products or Services offered Page
Photo Gallery / Testimonial Page
Blog Page - This one is important for adding new content to your site, which makes your site current and search engine optimized.
So, why is this important?
Visibility - Having a search engine optimized website provides another avenue for potential clients to find your business and learn what it is all about.
Credibility - 84% of Millennials don’t trust conventional ads, and this number continues to grow with younger generations. These generations will turn to your website for reviews, testimonials, and additional information about your business before making a decision regarding purchasing your products/services.
Where do I Start?
Starting a website can be a big task. There are many factors to consider before you embark on this journey.
Here are a few things to consider before you get started!
Do you have the funds to commit to website fees? Website feeds typically costs around $200-$500 a year, depending on what provider you are with and what extra features are incorporated.
Do you have the time to dedicate to designing/building your website?
Some platforms make it relatively easy to build your website, however it still takes a lot of time to incorporate all the components of a website.
If you have the time to dedicate, even if it takes a few months to get your website up, then this is the optimal choice, especially for small businesses. Just keep in mind to only publish content that is complete and leave incomplete components hidden until they are done and ready for public consumption.
If you don’t have the time, it may be a good idea to look into hiring a web design/web developer to build your website for you. If you do go this route, keep the following in mind:
Always make sure you have administrative access to your website. The last thing you need is for there to be outdated or irrelevant information on your website but not be able to make adjustments because it is locked to the person that built your website.
Hiring a web designer/web developer is not cheap. The average fee for a web designer in Canada is $30 per hour.
Determining Your Starting Point & a Platform
A common misunderstanding is that an online e-shop is a website. This is not the case. As mentioned above, a website is your business’ online portfolio. However, in the ever growing digital world, it can do so much more.
Some website platforms now offer the options to incorporate purchasing, booking, email marketing and more. Some examples are: Wordpress & GoDaddy but if you are looking for a user friendly platform that can do it all, Wix is probably your best choice.
Platforms like Square & Shopify provide online shops for relatively low costs but these platforms aren’t designed yet to incorporate some key components of websites.
However, if you are looking to get started with a small online shop with minimal search engine optimization options, this is a route to consider.
With this approach, consider utilizing ShopHERE
This is a program through Digital Main Street that provides one-on-one help to create your online shop and help you learn how to manage it once it is launched.
Note: As mentioned in our blog Who What Huh? - Local SEO please avoid the Google Business one landing page website, as it is not search engine friendly and hard to remove.
There is a lot to consider when determining if your small business is ready for a website. With the information above, we hope you are ready to embark on this rewarding journey to ever growing your digital footprint! See you soon with tips on how to make your newfound website search engine optimized!