Has your small business grown to the point where you need a website but are unsure about how to make that happen? Do you wish someone else would just take it over for you? If so, you’re not alone. Many small business owners would like to be hands off when it comes to the online operations, and interestingly enough, some folks will seek the advice of the younger generation, sons and daughters, to help get them started!
This month, we’re here to help you understand the benefits of having a website, so you can be in the driver’s seat toward building your website versus coaxing your high schooler to help you understand what you need. First, grab a pen to jot down some answers to the following questions:
What is your goal for having a website?
If you simply want a website for the sake of saying you have one, please don’t put any money or energy into it. Your website is another medium, through which you will gain publicity and exposure; it’s another way to market your products or services. Define your goals before you get started.
Why should people browse your website?
Asking the Why questions will help you define your objectives for having a website. Why should people know your story? Why do people need to spend time on your website? The answers will help define your objectives and the direction you should go with your website.
What should be the “Call to action”?
Once you understand your objectives, how would you like potential customers to respond? Do you want them to submit an online form, sign up for a newsletter, purchase an item, or simply call your toll-free number? What would you like them to do once they are familiar with your company? That will determine the actual content, design, and structure of your site with a call to action in there somewhere.
What is the information people need from you?
Once you know the action you want your customers to take, you can populate the website with information needed for your site visitors. For example, if you want a potential customer to sign up for your newsletter, you might give an incentive to sign up like a coupon code for free shipping. If you would like them to purchase a product online, you’d better have good product information so they can make informed decisions before they buy.
Finally, structure your thoughts.
Spread your answers to those questions out on the table and let’s think of the most logical way to structure your website. Depending on the information you wish to provide, and the call to action, you may want certain web pages and menu items for different products or services. Imagine the customer walking through your store or getting to know your business on a phone call, and think the same way for your website. The customer needs to be able to “walk through” your website, easily understating where to go and what action to take next.