So you’ve set up a company and are considering getting a website. A website although somewhat costly to set up and maintain can bring serious benefits to your new business. It is a common misconception that you have to hire an expensive web designer to make your website:
Web designer alternatives to save you money
There are two major alternatives depending on your skill level and what you need your website to do. The first is a website template. A website template is an industry premade website that all you need to do is change the text and images to fit your company’s content. However these sometimes take a little bit of coding knowledge to edit in the first place and you need to make sure you’ve got a good one to start with or there could be some serious problems in the background that you wouldn’t notice but could impact on your companies search rankings. There are many websites offering templates but it is far better to spend a bit more and get a quality one rather than some of the free rubbish that will only make your business look poor.
The other alternative to a web designer is a website builder. A website builder is similar to a template but is interactive and doesn’t need any prior coding knowledge in order to make your website. Website builders can often come with a hosting plan and a facility to allow you to edit content at will. This is great for new businesses as you are saving money that you would need to spend on getting a web designer to update the website every time.
How to use your website to attract new customers
One of the biggest advantages a website can bring to a small company is its ability to attract new customers. Having a good business website properly listed on Google maps along with been linked in with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can create a real web presence for your business. Having a strong web presence is really useful for small business as due to Google’s location services you will appear highly in searches ranking around your niche market in geographical local searchers. However getting visitors to your site is only the first step in getting more customers.
Once you are visible on Google and other search engines, people will visit your website. The website visitors then need to be converted into customers to make it all worthwhile. To convert visitors to customers your website needs to be appealing, relevant and professional. No one is going to use a business with a poor website as they will think that the business will operate as poorly. A common misconception is to have as much continent as you possibly can fit on your site. The opposite is true, it is better to have five pages of quality content rather than thirty that the customer has to try and navigate through to find what they want.
How a website makes your business more professional
One great thing a website can do for a business is to add an extra level of authority in the customers eye. When you have spent time and money creating an effective website it will show the customers that you are dedicated to your line of business and aim to provide better customer service. Not having a website can make you look like a quick start up company that might not have a proven track record.
Having a website a website also allows you to have custom email addresses based on your domain. Having an email @yourcompaniesname.com looks a lot more professional than having a Hotmail or similar public email account. This is important when contacting customers as it reinforces that you are a genuine representative of the company.
To conclude: A well-made website can add some genuine benefits to a new company and there are very few industries that wouldn’t benefit in some way or another from having a web presence.
This was a guest post by Sam Fisher an ex web-designer who now works in online marketing. Seeing both sides of the industry have given him a strong expertise in the advantages and pitfalls a website can bring to new businesses.