With an explosion in online shopping in Australia, now is the time to strike for emerging businesses. But there is a common mistake that many make.
A website is your internet real estate and for most small businesses a necessity.
With over 80% of households shopping online since last year, according to the Australia Post, the look and function of your website can help your brand stand out.
Director of Marketing for GoDaddy Products, Mary Kelly, says that while designing and managing websites has become cheaper and easier, it pays to plan well.
“When you are considering starting a website for your business or side business, there are several areas to consider up front that can help your business grow,” she says.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
First, determine the goals of your business website and identify your target audience.
“Think about your unique value proposition and how can you present it with content and images,” says Kelly. “Do you want to sell your products and services on your website or promote your website with marketing tools?
“Consider choosing an online provider that offers a variety of tools that can help you meet your digital presence goals and offers customer support to help you through the process. “
Your website is where you control messages and information about your business, so determine the basics you want to include.
Kelly says these can be: your business story, what it does, descriptions and pictures of your products and services; an online store; making appointments ; and, a call to action with contact and location information.
“Include items such as: customer testimonials; a blog; and social media channel sharing buttons, to help boost engagement, ”she says.
Making sure your digital presence is optimized for mobile and other devices is a critical part of business strategy, says Kelly.
GET THE RIGHT LOOK
“Small businesses need to get noticed and get customer attention on their website,” says Kelly. “Appearance should reflect the business, its owners, and its products and services.
“This can be achieved through the choice of images, colors, fonts, graphics, video elements to deliver relevant and engaging content for the visitor. “
THINGS TO AVOID
People tend to want to say everything about their business at the same time, Kelly says, but having too much text and not enough white space on a page can feel cluttered and confusing.
“Website visitors come to your site with a very specific purpose, like displaying a menu, booking a service, and you want to make that as easy as possible,” she says.
“Not including business contact details in an easy-to-find area of the website can be frustrating, especially for a mobile user. “
WHEN TO UPDATE
Avoid making your website look outdated and dated by performing minor but regular content updates.
“Keep your website up to date, but that doesn’t mean frequent full site transformations because you want to establish a consistent look and feel that your customers will trust them,” Kelly explains.
“Updates can be made when you have changes in your business, new products and services, a new blog post, new customer testimonials, a special offer, seasonal sales, and photos. “
BE FOUND ON GOOGLE
There are a number of ways to help a website with search engine optimization (SEO), says Kelly. “Attention to SEO is important in helping your website appear higher in the list of search results pages.
“The use of keywords, or the word or phrase someone would type into a search engine, should be used consistently on your website. ”
BEAUTY IN SIMPLICITY
Barnett Building owners Ben and Jodie Barnett say their construction and renovation website serves as a portfolio for clients to view their work.
“Ben and I started the business about eight years ago,” says Barnett. “He’s the face of the company and has construction experience, I’m in the office doing administration, finances and the website.
“When we started we used another company to build and manage our website and it was a nightmare because we had to constantly contact them to make changes.
“Thanks to GoDaddy, I use their template and play around with the design features. It’s easy and really profitable. I opted for simplicity and made the photos the main aspect with clear and pleasant information.
MAKE SURE YOUR SITE IS SECURE
Include security protections for your website from the start. Installing an SSL certificate for a website helps protect the transmission of personal information from the website to the server and can help build customer trust in your business because Google marks websites without an SSL certificate attached as ” not secure ”.