There has been a fall in export prices, repeated budget deficits, an end to the biggest resource development period on record, a slow in productivity growth, wages growth slowed and real national income has contracted per capita since 2012.This should make you pause for a moment and consider at least these three questions. What does this mean for my business ? How are you making it easier for your clients to find your website online ? How easy is it for your clients to find your competition’s website online ? It means that potential customers have less discretionary funds to spend in an ever increasing competitive space. It means that when a customer needs or wants to make a purchase they are going to be looking for more information, more pricing points and value. The internet is the new home of comparison shopping. Your business is competing against other businesses, both large and small. In your local area or over the internet. If your potential customers can’t find you or worse still they find your website, but it doesn’t function on their device (mobile phone, tablet or even laptop) how does that make your business look? Now that same customer who just looked at your non functioning website flicks across to your competitors site, which is mobile ready, which has video, audio and images, pricing, order and payment online functions and the ability to share, like and pin to social media. Web design, responsive flowing design that appears the same on different devices levels the playing field between you and your competition. Instead of being judged on how your website is not working you are being evaluated on your product and service. Having your website online with consistent uptime, a responsive design no matter the device, and a big clear call to action for your potential clients to act on gives you and your business a chance to be seen and heard in the Internet market place. What do you think happens to your sale then? If your site is either non existent or not working properly. Your online brand is non existent or damaged. The client couldn’t get the information they needed to be informed and more to the point came away with the impression your business is not professional or at least doesn’t consider their online customers to be important enough to provide adequate time and energy too. Now consider:- Fewer and fewer people are opting to receive the printed directories that used to be so common place. At best these deliveries are relegated to a forgotten corner of the office or placed back into recycling after a few weeks. Even the online versions are receiving less views than they were. Google delivers a large chunk of the traffic to the places like yellowpages.com.au and whitepages.com.au. In fact global stats stat counter (http://gs.statcounter.com/) shows Google having a 93.11% market share of search in Australia from June 2014 to June 2015. Even with the deal made between Google and Sensis to include Sensis customers in Google maps searches the Sensis stable of websites, yellowpages.com.au, truelocal.com.au and whitepages.com.au are no longer the place we ‘let our fingers do the walking’. The Wrap. Your website, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest account need to be accessible, clear, available and provide the information your potential customers are seeking. There is no point leaving your pricing off the website expecting them to call when they are doing their research at 9pm and your closed. Your competition will have a website, and it will have the information they are after. 60% of the population use a tablet (2014 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index) and are often sitting in front of the TV of an evening researching their next purchase. Now ask your self these questions:- How do my target market find my website online? Is my website and social media presence able to attract clients and customers? Are my products and services being found when potential clients search online? If you don’t have a website or a online presence or its not done right you’re business is leaving money on the table.
What’s involved in building a business website.The length of time it takes to create your website depends on the complexity of the content you wish to add to your website and is also depends on several other factors like graphics, type of website and time frame. The complexity of your site depends on the amount of content, photos and graphics that you will be using to display. Is your site a straight up information portal for your business or will it be an e-commerce website selling your product online 24/7. One of the biggest factors is content for your webpages. If you have content ready to go for your site then putting it together is that much quicker. But if the website’s content needs to be written, edited and approved then that adds to the length of time to get the site live. Graphics are another big issue. Your Business logo can be a problem if it has been sometime since it was first designed. Ideally when developing the website a hi-res image of your logo in either a .png, .jpg, .tiff will be needed. This way the developer can resize the image to maximise load time while keeping the business logo clean and crisp. And if you have photos that need to be added to a gallery that have been taken with a digital camera, those images will need to be resized, compressed and readied for the fastest possible load time on your website. If your website is an e-commerce site then the product images need to be taken, uploaded, stored, tagged and connected to descriptions and pricing. When you have hundreds of products and services that your business will be adding for sale then this will increase the length of time the site takes to be ready. Even with relatively small amounts of products for sale the length of time to enter the products into each category can be painstakingly long. In some cases businesses have already built databases containing this information and if it can be exported into a form that can then be imported into the website this will make the process much quicker. There are also POS (point of Sale) products that can make use of the one database for both in store and online sales which is something you could discuss with the designer at the time of your websites development. (VEND for example) Not to worry though because at the time you decide to go ahead and build your business website your web designer will give you a list of requirements they need to get started building. This will look something like this:- – Logo image for website – Photo’s and any other images for the website – other graphics to be added to the design – Content – wording for each page – Copyright permission forms signed for any images supplied that require it – Video links from where the videos are hosted – Optimised videos (of course the developer can take care of that though) – Login access to website hosting site, if you are hosting it away from the developer. And any other items specific to the build of your site. Then there is the urgency with which you need the site up and how much other work a website developer has at that point in time. Points to consider when building your new website or updating you existing business website.
You’ve just decided that your business, existing or brand spanking new needs a website to get your brand and your message out there. So you ask yourself, what now? It’s a complex question and a exciting time. Before going to a Web Designer there are a few things you can do to help get the process started. Any business web designer you go to will need to know a few basic things about your business to begin the building of the site. Here are a few of the questions you might want to consider asking yourself when your ready for a business website. What is the goal of my website ? Is it for selling a product or service directly to customers ? Is my website better suited as an e-commerce business site? Who are my customers ? What are the age ranges, locations, or other definable traits of my target market. If I want to sell products from the businesses website how am I going to take payment ? Do I need a merchant account or will I use pay pal? Is there a secondary goal of the website? For instance if a visitor to my e-commerce site doesn’t make a purchase then do I want them to sign up to a product newsletter, or have them leave contact details so a staff member can contact them directly. Or is the website all about branding my product and providing information to potential customers? Many visitors to your website will be simply researching a future purchase or looking for a particular service and getting an idea of pricing, delivery times and other important ideas before committing to a final purchase. Social media connections, do I need all the social media sites or are there ones that are better suited to my business, I.E Pinterest to display winning pictures of my product range? Then there are the decisions about marketing the site, whether to push the launch of the site with online advertising and integrating it into Social media campaigns on a business Facebook page. A website also needs to fit into and complement the current marketing and branding material your business organisation currently uses. Being able to supply a current logo, and any other images or graphics you want you business website to display is also a must. Copyright permission on images that you don’t own need to be obtained. For instance if you wish to use images containing staff from your business you may have to obtain a release form from each person appearing in the photograph. A landscape developer sells his work to a new customer based on work he has previously done, this is often through word of mouth from past clients who show the work they have had done to family, friends and people in their street. A previous client used to carry a photo album of his work around, both before and after shots. It is a very effective tool to not only show how something could look but acts as proof of competent work done by the landscaper. The modern version of this is a website with images of the various gardens before and after on the site, in fact one very effective tool that can be used is for the landscaper to carry a tablet around to each new quote he attends. Calling up the website on the tablet and simply flicking through the before and after shots in high definition colour is an effective tool in showing proof of concept and work to clients. Though with the photography being on the web, express copyright and permission in most cases are required to be held before displaying other peoples properties. And is one of the many things a web designer will help you walk through and understand if needed. When it comes to it, building a new or revamping an existing webpage into a successful, attractive business website that builds your business brand and reputation takes time and a lot of questions. A good web developer will take the time to get to know your needs and your requirements and come back to you with a design that helps build and grow your business online.