February 20 2019
So, you’ve decided to start a business and you have a vague idea that you need a website. Or maybe you already have a site but it’s not bringing enough work in? Fear not! Information is power, so here’s some information from someone whose been fixing these issues since the internet was still in short trousers.
When I go to see potential website buyers, I always ask what they want a website for? What do they want to achieve with it? It’s startling how many people had never really thought about this until asked.
I’d advise you start (or start again) right there. With a pen and a paper if necessary. Are you looking at a website purely as an expense or as an in-vestment? Your answer to this question will shape everything.
Who is your ideal client? What is their lifetime value to you? Where do they hang out online? How many of these do you need to be where you dream of being? How will your website get in front of them and convince them you’re the ideal person for the job?
That kind of thing. Get a real grip on why you’re doing this because every decision you make from here should start from there.
What do you need for a website?
• a domain name (which gets registered in your name & has to be re-newed usually on a yearly or biannual basis)
• web hosting (which is renting a bit of the world wide web to put your website on, renewed monthly or yearly)
• a website (which can be built in various ways – my company use something called WordPress which lets you update the site yourself once built, with minimum training. Though we do train you!)
From there, all business websites have 2 steps to success:
• they need to be seen (by the right, targeted people)
• once seen, they need to convert visitors into enquiries or sales
It’s that simple. Let’s look at both these in a bit more detail.
Being seen involves driving visitors (“traffic”) to your site. This is most usual-ly achieved by paid advertising (Google & Facebook are both favourites) or simply getting to the top of Google’s organic rankings when someone searches for the service you offer, in the area you offer. This is known as SEO (“search engine optimisation”). A properly-built website will have all the foundations built in for this.
Converting the visitor, particularly when you’re offering services that could be broadly described as theraputic, involves invoking a sense of profession-alism and trustworthiness. This is where you really don’t want some ‘Pow-ered by xxx’ link at the bottom of all your pages – the only one getting em-powered by that is the ‘xxx’ company. It can be a big step for people with problems to get in touch with a stranger, so we need to do everything we can to help them across that line. We need a site that reaches out and says, reassuringly, ‘I’m a professional and you can trust me – just look at the care I’ve taken with my website’.
What about these cheap ones advertised on the TV?
Well, they’re cheap – there’s no arguing with that. We’re going back here to whether you see your website is an expense or an investment. Because there are some issues you want to be aware of:
Both the above steps to success will benefit a great deal from the advice of an expert. If you are already that expert, well done! You probably don’t need to read any further!
If not, you are going to benefit a whole lot from a person or company with knowledge and experience of what works in your field – which keywords / phrases people search for, how to reflect them back at Google for good rankings etc. Not to mention where not to step in the minefield.
Poor, Slow Technical Support
Anything beyond the most basic problem can take an age to sort out. Sometimes on a premium number, usually after waiting long enough to give you cauliflower ear. Or sometimes days before an email gets replied to, not always by someone who’s actually interested. Then you need to consider whether the question has actually been answered. I’ve lost days & weeks on behalf of clients in these situations.
Want a backup of your site restored? Or an https certificate? These things often cost extra. It’s these ‘upsells’ where the companies often try & make money. Fair enough, but be aware that your bill may be prone to regular swelling!
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Getting your website seen benefits from good code (after all the code is what Google is looking at). Google rewards good websites both in organic search results and its quality score in Google Ads, which influences what you pay per click. The ‘drag and drop’ type solutions offered by some budg-et companies may be easy to use, but they produce tons of horrible code that enable that to happen. A false economy if you’re serious about making this work.
Hopefully by now you’ll have warmed to the idea that a well built & designed website can deliver you a return on investment many times over. When you take this stuff seriously, it has enormous power. It’s worth getting right.
But there’s something else even more important to your success.
So far I’ve given you all the technical information. But there’s more – and this is the most important part of this article, because it’s not information you can easily research – but it could well be the difference between success and failure. It almost always is.
I’ve been building websites for all manner of different companies and clients for 20 years. Over that time I’ve worked on sites that cost from as little as £30 0 to as much as £500,000.
That has given me a lot of time to notice the difference between people who sweep to success with their business and people who fold early on. You get to notice some attitudes that liberate the successful and others that bind the strugglers, and you see how these manifest in websites.
Successful people often recognise money as an energy – as a gauge of value. The value of a job for sure, but also the value of themselves – a re-flection of how much they rate themselves, which comes over in everything they do.
As an example, we presently offer two entry-level packages for our websites – £750 for the starter package and £1500 for Business Pro. It is a simple fact that successful businesses always go for Business Pro or higher be-spoke options. That’s not sales talk, it’s a simple recognition of what hap-pens and has been happening consistently over the last 20 years.
This is the invisible variable that seems to go unmentioned a lot of the time, but makes all the difference.
I hope the above information will give you an insight into how a website can work for you – and some of the choices you’ll be faced with along the way.
Of course, to give you every detail would require a book. I’m actually writing that right now, but in the meantime, please feel welcome to get in touch with me at abisti or call me on 01273 252575 if you’d like any ad-vice. Please quote ThinkTree.
Web Design CEO a abisti
and Mindfulness-based wellbeing coach at https://brigtomindfulnesscentre.com
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This post was written by Admin KK