Website Essentials for Your Business
As a business owner, having a website is the cornerstone of your online presence. It is equivalent to meeting a client in person for the first time and making that lasting first impression but in the digital world. Prospective clients or even future employees will utilize online searches to find out more about you and your business. What they see will either convince them to hire you or to move on to the next person.
It is important to have a webpage that reflects your business and your brand. You don’t want your website to look like it came from the 90s and is still being hosted by GeoCities (remember them?). You want a website that is sleek, stylish, modern and stands out from others in your industry; a website that makes the casual browser take the time to explore and learn more about you.
In creating your website, focusing on these five elements is crucial: domain name, branding and content, homepage and navigation, visual design, and user interaction.
- Domain Name: Your domain name needs to be clear, simple, and reflective of your business. Your domain name is usually your business name but there will be cases where the domain has already been taken. You will have to be creative and maybe use the company’s tag line. But often, it will be your company name. One quick tip: if you have a long and complicated company name, consider shortening it for your domain name by using acronyms. Make sure you invest in a domain name. Don’t just use companyname.wordpress.com or companyA.godaddy.com.
- Homepage and Navigation: “Information at a glance” needs to be the motto of your homepage. Who you are, what you do, and essentially what your business is needs to be captured in that one page. Visitors to your website should not be digging around for information. Same goes for navigation. Your website’s menu needs to be labeled clearly and direct the user to the information they need. Ease of use and accessibility are the key terms in building your homepage.
- Branding and content: Everything about your website needs to tie into your business and your brand–from the colors, to the logo, and especially the content. If your business is selling wine, you don’t want content about beers and breweries on your webpage, unless it is content comparing wine with beers. Just like any aspect of your business, your website needs to stay on brand. When producing content for your website, know your audience. Who are you trying to reach? Tailor your content to inform as well as attract.
- Visual Design: When creating a website, looks are everything. You need to plan it out. You want your website to look current and polished; not dated and in need of an update. The design ties together the elements of content, navigation, and branding. The way your website is designed is what will draw your audience in and encourage them to stay and explore.
- User Interaction: Think of your website as your business representative in the digital world. Just as you want a client or a customer to have a great experience with your business in person, you want to ensure that they have the same experience when they are on your website. For example, if you’re selling a product, their website shopping experience should be as satisfying as being in your shop. User interaction also includes how your website translates on different devices.
Though building your own website will add to your arsenal of skills sets and perhaps be the more cost effective option, you might want to consider hiring a professional to do the job for you. Investing in having a professionally made website is one more thing you don’t have to worry about as a business owner. At Cowe Communications, our team can assist with website design and development that will make your brand stand out. Visit us at cowe.com to see how we can help you!