10 Things to Consider Before Getting a Website
An online presence has become the de facto voice of any business or organization. Having an online presence is no longer about posting once in a while on social media. Today, maintaining an online presence is all about having a robust and engaging website.
A good website clearly communicates the objectives of a business. More often than not, a customer seeking information about your business or product will first look online. Even when you run a brick-and-mortar business, you need a digital presence to bridge the gap with customers. A website is one of the best investments a business can make today.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fail to realize that it takes some planning and a good amount of work to make a successful website. Consequently, they publish their websites, but it fails because customers do not find it useful or even find it all.
Here are the top ten things you must factor in when planning and working on your business website to make it successful.
The primary purpose of your website is to inform visitors. The second is to convert those visitors into customers. Your web copy matters since converting visitors to customers is all about convincing them why your business or product is better.
Good copywriting should fully describe your business - what it stands for, what it does, and what it sells. If the copywriting on your website is less than impressive, visitors will find it hard to take an action you recommend - such as making a purchase.
Unfortunately, most of the web is littered with bad copywriting that leaves visitors unsure of what businesses behind those websites do. Sometimes they get a completely wrong idea about the website and business. Bad copywriting makes visitors skim the page for a few seconds and, failing to find what they want or any convincing text, bounce out.
What should you do to make your website stand out from the rest?
First off, ensure that your header is sufficiently descriptive. It should be concise enough such that a visitor only reads this text on the page to know all they need to know about the business or its products.
If your website copy is bad, you will have a hard time convincing customers. That is bad for business. Siguro boasts of seasoned copywriters who know how to craft copies that convert visitors to customers.
Most businesses focus on getting a website but do not factor in getting traffic to the website, hence failing to establish an online presence. Gone are the days when you just needed to upload a website and post links on social media, and traffic would flood in. How you get traffic to your new website greatly impacts future marketing decisions and how your business will grow.
As you plan your website, bear in mind that you are developing it both for human visitors and search engine crawlers. Therefore, you must optimize the website for search engines to make it findable on top search engines. Many agencies that promise to make a business website SEO-friendly merely install WordPress plugins such as Yoast and call it a day. This is not a good practice to make your website appear on the first page of Google search engine results.
A good website should focus on making search engines the website's main source of traffic. This is not a once-off task but an ongoing process that requires a long-term strategy. It includes targeting keywords, building backlinks, optimizing pages, and other tasks.
Your website's entire design and content are shaped by the target market and traffic source. At Siguro, we provide our clients with a detailed and comprehensive plan on how we intend to drive organic traffic to your website from search engines. We outline how you can analyze traffic performance and hold us accountable for the goals we promise.
There are lots of free images and illustrations you can find online and use on your website. They may be beautiful, even relevant for your business, but to be honest, stock photography looks impersonal and unappealing. The image you see for the first time on a stock photo website could be in use in thousands of other websites that your visitors know about.
Every website needs professional images to complement the content of the website as well as promote the brand of the business. It takes little investment to get an agency to take photographs of your business, premises, or staff in their branded uniforms for use on the website. This not only shows off what the business stands for and adds personality, but it also gives visitors a glimpse into the everyday life of your business.
Avoid using stock photos on your website; it waters down the professionalism of the content. Instead, get professional photography to personalize your website and promote your business and brand.
4. Website Hosting
A good hosting service is essential to providing quality service to your visitors and customers. Unfortunately, most agencies use cheap, low-performing shared hosting services with limited features and slow speeds.
Cheap and shared hosting is bad for your business in many ways. For starters, they are slow and cause the website to take ages to load. Slow websites are frustrating to visitors because who has all the time in the world to wait for a website to load? Secondly, Google penalizes slow websites. Regardless of how well your SEO is done, Google may relegate it from the first page just because of the loading speed when the website is slow.
Some businesses choose to host their websites on free hosting sites to begin with, with the intention to migrate to better hosting down the road. However, in reality, migrating a website later on causes service interruptions and is also time-consuming and quite costly.
If you're looking for an E-Commerce website then many platforms like Shopify have their hosting included in the monthly fee and will also make changing agencies much easier. If you're interested in knowing how much does it cost to build a shopify website, DesignRush wrote this article breaking down and explaining the typical quotes you'll get designer and developers.
Consider where and how you want to host your business website even before you begin building it. If using an agency, make sure to get a guarantee that the site will perform well from day one. At Siguro, all of our client websites are statically cached and served over a content delivery network from a virtual private server with isolated access. This approach results in fast loading speeds, higher Google SERP ranking, and improved website security.
5. Updates and Maintenance
Regular updates and maintenance are crucial to keeping your website running at its full capacity. While a good website does not need much or any maintenance once published, the third-party plugins and tools are constantly updated and demand updates and maintenance on the site as well.
Many Web Design Companies have to hire support staff to manage and update client WordPress sites for this reason. Regular updates are essential to resolve migration problems, patch security risks, and optimize site speed and performance.
