Just starting out with a new business and hopefully by now you’ve answered the question : Is a business website necessary ? You also understand why you should use WordPress to run your business website ! However, even though you’ve got all this relevant and useful information you still need to find out how to build a business website.
WordPress makes it incredibly easy to build websites without requiring extensive web development skills or knowledge, there are still a few basic steps you need follow to ensure you set your business down the right path to success
Identify key goals and objectives
The first step in building a solid website is to be very clear about your goals and objectives.
As a business owner you need to realise there is a distinct difference between a website built for a business and a website built for business. The differences are subtle but lets take a closer look at two definitions
- noun: brochureware
- websites or web pages produced by converting a company’s printed marketing or advertising material into an Internet format.
- noun: e-commerce;
- commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.
Both types of websites have similar objective:
- Create a strong online presence
- Enable potential customers to quickly find you through a search engine search
- Provides information about you and builds credibility for your brand.
You will need to define the success criteria for your website i.e. e-commerce or lead generation, or simply to build brand awareness?
If the goal is to accomplish a combination of these, then try to prioritize them. Starting off with a clear objective will make the subsequent steps flow smoother.
For example, if you’re supplying a consultancy service, a key goal for your website would be to build brand equity in order to acquire potential customers. Therefore, your website will be designed primarily with this objective in mind. Different pages should serve to answer any questions a visitor might have. This is what is more commonly referred to as Content Marketing which will include testimonials, pricing, examples to showcase your service, therefore it is important to know how to define your Content Marketing Strategy.
Once a customer decides to reach out, they can quickly do so by looking at the contact section, and choosing the best option that works for them. You will need to ensure you have defined your contact management strategy . The main purpose of your customer contact strategy is attempt t stay in contact with your prospect and guide them through your sales funnel.
If you are directly selling products or a service, then your website’s main focus would be to make the buying process as easy as possible, along with providing helpful purchasing information, such as features, ratings, images, or free shipping. This option will include all aspects Content Marketing and Contact Management strategy, but will also include Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) , Email Marketing, Social Media promotion etc.
Working with Three Nine Consulting and opting for our WordPress configuration package we will help you to start by clearly defining all the above aspects of your business website .
Domain buying, registration, and hosting
The next step is to choose, buy and register your domain name. All of which can be done with your hosting service. When choosing your domain name, try to relate it back to your brand. But keep it simple and easy for consumers to remember.
If you decide not to use our hosting services or consultancy service to create your website site, there are many hosting choices for small businesses. GoDaddy, BlueHost, and even Google Domains are some of the more popular choices with different plan options. Do your research and account for your long-term growth plans as it’s a significant effort to change web hosting services midcourse.
Test your competitors’ websites
In order to build an effective website, it’s important to understand what your competition is doing. Check out your competitors to see what they are doing well. Pretend you are a customer with the intent to make a purchase and try to complete an action from start to finish.
Take these things into consideration as you navigate through their site:
Based on the insights found, audit your own site on an ongoing basis for the same issues. Have someone new (your team/friends/family) try to complete an action like buy or sign up or find key information and observe them- you will get invaluable insights.
Really understand your ideal customers
Most small business owners know their users rather well, this allows them to give personalized customer service. Why many don’t realise is that you should try to create personas of your ideal customer and map their journey.
Developing a user persona is like bringing your typical or ideal user to life. It’s based on data and insights you gather about your customers/prospects. Add demographics like age, family, where they live, their lifestyle, their profession, hobbies to better understand and engage with your customers.
Once you start to flesh out customer profile(s), their pain points and motivations, how they consume content, and how they behave online, it becomes easier to target the website experience and content to the specific needs of your customers.
You will eventually start developing different aspects of our website to suit the different persona types you are targeting. For instance, you may have different landing pages configured to suit the persona type based on information obtained from the browser query string or email marketing link.
If your budget allows for a designer and a developer, then a custom made site built with a content management system could be a good choice. Ensure your site is mobile friendly and responsive.
However, for a small business with limited funds, a great option is to choose a ready made template that also allows for customisation. The templates are responsive, mobile and SEO friendly- a must have for digital success.
A key point here is do not focus too much on any fancy designs, flashy images. Your key focus here is Speed, Responsiveness and simplicity. There are basic User Models for websites and you should attempt to focus on ensuring your website delivers on those models. In the early stages of your website, you need to ensure that it conforms to the usability standards of most leading websites . i.e. Amazon and Ebay Etc.
In most cases, a very simple design is more than enough!
Design, Content, and SEO
This will depend on your business, the industry you are in, and your brand. However, as we mentioned earlier simplicity is much more important than the ‘pretty’ factor. With this in mind, the site should not take long to load, nor should customers have to click more than 2-3 times to find what they need.
Next, take a look at your content strategy. This includes all text and images being well organized, consistent and concise. If you aren’t directly writing the content on the website, consider hiring a professional content writer. It could be money well spent, especially, if the writer is well aware of SEO skills and techniques, as that can impact the website’s ranking in Google searches. For best results, provide the writer with the key terms specific to your business and important for your customers. The writer should create the content around these terms.
Ideally you should be working very closely with your content team, and ideally you should narrow your focus and only target specific areas and keywords as defined in content strategy. An SEO content strategy will help you with better traffic and conversions. However, it is not enough to just produce great content and forget about it once it’s been published. Review the site every few weeks for broken links, error pages, or spelling/grammar issues. It’s amazing how many websites go with these being unspotted.
Know your numbers!
Lastly, it’s critical to know and understand the metrics for your website. Implement a tracking tool such as Google Analytics, an easy and free option. Through your analytics solution, you can get a wealth of data that you can use to your advantage. You will be able to see which pages of your site get the most visitors, how your customers are coming to your site, and how are they converting. This may give you more insights about your customers and ideas on what kind of content or promotions to offer.
We also strongly suggest that you make use of an excellent tool like Lucky Orange, as it provides additional information like heatmaps and videos of how people actually use your website. You will get to watch your visitors as they engage directly on your site. Providing you with further insight on how to optimise your site.