Before you build your business website, there are many things to consider, including laying out the plans ahead of time. You must have a clear plan so that your website will be successful at drawing traffic to you.
The following questions are important for you to incorporate into your website plans and if you can answer those questions, your website will be effective and will generate a high volume of traffic and bring in more business.
- What is your website all about? When visitors come to your website, the first thing that they will be asking is what the purpose of your website is. Your homepage must explain the benefits, the purpose of your website, and the products and/or services that you are offering very clearly.
- What are you hoping to achieve with your business? It is not enough of a motivation to say that the goal of your business is to get rich. It has to be about more than that. A more effective way to answer that question is to say that you want to achieve enough financial freedom so that you can improve the quality of your life otherwise.
- Do you have a marketing plan? If you are serious about your online business being successful and profitable, you will need a business plan. The best way to promote your website is by generating a great deal of content on a frequent and regular basis and syndicating the content to social media channels and business directories.
- Who is your competition? During the course of your market research, you should also make it a point of finding out against whom you are competing. Find out what types of things they are offering on their website and figure out how you can make your website stand out.
- Who is your target customer? This is very important because if you have the right target customers, you will become successful in your business. If you don’t choose your customers wisely, you will not succeed. The customers should believe in your offerings as much as you do and you want them not only to buy once from you but to keep coming back for more.
- Which kinds of products and/or services are you selling? Before you design your website, you should do extensive research on how marketable your products and/or services are. You can use Google Keyword Tool (which won’t cost you any money) to learn how many searches your main keywords receive each month. If you don’t find any searches, it means that there is not a great deal of demand and probably not worth marketing. However, if you are in a very competitive market, it might be hard to distinguish yourself from your competition.
- How many products will you sell from your website? The number of products that you plan to sell on your website will determine how many pages your website has. If you are selling a small number of products or services, you will probably only need a handful of pages. On the other hand, if you are selling a large number of products and/or services, you will need a website that that has a database so that you can store and manage all of the items and services.
- What types of payments will you accept? If you intend to accept credit card payments online, you will need a shopping cart, payment gateway, merchant account and SSL (secure socket layer) to make sure that the transactions are secure. That means that you will also have monthly fees and processing fees each time a customer buys anything from your website.
Another option, which is less expensive, is the Paypal shopping cart. With Paypal, all you will need to do is pay a minimal processing fee, which will take care of everything at once.
- Webhosting Plan: You will need to have your website hosted on a server so that it will be available online. Choose a hosting plan that has enough space for all of your files and a bandwidth that can receive a high volume of visitors every month. When you start with the hosting plan, make sure that there is flexibility for you to upgrade when you need to in the future.
- Maintenance of your website: If you know the answer to this before you design your website, you will know which software to use to build the website. If your website is small and simple, you can use a software product like Dreamweaver. If, on the other hand, your website has many pages, you might want to seriously consider a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. It will allow numerous items to be stored in a database. You will be able to manage the website (edit, add and delete items) if you log into the administration area.
- Website statistics: You should find out if your web host has website statistics. If it doesn’t, you need to create a Google Analytics account and add the code to your website pages. This will allow you to track how many daily, monthly, and yearly visitors you get, where they come from, and what keywords are being used to find your websites in the search engines.
All of the tips that have been discussed here should be under serious consideration before you have your website designed and built. If you follow the advice given here, you will avoid problems and you will have a much greater chance of growing your business and becoming more and more successful.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).