By Dr Jason Steele, Owner of SeyeneCo Web Design
The following article will help remove those worries you have about finally developing a website for your company.
Before proceeding please answer yes or no to the following questions:
Are you unsure about your company needing a website?
Would you like to understand how to generate great leads?
Do you have a client base you'd like to expand?
Whether you're just looking into why you should get a website, or have already made-up you mind that it's a great way to increase sales the following article will provide you with the route to website success.
In the next 5 minutes as you read this entire article you'll start to wonder why it's taken you so long to make the jump online? You'll also learn:
You're probably wondering why your company needs a website in the first place. You've lasted this long without one, so why change things now? The single biggest benefit to getting online is the fact that potential customers are desperately looking for the very products and services that you offer. I guarantee you that someone online is looking for the very thing that you're trying to sell more of.
Websites aren't just for selling books and dvds, they are used to advertise the benefits of doing business with your company.
Some of the benefits of developing a website for your company are:
The successful path that you should travel to develop a fantastic website is:
Now that's much easier than you thought isn't it? So let's start with the first one
I know this seems like a strange place to start a website design process because everyone just wants to make money! Granted there are lots of websites out there whos sole purpose it to make money for their owners, yet there are other reasons for having a website. Some websites show people how to save money, and others purely exist as hobby sites.
Decide on your objectives.
Unlike a new business you have the great advantage of an existing client base. As the aim of your website will be to expand this client base, one of the first things you should do is actually talk to your clients about what they'd like to see on your website. There's little point developing a website that doesn't provide the very information that your client base is interested in. The new clients you find online will be after the very same information as your current clients are.
You might find that some of your clients would like more news about your company, or perhaps the facility to download forms. As with business, the way to make your website a great success is to identify what your clients actually need and provide them with it.
The flip side to this is that you might currently be considering adding something to your website that none of your clients need. An example might be a customer management system that has all the bells and whistles, yet would cost a considerable amount of money. Why not ask your clients what they want on the website and possibly spend less developing it than you expected.Identify your target audience and their needs.
The vast majority of people starting new businesses know that one of their first steps is developing a fantastic website to advertise their products and services. As such this group doesn't need to be convinced about the benefits of getting online: they are more interested in the things they have to do to prepare for a website, and the ways to minimise its overall cost.
Established companies want to know what benefits the Internet and their website will bring them. They also want to know the process of developing and launching a website.
Companies with websites that aren't generating sales or leads want to know why. After the various problems have been identified the options for turning things around is required.
The core pages in any website are:
Other pages to consider are:
With the core of the site completed, you next need to list all the products and/or services that your company is providing.
If you're a service company then devote one page to each of the services you provide.
If you're a company that sells products then devote one page to each category of product.
There will be exceptions to these rather basic rules, but hopefully you get the spirit of what I mean.
You should now have a list of all the pages you'll need in your website. At this stage I like to draw a site map so that I can visualize how all the pages will link together.Sketch the site structure.
This is probably where you thought designing a website starts. The look of your website should match the look of your current advertising and marketing material. This probably seems obvious, yet the number of companies we've come across who simply don't understand this basic principle would amaze you.
Imagine meeting someone at a networking lunch, getting their business card, and then viewing their website later. If the website doesn't share the same styles as the business card i.e. logo, colours, fonts etc then this would only confuse you.Ensure your website looks like your marketing/ advertising material.
The main website address for your company should probably be your company name .co.uk. You could of course choose a .com address, but I think the .co.uk shows people where your focus is. If you're targeting the international marketplace then a .com could be more suitable. It's only an extra £10 to buy another url, so this shouldn't break the bank.
You can check whether the website address you're interested in is actually available by visiting Compila Ltd. Simply type the url into the domain name registration box.
The web host is the computer that holds all the pages, images and files that make-up your website. When a web address is typed into the browser i.e. Internet Explorer or FireFox the relevant page, images and files are then provided by the host.
