Launching a successful business online can seem like an overwhelming task, but luckily there are website designers who can help you work out the best strategies for your company. Even so, there are still five core areas that need to be addressed before your website ever goes live. These set the foundation for your business to be found online by your target customers.
1. Developing Your Website
Just because you make it pretty, doesn’t mean your website is functional. You don’t want your website to merely exist, you want it to be developed from the start to function as an extension of your business. Web designers and graphic designers can help you decide on the right content management system, functionalities and design that will work best for your business and ultimately appeal to your target customer.
This includes developing or incorporating your brand’s logo, colors and culture.
2. Be Found by Search Engines
Once you know how your website is going to look and function, you will need the right copy. Your needs here will be twofold, much the same as your website’s design. You will need compelling copy that converts customers, but it also must be optimized to be found by search engines. The wittiest copy in the world can’t convert, if it’s never seen.
This isn’t just about getting the keywords right — which you should do — or stuffing them into the content — which you absolutely shouldn’t do. It’s about smartly using the right keywords, in the right context and related original copy.
3. Decide Your Internet Marketing Direction
Your online marketing plans need to be in your budget from the beginning and they should align with your website’s business goals. While your website and search engine optimization are a part of how you market, there are also other factors to consider, such as:
- search engine marketing
- content marketing
- social marketing
- online advertising
- email marketing
You’ll want to decide which of these will be most effective to your target market and the ways you will use them.
4. Get Social
Sure you can throw up a Facebook page at any time, but you can’t incorporate social media into your website design before you have. And your website should be optimized for social. Not only is it an excellent way to reach and interact with your customer base, but they also expect it. Social validation leads to trust and sales conversion, so this is not a step you’ll want to skip.
5. Earn Your Customers
Your customer’s time is at a premium and other purchasing options are just a click away. You earn their business and loyalty by providing functional design, a clear message and an engaging experience. To do this you will need to research your target market and learn what motivates them, what their desires are and how they behave online — and why.
Don’t just use that information to ‘trick’ them into arriving at your website. Never promise anything your company can’t deliver. Build solid relationships and trust.