Congratulations on launching your new business venture! Now don’t waste a moment in launching a website. Your website is the world’s window into your business.
In the early days of the Word Wide Web, business consultants referred to the Internet as the great equalizer, where small businesses could level the competitive playing ground with larger entities.
There is a lot of truth in that statement, if you have a quality website.
You need a website, but not just any website will do. If your website is poorly designed, difficult to navigate or otherwise not user-friendly, you are frustrating customers before they ever have the opportunity to experience your stellar product and service. Here are 4 strategic planning tools as you set out to raise a flag on the Internet.
1. Is it a marketing site or an e-commerce site?
Are you using your website as an online billboard or catalogue to market what you sell or are you actually selling it online? Many service-oriented businesses rely on copy-driven websites to communicate their unique value proposition.
Keep in mind sites that transact business demand different software and design principles. Getting the right designer—or doing it yourself—means understanding your goal so you can acquire the right web platform, template and security tools. Popular web platforms include Wordpress, Joomla, VirtueMart and web.com.
2. Choose a web host.
You can’t launch a website that displays your own unique URL without a webhost. Wordpress, for example, will let you launch a site but if you want your own branded URL as the site’s address you need a web hosting provider.
There are no lack of options on the market. Rackspace is a high-end host. Bluehost is a reputable, lower cost host. Many who are just starting online choose Godaddy because the company is among the most popular domain name sellers and offers specials on web hosting when you purchase a URL.
3. Create your site map and write your copy.
A site map is a list of all the pages that will make up your site. The key pages are listed in a navigation menu at the top of the site. Some standard pages are Home, About, Services, Products, and Contact. Create your site map, then can write the copy and gather the images or information that needs to go on each page.
4. Update and maintain your website.
Once you build and launch your website, you’ll need to maintain and update it. If you are a service-oriented company, the best way to update your site is by blogging to show off your expertise. On the e-commerce front, you’ll want to create landing pages and add new products, hold special promotions and feature special products. Maintaining your website entails platform software update and security updates as recommended by your host or platform providers.
If you are running a complex website, the process will ultimately be much more intricate than this. But these are the basic building blocks of launching any site. If you follow this road map, you can literally have a site up and running in hours if not days and start letting the world know you are open for virtual business.
Want to learn more? Davinci Virtual Office Solutions provides business resources for our clients in our Market Place.