Guizzo just got its long awaited new website, Just on time to celebrate it’s upcoming birthday. While I was building it, I came up with some tips and ideas that might be usseful for your own website.
So, if you wonder: Why your small business needs a website, and one that keeps up with the times, read on!
Q: Does my business really need a website? And why?
A: In 2019? YES, YOU DO.
While lots of your potential clients still highly value word of mouth, Nowadays most people search for providers online: they want confirmation that your business exist and find out what you can offer even before deciding if they would like to make contact with you. They will also seek past clients’ testimonials and judge your reliability right there, on your website, in search engines and social media.
Q: I already have a website. I’m done now, right?
A: Mmmm… not quite.
Unlike a brochure or a flyer, a website is sort of a living creature.
You do the biggest part of the work when you build it, test it and publish it. But for the search engines to appreciate it, you need to keep it alive.
You do that by updating the content management system (CMS) regularly (WordPress, Joomla and so on), And the same applies to the plugins and, of course, the photos and content.
A: Because the web, as you will know, hides quite a few threats, and regular updates make sure your website isn’t hacked and you don’t find yourself unknowingly selling drugs, porn or viagra.
Because when a website has been changed, the search engines (like Google) crawl it again, meaning that they go back and check it, and this shows Google and potential clients that you’re still in business.
Because people hardly visit your website more than once. Either because they browse it and decide to become clients (so they don’t need it anymore), or they browse it and decide NOT to become clients, and aren’t bothered any more, unless… you publish material that is appealing to your potential clients, and attracts them back to read/view it and.. would you refuse a second chance?
Q: So what?
A: So I suggest that you decide to call your designer/developer at the very least a couple of times per year, get everything on the “tech side” up to date, and at the same time provide some fresh content as well. If you need some guidance on what this content may be, I suggest you read this: https://www.sandstonecastles.co.uk/content-marketing-ideas-tool/ .
Updating and refreshing regularly also helps you not to lose touch with your developer and consequently with your website.
Many clients I have built a website for had to build a new one either because they had no clue of their developers whereabouts, or because they had neglected the website for so long that no recovery was possible.
Also, I’m not going to lie here, a website, unlike a diamond (to quote one of the best slogans ever conceived), is NOT forever: platforms, code standards and trends evolve continuously, and even though you can update regularly, and grant your website a better, much longer life, you still have to expect to rebuild it every 5-6 years.
Q: Ok, I do need a website. What do I do now?
A: Get started by drafting your sitemap (i.e. which pages you will need and where they should be on the site), get the content drafts ready, get an idea of images you could use, contact a few designers/developers, get quotations and details of how they work. And then pick your favourite out of the bunch!
Make sure to check out my upcoming post about “What to expect from your web designer/developer”.