Having an online presence for your business is almost non-negotiable in today’s world.
While your online presence might start off from the point of social media platforms, to harness the full potential of the Internet, experts say having a website is essential.
Having a website can do three things for you; establish your business’ digital presence, share your message and give visibility to your brand beyond the restrictions of location and time.
To start building this very important aspect of your business, below are some of the things you should consider, both from experts and business owners who have gone through the process.
A website developer, Damilola Awe of CallJulius, who spoke to said that a business owner needs to pay attention to the brand name. It should be unique, that is, nobody else is using the name.
He says, “I said something about being unique which is you have to use a name nobody is using so there is no mix up when someone is searching for your brand or business. A domain name can end with .org which stands for organisation. Dot.com, .co etc and can also include countries like .ng .uk etc.”
Google Domains advises that your domain name shouldn’t exceed two to three words. You want people to remember your domain name and type it accurately. Complicated or uncommon words or names may be hard to remember and spell correctly. Your best bet is to use relevant words that help users find you in a search and recognise what you do at a glance.
Awe added that there is a need to use a hosting platform that is safe.
The hosting platform is the host that contains your content; content can be images, password, context, profile of your users, video, files and all. There are different hosting platforms, have a look at what they are offering and select the one most suitable for you.
According to a Tech Consultant at Gochinart Enterprise, Godson Chinweuba, your website’s relevance to your business starts from the content you have on it. Most times business owners don’t even know what they want to achieve with a website.
His advises that, “Take some time to outline the main goal you want to achieve with a website. Do you want more sales? Do you want to get people to your WhatsApp or email list? Do you want to inform people about how your services work and how they can book you? These are few questions they should answer before specifying features for their business website.
“Most times the focus is on things like ‘I want my website to be beautiful.’ In as much as that has to be factored in, it’s not the duty of the business owner to prioritise that instead of the content. As the saying goes, ‘content is king.’”
Still on your goal, Chinweuba advises turning your goal into a ‘Call To Action’.
He said, “I know you don’t want people to come to your website, learn about your services and get confused on how to actually boo k you. Tell them what to do. Example: Click here to chat us. Call us on +2348xxxxxx
“Don’t give multiple choices as it will create confusion. Let me give you a free tip. If you are not running an e-commerce website, then use a WhatsApp chat call to action. You will have higher audience retention with that. Put your usage direction on the website if you have a product. Lastly, don’t overload your website visitors with too many contents.”
Once you have been able to articulate your goal and what you want your visitors to do when they come to your page, you need to specify your target audience.
Marketing website, Sendpulse, advises that you research your customers to better understand who they are. You can use Google Analytics to learn more about your customers and user personas to create a clear profile of customers who are most likely to use your business.
Knowing your audience will help you determine the colours, font, layout, and images that would resonate best with your potential consumers.
Aside determining your target audience, you need to study your competition. No matter how much of a niche your business is in, there are bound to be other businesses in that sphere.
Before actually putting in the time and energy into building your own site, review the websites of similar businesses.
You can find examples of similar websites by doing a Google search for “small business websites” or by browsing through some of the top design galleries online.
University of Rhode Island suggests that you pay attention to what you like and dislike about their sites: look, user friendliness, navigation, readability, etc. you can even ask some of your friends to review the website and share their feedback with you.
Save these ideas and use them as the starting point for your website.
Please note that this is not an opportunity to copy another business’s website. It should be about using the reviews of the other websites to improve on your own website.
According to data quoted by TechJury, in 2022, mobile phones generate 60.66 per cent of website traffic, while desktops and tablets are responsible for 39.34 per cent. This is enough reason to pay attention to how your website looks and performs on mobile first before checking the outlook on desktop.
Marketing expert, Chase Williams, advises that because of the high traffic that will be coming from smartphones, it is better to cut down on anything that isn’t necessary.
Look at your current analytics, the current touchpoints of your visitors and let that guide you in determining what to remove from your website, what to show on your landing page and what to put at the bottom of your page.