Having a company website is no longer a question of if you should, but rather an imperative—you must have a website. The Internet is the first place everyone searches to see if you’re ‘real’ to find a telephone number, even to see if your company personality is a fit for them. Yes, your firm is judged by your website. It is an extension of your identity (or brand), and supports your company’s message. Furthermore, a website should be more than a quick response to the directive “Let’s just get this thing done so people can find us.” It’s a commonly heard comment from companies, and it’s a dangerous approach. A website is much more than staking your claim on the internet. It is often your first impression to potential clients, customers, and employees. Make it the best it can be.
Why do you need a website when we have so many other social media platforms? It’s simple really. Not everyone has a Facebook or LinkedIn or Google+ page. Most of your customers and clients will start their search on the internet.
Start with the question we ask when clients begin thinking about a website: Why? What are you trying accomplish with a website? There are hundreds of answers to this question from recruitment, to selling a product, to finding a telephone number. Depending on your company messaging, goals, and strategic business plan, your website should be carefully thought out and planned.
More Questions to Help You Answer Why
Let’s step through a few of the other questions to consider as you create a plan for your website.
Who is your audience?
- Your website will serve your audience better if you address their pain points and resist the urge to talk about YOU. Users want to be able to see themselves within your content. It helps them evaluate how well you understand their needs and give them confidence you can help. Be sure to consider if you have more than one audience as well.
Why will they use your website?
- Do you need to educate users on complicated products or services before they buy? Or explain how your services benefit them? Those are really two different messages, so decide early how to provide the websites that will address those needs.
What will you say on your website?
- Content is extremely important. We begin developing a website with Copy Decks to outline the content that will be on the site. Before we think about colors and images, or technology, we consider the words users will read.
How often will your audience return? And do they need to?
- Consider your website traffic expectations here. Users have become more segmented and purposeful when using the web, which is a good thing. But that also means isn’t reasonable to expect that thousands upon thousands of users will visit your website upon launch. Your web traffic will be aligned with general interest in your company. Furthermore, users may only visit your website once. They may not need to return.
How hard do you make users work to reach you or understand your message?
- Spambots may require that the use of Captcha forms to make sure users are human, but how often do these extra questions act as barriers instead? Do you even need a response form? Or do users really use your website for contact information, and then pick up the phone to call?
How often will your site be updated?
- Without good content your website is constantly at risk for being outdated before it evens get launched. If you want to educate your clients, celebrate your company culture, and be a recognized expert in your field of expertise, then you must plan to make regular updates to your website. Giba Group helps clients with these kinds of updates. And we can help you, too.
- It’s also time to move away from the idea that a website will last several years before it is time to refresh it. That’s no longer true. plan for an annual website review and refresh. New web technology and programming methods are rolled out daily. Devices are faster and more powerful than they have ever been, and we cannot yet fathom the technology that will we will use in the next year. Your message may continue to evolve throughout the life of your business as priorities shift around the services you offer. Your website should evolve as well.
The Magic of SEO
This may burst your bubble, but there isn’t any mysterious juju sauce to get your website ranked on the 1st page of Google. Search methods has become so ultra personalized with complex algorithms and search history, there isn’t a guarantee your website will be listed on the first page using SEO tools or methods. Each part of a program helps, like AdWords, and Google+ pages. But ultimately, you must deliver a website with content that delivers the information users want when they want it and how they want it.
It’s Time to Answer Some Questions
Your website might be one of the most important ways you interact with potential clients and consumers. Spend the appropriate time and energy to plan what to say and how to say it. Give Giba Group a call if you have trouble finding answers.