Not all websites are created equal. These days pretty much anyone can create a website using a cheap template or free DIY website builder. However, like anything else that sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And to borrow another business proverb, with website design and development “you get [no more than] what you pay for.” Customers can tell when they are visiting a copy-and-paste template site, and it sets the tone for what your customers expect from your business.
Business Website Pricing
Some business owners think of their website as an afterthought, but that is a very outdated notion for serious businesses. The days of having your nephew or other young tech-savvy relative create your business’ website for free are long over. You need a company or person who is adept in marketing, website design, and information systems to be a true player in the digital marketing game. If your website looks the slightest bit amateur, today’s acute customers will view you as a novice or bush league business.
This doesn’t mean you need to pay a small fortune for a decent website either. Plenty of companies try to charge far more than is necessary for a great website for a small business. You want to make sure you have a website that meets the needs of your business, but you also don’t want to waste money on features or complexities that you don’t need. Always ask what you are getting for a certain price, and why the designer or developer thinks their suggestions are a good value for your business.
Business Website Design
The website for your business should captivate and inform online visitors. Remember that your website is often many people’s first impression of your business. And it only takes a few seconds for a customer or business to form an opinion about your brand based on your online presence. That is why your goal should be to create a simple and personalized experience that satisfies your audience’s needs.
Components of a Great Small Business Website
There is also a lot more to designing and developing a great website than adding text and graphics to a few web pages. It requires careful feature planning and a content strategy to make sure that the website has all the ingredients required for both an optimal user experience and optimization for higher rankings on search engine results pages.
Here are three must-haves for your any business’ website:
- An absolutely killer user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). UI and UX doesn’t mean crazy animations or fancy graphics. They mean how well the user perceives their experience with your website. An excellent user experience involves a website that is simple to understand, and provides value to the end user. A great user interface is one that makes that interface aesthetically pleasing.
- A search engine friendly design to maximize your search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re designing a new website or doing a major overhaul, it’s a great time to make sure you’re using all of the best practices in terms of SEO. Make sure you are following the guidelines provided by Google and other search engines for on-page optimization. Most importantly, make sure all of your important content is indexable (viewable) by the search engines. This may require special considerations for non-text content like images and video.
- A content strategy for your website. This includes the content you’ll have ready when you launch your website as well as the content you’ll use to keep your website up-to-date. Where will you get the content to keep your website fresh. Will someone internally create it or do you have an agency that will provide content on your behalf? There is nothing worse than a website that has stale or inaccurate information on it. This can make your business look sloppy or even worse like you’re out of business.
Website Platforms and Builders
There are many online tools available that advertise how you can create a website for no or very little money. Wix and Squarespace are two of this biggest players in this space, and do offer very low cost options for a business owner to design their own website. These problem here is that these tools make it easy to design “a website.” However your business does not need just “a website.” Your business needs a professional business website that takes into consideration your marketing goals, has a well thought-out UI and UX design, and uses SEO techniques to ensure your website ranks as high as possible on the search engine results pages.
WordPress can refer to two different things in terms of a website. First, WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) that is used by many website designers and developers as a base platform. This WordPress is developed by the WordPress Foundation and can be found at WordPress.org. It can be used as the foundation for anything from amateur personal blogs to large brand websites like Sony Music and BBC America. So you’ll be in good company if you decide to use a professionally designed website that uses WordPress as its core platform.
The other WordPress is a hosting company owned by Automattic that can be found at WordPress.com. This is just one option, among many, to host your website based on the WordPress CMS. You should consult with whoever develops your website to see who they recommend for hosting given your specific set of needs.
The days of surviving without a website are virtually gone. If you don’t have a website, you likely won’t have a business soon either. It’s just the truth of the expanding online world. With mobile phones people are googling your business right in front of its door to see if they should enter to give it a try. Bad reviews or a lack of an online presence will cost you plenty of customers if it hasn’t already.
Make sure you have a professionally designed website that fits the needs of your business. It will show your customers you are a serious business. A great website and online marketing strategy will increase you flow of online leads and drive foot traffic to your storefront.
Kapok Marketing Can Help With Websites
Kapok Marketing is here to help with your website design and development needs. Our team has designed dozens of custom websites for small businesses using various CMS platforms like WordPress. Using an open-source CMS based website is perfect for most small businesses. If you need something more complex, our team has also designed plenty of fully custom web applications using both ASP.Net and PHP frameworks.