Working within the website industry since the 90s comes with a lot of knowledge and on-the-job education as time goes on. One thing we’ve learned is that not many people know how best to use a website for their business until something goes wrong!
We care about your business’s website—in fact we’ve cared about it for over 20 years, and we’re still going to continue to care! So with that in mind, these are the things we’d like every business owner to know about their website.
It’s a long-term work in progress—not a short-term flash in the pan
A new website being launched is sort of similar to a wedding day: you get excited for the day of when the site has been launched, and then there’s a honeymoon phase when the first week is great, but then you realize you have to work at your marriage—or in this case, your website—long after the honeymoon phase of knowing you have a new website is over.
Owning and running a website for any business—even ours—is a work in progress, not a short-term, flash in the pan fix every other year. Every time Google updates something, we have to keep on our toes as to what has changed, whether it’s meta description tag lengths or a social media platform shutting down for good. If you are serious about your business, you need to be serious about your website too, from updates to maintenance to marketing.
It’s not as expensive as you think it is
It’s not that expensive to get your business a brand new website. What is expensive is having to fix your current one time and again if it was improperly made in the first place! Another thing more expensive? Trying to reclaim your website from companies that you build your site with in the first place. If you need a new website, why not get one built from scratch that you own yourself? It’s still less expensive than the previous examples we just gave you.
Just because you want it a certain way doesn’t mean everyone will
Some aspects of websites such as how many pages should be on a website or where the author bio of blog posts should go have no real ground rules. However, there are some aspects of web design that just don’t look good—even if you, the business owner, think it does.
Anytime the business owner puts their interests and needs before the customer’s is in fact a recipe for disaster; a website has to look good, sure, but what it really needs to do beforehand is to function properly and efficiently and fast. Otherwise, you’re looking at what could potentially be a bad website (if you want an example of websites that had the owner’s needs put before the customer’s you may want to check out these stinkers).
If you’re not online, then you don’t exist—but your competitors do
You may not place all of your selling efforts on your website—maybe you use more traditional methods instead—but if people are not finding your website when they’re online, it’s as if you don’t exist in the first place. Your competitors, on the other hand, are most likely to be online and own a fully running website. That means no matter how little you use your site, it’s best you leave it available online so your customers can find you. Otherwise, they’re going to seek out your competition instead.
A website saves you the trouble of answering questions over, and over, and…
Doesn’t it feel exhausting to answer the most basic questions a customer may have…and then you’re forced to repeat yourself to the next person in line behind them? Owning a website can and will save you a lot of trouble when it comes to answering basic things like “What time are you open?” or “How much does this cost?”
Most customers will look for your website first in order to have these questions answered and then some; a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on your website can help too. Without these, though, consider your time wasted talking on the phone having to repeat yourself. Not to mention, by answering the questions before the customer asks them, you have a likelier chance of retaining that person as a customer.
It’s your best tool—so use it properly!
Traditional marketing strategies may still be around, but most of them hardly get as much positive notice as online marketing. Why? Because people are tired of receiving junk mail in their mailboxes from businesses trying to market themselves that no one asked for. (Likewise, they don’t like having ads blasted in their faces online either!). The way of the future is in the customer’s hands—as in they are the ones who are in control of deciding which business they want to receive products or services from. That’s why your website will be your best tool going forward—it’s the equivalent of your business card.
So, use your business’s website properly! Don’t have a website built and then never touch it again until 10 years later; don’t bother maintaining only the front appearance and leave back end full of technical issues. A properly used website is one that everyone, including yourself, would want to use in order to contact your business or follow one of these major five uses a website possesses.
At the end of the day, if you are serious about your business, it’s time you got serious about your website. Give us a call at V3 Mediaif you need a website made—one that you know will give you the best results.