For most small businesses, the process of getting your business on the internet can be a minefield.
You want to do it for the best price while still getting the look and feel that say’s to the world you are a reputable business who knows what they are talking about. It is your window for the world to peer in and say do I want to buy from them? Then you hear that using social media is the best way to drive traffic to your website and hopefully more business.
So off you go and you are encouraged because everywhere you search on the internet tells you can do it for free, or for a very small monthly fee, search engine friendly and connect to social media. It was really easy the first listing on your Google search gave you companies that do exactly what you want, create websites. Great, this is looking good.
It is very tempting to go down this path and many have and you may decide that after reading the rest of this article you still will. It looks easy and promises everything you have read you will need. They even make the process look really easy, all you have to do is sign up, answer a couple of questions about your business, choose a template and you’re there.
What they are not telling you is that a lot of these offerings have significant limitations that are not obvious when you first get started, so make sure you check the pricing options first. For a site that has everything you want you may have to pay a higher fee per month.
Some of the limitations we have seen include advertising on your web page from the provider, not enough pages, your web address is not how you want it, no shop capability, storage limits, bandwidth limits, no search option, no support for video, no secure areas for customers, high transaction rates, only one site, limited plugins (for additional features) and much more. They do offer you a solution which is purchasing one of the more expensive options to get what you want.
Just be aware that regardless of what solution you chose you will need to learn the website editor. It can be a big learning curb to configure elements on your website so that they work the way you want them to. Some things you may need to consider before embarking on creating your own site include the need to create your own content, deciding on the structure of your site, having images and graphics available and more.
Two of the more important elements that are often not covered effectively by these offerings are the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Social Media. To have customers visiting your site you need to be found by the search engines or have an effective social media presence driving traffic to your site. Just having a template that is SEO friendly is often not enough to appear on the first page of the search engine results.
If you do a search on SOE and Social Media marketing you will find there are many elements that will allow your site to be found more effectively, too many to cover in this article. SOE and Social Media have taken over from the traditional marketing as a way to attract new customers. Done correctly Social Media also offers you the chance to stay in front of customers and actively promote your business to them.
If all of this sounds too daunting your alternative is to get a professional web design company like Atria to build you a website with all of the features you want. Configuring all of the elements, making sure your SOE parameters are setup correctly and connecting your Social Media are all services that are offered. Tell us what you want, or let us show you what can be achieved.
Having a good looking website is important, but the advice on achieving a web presence that drives the new customer to your business is far more important.
Your upfront cost may be higher, but done correctly your ongoing cost will be significantly less and your chance of being found will be much higher.
We have only just touched on some of the elements that you need to consider. So regardless of which journey you decide to take, do some more research or talk to a professional.