Web hosting companies like Compila Ltd can provide you with a web address, Email address and 50Mb of space for your website for £20 per year.Decide on a website address.
Once your website is up and running there are two ways that people will discover it:
Search engines will generate the bulk of the website traffic over time, but it can take months for them to start doing this. So what do you do in the meantime you ask ? well you use traditional marketing to let people know about your website.
Simply include your URL in all the company stationary, cards and literature - best leave off the http:// part as most people know what www. means.Advertise your url
The development cost depends upon several factors such as:
As a ball park figure each page on your website will cost between £75 and £150 to develop. Obviously there are companies and individuals who will charge much less and much more than this.Get an idea of the cost.
The worst way to decide which web site design company to choose is through looking for the cheapest quote. Obviously you want to develop a great website without having to invest more than you can afford, yet the expression "pay nuts, get monkeys" should be foremost in your mind.
Some things to definitely consider when deciding on a website design company are:
A great website should:
You probably knew that a website should look great, but did you realize that the majority of people who should find your site will do so via search engines i.e. Google, Yahoo, MSN & AOL?
Put simply, this means that when somebody types a product or service that you provide you ideally want to appear on the first few pages of the results. If you don't appear in the search engines then you won't be generating any new business. The process of getting a website to appear in the search engines is referred to as search engine optimisation.
Once the visitor has landed on your site you have to convince them that you can provide the product or service that they're after. This is known as writing copy for the web.
When choosing a website design company ensure that they:
You can get the cheapest company to generate a website for you that results in no sales, or you can spent a little bit more and actually make money online.Look beyond the cheapest designer when building your site.
For an analogy a website is like a salesman. If the salesman looks good, generates great leads and has a fantastic sales talk then your business will thrive. If anyone of these three vital components isn't effective then you'll get no extra business.
The look of the website is compared to the look of the salesman. The leads the salesman generates is compared to the traffic generated via the search engines. And lastly, the sales talk is matched to the web copy of the website. For your website to be a success all three ingredients must be present.
You're the owner of a
property letting company
based in Glasgow, where you have several properties on offer. You want
a website to generate leads and provide potential contact
details of interested parties.
After doing some Internet based research you know that there are 121 people a month looking for property to rent in Glasgow. Each property you manage to rent earns you £100 commission per month.
If your website is sitting at the top of the search engines for the phrase "property letting Glasgow" then there's a very good chance you'll get all 121 people to visit your site. Taking a conservative conversion rate of 5% then this means you'll get an extra 6 sales per month.
Six extra sales per month at £100 each means that you'll quickly recover the initial investment in the website.
However, and this is the catch, if your website isn't sitting in a high position in the search engines for your targeted phrase then the number of people visiting your site will be lower, the sales will be lower, and the commission will be lower.
So when evaluating quotes from potential website designer simply choosing the cheapest could be an expensive long term mistake. You need to ensure that the designer you choose has the ability to get your site rated near the top of the search engines.
You now know how a website will increase business for you, and how to create one. I talked you through:
Provided you follow each of these steps your company will have a fantastic future online.
If you're based in Scotland and desperate for that great website then phone SeyeneCo on 01698 292 296 - we're here to help.
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I would feel confident in recommending SeyeneCo to any company considering setting up a website.
Elaine Mackinnon, Director, Research Resource, Glasgow, Scotland.
SeyeneCo helped us to actually generate sales from our website.
Gilbert Grossett, Managing Director, Grossett's Butchers, Dundee, Scotland.
I can honestly say that SeyeneCo offered me a thorough and professional website design service, from the consultation stage through to the actual website launch. I would advise anyone who is considering obtaining a website for their business to contact SeyeneCo Web Design.
Linda Grace Gemmell, Original Scottish Landscape Paintings, Scotland.
Seyeneco web design have the professional skills and knowledge to cater to their clients needs and specifications.
Our business has new clients and business leads thanks to them.
We have trust and confidence in Seyeneco and without hesitation would recommend their services.
Charmaine Gittens, Director, Liki Importation, Spain.