It might seem a little premature to be thinking about the New Year, the kids have only just gone back to school after the summer break and the leaves on the trees are only just starting to change from luscious limes and gorgeous greens to rich autumnal shades of red, orange and ochre and yet for many small business owners, now is the time to be planning their New Year Strategies.
It is always prudent to have a flexible business plan, and having short, mid and long-term goals gives us the ability to review and reflect on priorities throughout the year.
Within this plan, it is of course well-worth giving some due consideration to your company website. When was it built? Is it still ranking effectively? and does it reflect and support your business positively? If the answer to the first question is a distant memory and the last two questions are a resounding ‘no’, then maybe now is the time to start planning for a New Year and a New Website.
Interested to find out more? Read on….
What Should I Think About when Planning a New Website?
It’s definitely a good idea to have a plan of how you want your website to look and moreover, how you want it to reflect your business. Thinking about the following five topics is a good place to start for anybody, whether having a new website built, or re-designing the old one.
The reason you have a website in the first place.
There are very few businesses in the digital age without a website. It is your digital representation literally to the world; it tells people about who you are, what you do and is the first place for many of your customers to engage with your product or services.
That may sound obvious, but so many businesses have a website that is out of date not truly representative, largely down to the business evolving but the website remaining static.
Furthermore, if you are not regularly putting new content on your current website, it will soon become dated and won’t appear in the rankings in search engines, thus you will be losing business without even knowing it.
Having a new website built is an investment in the future of your organisation and planning it to be the best it can be is always worth that bit of time and effort in the first instance.
See it from Your Customer’s Perspective
What are the first impressions? Is the site easy to navigate? Are the business core values embodied for people to connect with? These are all things to be thinking about when viewing your website through your customer’s eyes. Nobody wants a high bounce rate, and if your website is not customer friendly, this is exactly what you will get.
Create a Sitemap
This is a good way of creating a visual idea of what your new website will look like, draw a flow chart or a mind map with details of where content will sit and how each page will flow, always thinking about the customer experience of course. If you think about your main categories, what you want your homepage to look like and crucially, whether you will be having an ecommerce site, are all good things to consider.
A good web designer will take the time to discuss your brand presence and how to achieve high quality leads through your digital marketing, offering advice on how to provide a good user experience.
This is the bit that draws people in. Your content must be fresh, up to date and maintain customer interest. You can write your own content, or you can look at getting a good copywriter to do it. Either way, content is the meat on the bones, it is the stuff that Google algorithms search for and use to rank your website. In short, Content is definitely ‘Still King’.
At Bandicoot IT and Internet Services, we build the majority of our websites using WordPress. We find this is a great platform to use as it provides a user-friendly site with excellent functionality and is simple to edit when making changes in the future. Although there are other platforms available of course and is again something to discuss with your Website provider.
Other areas of functionality you may want to think about are whether you need to provide a shopping basket and customer payment facilities such as visa or PayPal.
You may require a regular blog on your website, (which incidentally is a recommended way to keep content fresh on a regular basis), you could offer customer incentives or you might need the ability to capture data, whatever it is you are thinking, it can usually be a reality if you work with a professional web designer such as ourselves.
As you can see, there is a lot of thought to put in to the preparation and building of a new website, so starting your planning now to go live in the New Year is not unrealistic, and the New Year is a great time to launch a new website; people are looking for fresh and updated idea’s after the Christmas slog to get them motivated again.
We have over 25 years-experience of website design and build experience and can also provide the right level of I.T support to ensure your new website is expertly hosted and monitored in the future.
So, if you are thinking of a new website for your business and you want to discuss your ideas further you can contact us here or call us on 01282 506 616 for an informal chat on how we can help, we look forward to speaking to you!