Investing in a website is a big step for anyone more so for small business owners, whose future depends on overcoming challenges in the digital world.
After decades of working for others, you’re now determined to make it out on your own and you’re willing to invest your hard-earned money on this business idea. You’ve taken a leap of faith and decided to set up the business you have always dreamt of. Well done!
Getting every aspect of it right is not only crucial but your financial security is anchored in it. You’ve told your friends about it and they have told theirs and now it’s time for you to widen your circle.
There are abundant companies that provide website solutions, but how do you find the right one? Before looking around for web design companies in Sydney, ask yourself these four important questions that will help you get a website that fits your business.
- What is your unique selling point (USP)?
- What are your top 3 – 5 services?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Have you identified your competitors, those large and small?
As you go through the 7 points listed below, ask yourself how each of those impact your answers above.
This is the most important step for an entrepreneur embarking on a new business. This will help you shape the roadmap of your website – which will impact the growth of your business. Equipped with this information, you will be able to invest in a website that sets you apart from your competitors and connects you with your ideal customer who needs your services or products.
2. Professional design
The first impression a customer is going to have of your business is entirely dependent on how your website presents itself. Does it resonate with your ideal customer? Does it convey the USPs and most importantly can your customers see what makes you stand apart from your competitors. These are some questions you need to have answers to before investing in a website.
If you have been considering hiring a freelancer or even a friend to design your website, we would highly recommend that you rethink your decision. It’s rare to find one person who can provide you with a strategic website design that compliments your business plan and attracts the right customer base with professional designing skills. Businesses that nail branding from Day 1, can compete along with bigger companies from the onset. So if you want your business to make an impact and connect with the right people, you need to hire professionals who understand your business and provide you with a design that fits your strategy.
3. User experience
What kind of experience do you want a user to have on your website? Can they find what they are looking for instantly? Does your website come across as a credible source that can gain the trust of users who may turn into potential customers? Statistics also show that 40% of people abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. 40% is a big number for a small business so this is a big NO. While this aspect is partially reliant on the website design, user experience also contributes to the credibility of a website. How can you make that experience seamless with few distractions and clicks?
4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If you’ve been thinking about investing in a website, you might already be familiar with the term SEO. Having a good SEO plan with the right keywords and phrases associated with your business will increase the website’s position on search engines which will generate more traffic to the site. This again relates to your USPs and ideal customers. Identifying the right keywords that will give you an advantage over your competitors will help with website positioning. So if this is a territory you’re not familiar with and need a bit of guidance, speak to a digital marketing company in Sydney.
5. Price comparison
As mentioned earlier, many companies provide website solutions. Finding a company that understands your business and what you want from a website within a certain budget, might be tough. That said, you need to look at your website as an investment – it is the digital extension of your business that will help you achieve your financial goals. A cheaply designed website, despite its pretty layout, will not necessarily give you the optimum results as opposed to a strategic website with a nifty design that might be slightly more expensive.
Fixed priced options even if they are slightly more expensive at the outset will probably save you from surprises and cost escalation that may happen from lower-priced options. Before deciding on a company, shop around to have a clear understanding of the costs involved. This will help you manage your cash flow throughout the process and help you find a solution provider that fits you best.
6. Technical support
Understanding what kind of technical support these website companies provide is important to your business. Test their services. Ask them questions and see if their support team is helpful? Do they have a plan to help you with the security of your website, including updating security software regularly? These are extremely crucial not just to keep your website humming but most importantly to ward off hackers. Do they have a plan to provide regular backups? So in case of technical or hacking issues, you can always recover in a timely manner, keeping your brand and image intact.
Are you able to make small changes to your website? The digital world is constantly evolving and your website should always stay relevant with changing times. Are they willing to support you and make these changes? Are they willing to provide the kind of support you intend to give your customers? These questions might help you cross off a few names from a long list and streamline your choices.
In 2017, 516,380 small businesses reported having fallen victim to cybercrime. So as mentioned above the security of your website is of utmost priority. There are many aspects to cybersecurity: firewalls, data backup, restore points and data encryption, etc. The information can be a bit overwhelming especially if cybersecurity is not something you’re particularly familiar with.
We would recommend reading up on it so that you can ask the right questions from the website company that will ensure the security of your website. That said, as a business owner your main focus should always be coming up with new ways to attract new customers. Get the expertise of a reputable company who will ensure that the security of your website is always maintained.
We hope that these 7 tips will be useful to you when you decide to invest in a website. Remember that this is an extension of your business and needs to compliment it in every aspect.