I regularly bump into web designer Lucy Hall at networking events and I’m always impressed by just how much she knows and willingly shares about websites – not just how to make them look good but importantly, how to make them work for you. Lucy’s an expert and I’m delighted that she’s agreed to write this guest blog about why your business need a website.
Many businesses ask themselves do they need a website, what should they put on it and once it’s done, what should they do with it? I am a web designer so of course I am biased and will say, ‘yes you do need a website’.
The world turned in a huge way back in 1998 when the internet appeared, and since then companies that didn’t embrace that change have disappeared, Polaroid springs to mind, they were huge and then just vanished.
There are lots of different sorts of websites, e-comerce, splash pages, blogs, to name but a few and the thing to remember is they don’t need to have hundreds of pages, just a few will do, it’s what you do with those pages that matters.
I always say that the website is the shop window of our times, we all go to networking meetings and collect business cards and I don’t know about you but once home, the first thing I do is take a look at their website and see what it’s like. Be it a good or bad thing, it will make an immediate impression about them and their product.
The other important point to mention is to keep the site up to date, there is nothing worse than having a great site and then reading that the last time it was updated was 2009 – people will wonder if you are still in business or if you have in fact achieved anything since then, so if you are not going to update the site regularly avoid putting dates onto the pages.
A great easy way to keep a site up to date, and this also really helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), is to pop a blog on there, the company that hosts your site should easily be able to do this for you and if not, I offer that service. Even if you update that at least once a month and use the correct tags, you will be well on your way to beating the big boys at their game. Make sure it is a WordPress blog as these are the one’s that Google loves the best.
A great trick when thinking of website pages and blog posts is to use the Google keyword tool, you can use this to scan your competitors’ websites and see what keywords appear – it’s ideal to then use those for your page names and blog titles. If you have a specific keyword that you are aiming at then this needs to be incorporated within the website name, for example, my website is www.lucyswebdesigns.co.uk but I also have www.webdesignenfield.co.uk pointing there to make sure I get that keyword incorporated thus helping my page ranking. I have actually done a blog/video about the Google Keyword tool which you can access here.
So the main things to consider before getting a website:
- What will the domain name be, Google is making its searches a lot more location specific, so try and buy a domain name that reflects what you do and your location, like my www.webdesignenfield.co.uk – it really does say exactly who and where I am.
- Make sure you use the Google Keyword tool before you start naming your pages.
- Make sure your content is up to date or that no dates are mentioned.
- Make sure you add a WordPress blog to the site and it must be on your site, it’s no use thinking, ‘well I can sign up for a free blog’, this is crucial as it will just split the hits on your site.
- Make sure you get a Google account so you can take advantage of all the free tools they have on offer, i.e Google Anayltics,
Google Maps, Google +, the list is endless. It’s important to play the Google game as they are who we go to when we are looking for something these days.
- If you have an e-comerce site make sure you have all the insurance and licences required. If you are a small company, I would strongly recommend using Paypal as it is trusted and they look after all the legalties for you.
I hope this blog has been of some benefit, I have really just touched the surface, but if you are looking into getting a website, or even just adding a blog to an existing site please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call, I am more than happy to talk it through with you.
Thanks very much to Karen for asking me to write this blog.