Does your start-up need a website?
You’ve made the choice to go it alone. But now that you’ve got the whole world wide web at your feet, you may not know where to start with getting your business online. Does your start-up need a website?
“…the simple answer is YES, but what should you do?”
It can be pretty daunting starting a new business when you have come from the safety and security of full-time employment. However, if you have a solid business plan, the drive and determination to succeed and an educated idea of which media you are going to use for advertising your new business, then that’s a great start.
There are many options for advertising outlets, but let’s just look at websites for a moment, as many start-ups can get it horribly wrong by rushing into things.
“…plan with purpose, or prepare to fail”
Let’s get one thing straight. A website is not “your business”, it’s a medium to advertise it. Just throwing up a pretty looking site thinking it will automatically generate leads for you is not going to cut it. The way that Google assesses websites, and internet users choose which sites to click on, is far more complex than that.
Before you even get anywhere near website software or companies who can build your site, there are some really important questions to answer first.
- Who is my site for?
- What is the main activity a user will carry out to engage your business?
- What budget have you set aside to build a site (or how much time, if you’re going to have a go yourself)?
- What about marketing?
- Who is going to keep your site up to date?
Next consider the content for each of your pages. Write this first! It is far easier to build the website pages around your content than the other way around. Make sure you concentrate all your business USP’s (unique selling points) into clear sections. This will help your customers and search engines understand what you do and what you’re offering.
“…research, research, research”
Look at what your competitors are doing. Read their websites, but don’t steal their content! Google has an algorithm to catch you out on this, and it’s best to have a read up on their Webmaster Guidelines.
Be yourself. Be unique. Make your business stand out from your competitors. Try and think of the types of customers you are going to do business with and align yourself with their personas.
As you can see, there are lots to think about when launching your start-up business, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what to do when the website is live.
There are plenty more blog posts on our site with other helpful tips and guides on optimising your website, so check them out too.