The agency that develops your website should not charge you for its maintenance. Since it is easy for them to use poor quality WordPress themes, plugins, and tools, they should bear the costs of updating and maintaining them.
6. Conversion Optimisation
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is vital in that it ensures that your business website gets more value with lower acquisition costs. In simpler terms, it refers to the process of continually improving aspects of the website to get the business the most leads.
Most agencies just build a website and, once published, never bother to check on how it is performing. This is a terrible business practice, and you must stay away from such agencies. The right agency should ensure that your business website gets a good number of quality leads, called conversions, or sales in the case of ecommerce websites.
Conversion optimization is an entire skill set that includes adding new website sections, updating copy and assets, redesigning pages and forms to conform to market demands, building new landing pages, and carrying out A/B tests.
The agency you choose to build your business website must provide a clear roadmap on how it intends to boost conversion rates every month. It must also provide ways for you to monitor and assess conversion rates and discover how visitors are interacting with the website. At Siguro, we use various tools to monitor and improve your conversion rates like Mixpanel, Hotjar, Segment, and Heap. We also furnish clients with monthly reports and videos explaining how the website performs and what we are doing to improve the metrics.
7. Paid Ads
Do you plan on using paid traffic in addition to organic traffic to your website? If so, your initial plans should include how to make it work in harmony with various ad accounts, including Google Search, Google Display, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
There is a lot of configuration to figure out before you can do paid ads correctly. Many businesses make the mistake of going with web agencies that merely throw pre-made templates on the website rather than take the time to personalize configuration for specific client websites. This may save them time and effort, but ultimately, the client pays the price through higher costs and poor conversions.
You will need to find a reputable paid ad specialist to set up conversion tracking the right way. There may be lots of back and forth between them and your web agency to get the necessary conversion events firing and attributing correctly, which might be costly, but it is a worthy investment.
Choose a conversion-focused agency specializing in paid ads if you plan to use advertisers to promote traffic to your website. This will go a long way to reduce your costs, hassle, and project timelines.
8. Content Management (CMS)
Having a good content management system (CMS) gives you control over the content of your website. CMS brings simplicity, scalability, flexibility, and cost-saving features to the website. It also significantly impacts how easy it is to keep the website organized, updated, and functional.
Many outsourced web design agencies pick WordPress because, well, it is what they know best. However, these agencies often have to grapple with full support inboxes of clients asking for help to do even simple tasks such as editing text on a page and uploading images.
The best CMS platforms in the market today make it easy to build your website from many reusable blocks but customized to individual websites. This makes it easy for you to safely update the website with new content, formats, and optimizations. WordPress as a CMS may be popular, but it often relies on third-party plugins and extensions, which are highly unreliable and frequently modified.
Avoid agencies that will want to build your website with off-the-shelf CMS, such as WordPress. At Siguro, we use bespoke CMS designed to be intuitive and easy to use. We use this CMS because we value the extendability and future scaling of your website. It makes it easy to manage your website in a few steps and you will not need any extensive tutorials or to rely on a third-party plugin or extension.
Your website is nothing without content. The saying content is king may sound like a cliche, but it remains true. Therefore, your plans for a business website must revolve around the content it provides to visitors.
Most agencies that make grand promises about good websites often fall short when it comes to the quality of content. They often leave it to the client to create the content to add to the website without providing guidance and directions on the proper ways to develop it.
Depending on your type of business and the nature of its website, the content you create must be engaging and relevant. At Siguro, we will help you prepare the information you intend to serve to visitors to ensure that it is concise and accurately portrays your business or products. We also ensure that the content is adequately optimized to boost organic traffic as well as search engines.
There are no more tricks and cheap shortcuts to get to the first page of the Google search engine results page anymore. It takes proper website optimization, including focusing on website page structure and keywords, quality backlink acquisition, and ensuring that the content is relevant, among others.
Many agencies promise the world as far as website SEO goes but rarely deliver on them. So before you hire an agency to develop your website, be sure to ask for proof of their ability in the form of previous SEO reports on current client websites.
SEO is critical to outrank the competition, boost online visibility, and promote website authority. However, it takes effort and time to get a website to the first page of Google results. At Siguro, we do all it takes - including optimizing your website for local SEO and providing monthly reports and analyses.
Bringing It All Together
If you are considering establishing an online presence for your business, a website is a great tool to achieve it. As you plan it, know that a good website is a lot more than a page to showcase your products and services. It must be a dynamic, well-optimized, and credible business portal that converts visitors into customers within a few seconds of arriving on the landing page.
It takes a lot of planning and even more building before your website is a success. Avoid agencies that consider website development a one-size-fits-all affair. At Siguro, each website is planned, designed, and developed to size and purpose. If you want to get a website that truly represents your business, book a call with me and learn how we can achieve it.