Why your business needs a website
So your company has a logo. Now what? Before you can even order business cards, your company NEEDS a website. Notice how “needs” was emphasized back there—that was no accident. In this day of technology and consumers’ online habits, a website is not an option. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling products to infants or services to seniors. It doesn’t matter if your inventory contains one simple item, if your catalog features a wide variety of complex service options, or if you’re a non-profit with the goal to raise money and awareness. You NEED a website.
Let’s do a quick, informal survey, just to prove this point. Our sample size will be one (you).
- Where do you go to gather information and read reviews about products you’re thinking of buying?
- How do you prefer making charitable donations?
- Where do you go to communicate with friends and colleagues?
- When you want to know more about something, what is the first thing you do?
- How long have you been online so far today?
- What are you doing right now?
I may not know you personally, but here’s my guess for your answers.
- Google it
- since you got to work
- surfing the web
Was I close?
If you’ve never built a website, don’t be overwhelmed by the massiveness of the task. Here are a few simple steps to get you started.
- Determine your website’s primary audience (consumers, donors, board members, the general public, etc.) and purpose (to inform, to educate, to generate leads, to sell products, to collect donations, etc.).
- Gather existing content about your business (from brochures, white papers, press releases, business plans, introduction letters). Re-purpose that content so that it’s appropriate for your website’s audience. Figure out where your existing content is lacking, and make notes of what needs to be developed.
- Get in touch with a web designer/manager who can help you with the following tasks:
- Create a reasonable timeline for getting your website live. It’s important to allow enough time for each task along the way, and it’ just as important for both you and the designer to stick to the deadlines so that your content doesn’t become outdated before it’s ever online!
- Create a site architecture, which outlines your site’s content, and serves as the foundation for building your site.
- Design a user-friendly site that uses intuitive navigation and has the ability to grow with your business. Be sure your designer is up-to-date on the latest web practices and standards-compliant HTML and CSS.
- Build out pages that comprise a comprehensive site and incorporate your website’s goals.
- Unlike a print piece that is marked “complete” as soon as it’s approved for the printer, your website will be a work in progress forever. Remember to keep it up-to-date as your business expands or takes on new projects. Give your site visitors a reason to come back often.