Having a business website is non-negotiable for any company hoping to keep up with the digital landscape today. But it’s not enough to have a bare-bones site with essential company information and a few product photos. To stand out from the crowd, build your customer base, and make a mark in the industry, you must develop a website with growth in mind.
This means you’ll need to conduct research, make a plan, integrate your internal tools, secure a good domain name, use the right web builder, collect your web content, and more. Below, Snapforce gives you some practical advice for building a business website that fosters long-term growth!
Make a Plan
Your first step is developing a website plan to organize your ideas and strategies. For example, what are your goals for the site, and who is your target audience? Do you have a unique sales proposition (USP), or do you need to refine your product or service to better fill a gap in the market?
Your site plan should include the design elements and content you will feature on the site. Even if you haven’t finalized your branding or created blog posts and landing pages, it’s crucial to consider what content each page will contain.
Building a website is complex, but you want it to be you want the user experience to be as simple and clean as possible. Look for tools and services that will help ensure a high-performance and user-friendly website.
A top-notch website will integrate many of your internal tools to boost efficiency and productivity while ultimately spurring growth for your company. One of the most important integrations to consider is between your enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
An ERP system is essential for handling back-end business processes, and CRM software like Snapforce helps you manage client interactions on the front end. Integrating the systems will provide your team with an all-encompassing view of the organization.
When your ERP and CRM tools work together, you don’t have to worry about managing multiple databases and suffering blind spots within the business that can result in lost customers, time, and money. When managing siloed data systems, you can expect out-of-date data, poor client relations, inaccurate forecasts, chaotic operations, slow processes, and other consequences.
You might also benefit from investing in business process management (BPM) tools that can show you how to better align your site plan with your target audience. BPM is a discipline that automates manual processes and streamlines workflows by analyzing interactions among data, people, and systems.
You may use BPM to rework processes for enhanced customer experiences; you can even use it specifically to make your website easier to use and navigate. The key is regularly tracking your BPM framework and finding ways to improve its outcomes.
Register Your Web Domain
You need to register a domain name in the early stages. This is the website address or URL that will take people to your site.
Ultimately, your domain name should be simple and reflect your company. If possible, make it easy for your target audience to remember. Make a list of ideal domains, and research availability, and select the one that’s closest to what you envision. Then, purchase the domain and you’re good to go!
Use the Best Hosting Service and Builder
Your web hosting provider is essentially where your site will be stored. A hosting site gives your web content somewhere to live, storing the information so your users can access them. You have two options for hosting your site:
- You can self-host, which means buying a hosting service separately and developing your site from scratch from the bottom up. If you want more customization and features, this could be the perfect best.
- Many entrepreneurs and business owners go with an all-in-one content management system or website builder, which makes it much easier to make a side but lacks the customization capabilities of a self-hosted platform.
Many website builders facilitate your domain name and hosting while providing a user-friendly interface for developing and designing your site. If you want to make a simple site and have limited experience or time, going with this kind of solution is likely your best bet. Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly, Shopify, and GoDaddy are some of the most popular options.
Forge Your Brand
A big part of your brand will develop over time, driven by the reputation you develop among your target audience and in the industry. But when building a website, it’s crucial to have a robust visual identity in place. You need a company logo, color scheme, font, and other design elements that make your brand instantly recognizable and distinguish your business from the competition.
Designing an appealing, relevant logo is an excellent place to start because it will leave a lasting impression on potential customers. And you can use a free custom logo creator online to do it yourself instead of spending money on professional design services. Just select a style and icon, and make any additions and adjustments necessary.
Strategize the Content
Once you tackle the technical aspects of your website, it’s time to start thinking about and creating the content that will be on your site. Take your site plan, and choose a template in your website builder to get an idea of what type of content you’ll need to add (e.g., text, photos, graphics, etc.).
If you love a template but it contains more pages than you need, you can easily delete them. While consumers are generally attracted to simple sites, you need to make sure yours at least has a homepage, about page, products or services page, and contact page.
Focusing on those basics should be your priority. But it won’t hurt to consider adding testimonials, an FAQ page, a blog, and others.
Once you know what kind of content you need, start putting together the copy, product/service descriptions, images, and other content necessary. Keeping all the information in a single document or folder can save you time and stress when it comes time to load them into the website builder.
Launch and Monitor Your Site
The moment you officially launch your new website will feel awesome. All the hard work you put into it will probably seem well worth it simply knowing you have a live site you can be proud of. But the work doesn’t stop on launch day.
Commit to regularly evaluating your website’s performance and finding ways to improve it. If you use a website builder, you can probably check analytics and use various metrics to quickly strategize how to enhance your site so that it serves your business better. In other words, don’t get too comfortable — keep working!
Hire Pros Along the Way
As you can probably tell, building a website that helps your business grow involves many factors. Modern tools make it easier than ever for business owners with minimal experience to create their own sites, but it still requires significant time and energy.
If you want to ensure your business site is professional, attractive, high-performance, and user-friendly, the best approach is to hire a professional web designer and developer. Plus, it will free up more of your time to spend on running your company.
While you’re at it, start looking for SEO specialists, social media managers, and other marketing pros that can help drive more traffic to your site and build brand recognition.
Your business needs more than a bare-bones website if it is to flourish in this day and age. Remember to make a detailed site plan and integrate your internal tools. Handle the administrative stages of setting up your site before creating or refining your company’s visual identity.
Then, you’ll be ready to develop a content strategy, launch, and monitor your site for improvement. Lastly, remember to bring any professionals on board who can help you build a world-class site while saving you time, stress, and energy.