In our introduction to this Online Marketing Toolkit, we noted that many people are going online in search of small-business information. If you want to make it easier for potential customers to learn about your business online, the logical first step may be to set up a website.
Here are three key considerations in building a website for your business:
- What is your desired response? An effective website has a clear “call to action” on its home page. For example, many websites display a prominent graphic with a phone number, so visitors immediately have contact information. Other websites feature a form that lets visitors submit preliminary information for a price quote. For online stores, your home page should highlight and promote specials by featuring specific products or categories.
- What makes your business stand out? Your website should differentiate your business from the competition in a way that attracts customers. Astrid Gaiser, owner of Astrid Gaiser Garden Design, emphasizes her company’s unique strengths online."Having a good website has really helped my business grow, because I can show how I'm different, " she explains. "For example, unlike most designers, I work with tropical plants. Clients couldn't know this without seeing one of my gardens or checking my website."
- How much time, money, and expertise can you dedicate to launching and maintaining an online presence? Think of your website as an additional marketing channel for your business — and budget accordingly. There are plenty of options for hiring web designers to develop and update your site, but if you have time to invest in your website, you can save money with a do-it-yourself solution. A template-based DIY system can help you design your site easily without a lot of artistic or technical knowledge.
Starting to Build Your Business Website
After you clarify your website’s differentiated content, goals, and investment, here are a few tips for launching your site.