Do I need a website? And what should I put on it? – A guide for small businesses Part 1

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Do I need a website? And what should I put on it? – A guide for small businesses Part 1

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Do I need a website? And what should I put on it? – A guide for small businesses Part 1

By Michael Griffiths

Created: 24.05.2017 00:00:00, last updated: 15.06.2017 00:00:00

Do I need a website? And what should I put on it? – A guide for small businesses Part 1

Do I need a website for my business? and what should I put on my site?

What people tell you

When planning your new business one of the first things people will say to you will be, ‘You need to get a website up and running ASAP’.

They may stand there looking all smug, as if their vague piece of advice had just saved your life. This blazing inferno of pride will quickly turn to ash once they hear the oldest question known to man: Why?

If you are very unlucky you will hear the false promises of unending success and a rock star lifestyle but for the most part you’ll get something like, ‘well mate…. You just sorta do, everyone’s got one.’ What was once an ear to ear grin has now turned to a look of uncertainty.

Because of situations like this it’s easy to see why so many small businesses don’t bother getting a website and then struggle to build any sort of brand recognition.

Another thing you may hear is that it’s so easy, you just grab a template and away you go. There is a problem with this. Search engines love unique content, using the same template as another site can damage your sites search rankings. Also, and most importantly, your website should be a direct representation of your brand. It needs to fit in with your brands image completely and seamlessly. Your website is at the forefront of your company’s public image so it has to convey your brand in its best possible light. So don’t be fooled by the sea of cheap template junk, a bespoke website is the only way to go.

The truth of the matter is that most businesses need a website but no 2 businesses need a website for the same reason. While your overall goals may appear to be similar (increase sales, etc.) but when you look at them in finer detail they are all wildly different. Whatever your reason you will find that your website will become your most valuable marketing tool and your users will thank you for it by coming back and, hopefully, referring others to your company.

What do you want from your website?

As I have mentioned before your business is unique, as a result your business goals are also unique. Before you can make any plans to have a website built you need to figure out exactly what your business goals are and how the website will help achieve those goals. With this information you can then figure out exactly what you need your website to do.

For example Mr P is a plasterer. Most of his jobs come through other construction companies. What Mr P wants from his website is to be able to display the many different plastering techniques etc. that he specialises in so his clients can see exactly what they are getting from him. Mr P also wanted to be able to show some of his previous work and clients to further prove his skills, experience, and reputation.

Mrs C is a beautician and has recently opened a salon. She wanted her clients to be able to book their own appointments on her website. She also wanted to share some of her skills and experience with her clients. Another requirement was social media integration. Mrs C operates several different social media channels which she wanted to bring together in her website so that her social media feeds can be viewed without leaving her website. The biggest requirement she had was the budget constraints. Having just opened her salon meant that she had little in the way of money to work with, which she was quite concerned about. We managed to fulfil all the requirements within the budget by utilising a 3rd party tool for appointment booking.

Before you progress any further you need to sit down and really think about what function you want your website to perform. The entire site will be built around this information so it really is important that you are adequately prepared. As with anything else in life the success of your website, and your business, depends on your ability to plan ahead.

They have spoken, and I have listened

So at this point you have listened to the world and its wife spout on and on about how you need to x, y, and z. Then they mumbled some nonsense and slumped away, leaving you with the age old question of why? So to address that question you have had a good long think about what your goals are in relation to your website and in business as a whole.

Hopefully you are starting to see why you may need a website and what it can do to improve your business.

In the next chapter of ‘Do I need a website? And what should I put on it? – A guide for small businesses’ we will discuss the different types of website and how that relates to your business needs so check back soon for part 2.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any social media shares etc. are greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

About Michael Griffiths

Web Developer and Social Media Coach