The internet can be your business’s greatest ally. In a world where people spend an average of three hours a day online, you should seize the opportunity to grab a chunk of that time for your NH business.
Do I Really Need a Website?
The answer depends on your customers and your business goals. For some, social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Yelp, Twitter) offer a ready-made showcase at little-to-no cost. Social media works well for businesses that benefit exclusively from frequent interaction with a large number of existing customers.
For example, a boutique clothing store can drive traffic by offering ‘exclusive’ deals to their Facebook followers by posting photos of items and offering web-only discounts. The primary advantage of social media is that the audience is ‘built-in’, but considering the incredible number of competing interests on these sites, turning social engagement into real dollars is extremely challenging.
Most often, social media is an effective part of a broader web strategy. For business who expect to be searched and discovered via search engines like Google, an effective website is the foundation for everything else.
Can I Build My Own Website?
Yes, of course you can! Services like wordpress.com, squarespace, and wix exist for this very purpose. However, building an effective website with these services can be technically challenging and extremely time consuming.
While the price of these services is tempting, consider that they come with a step learning curve and often produce sites that are slow, difficult for customers to find on search engines, and are forever locked into the vendor’s proprietary technology.
For most New Hampshire businesses, hiring a professional is well worth the extra cost.
How Should I Approach Web Professionals?
When selecting and interviewing technology firms and/or consultants, consider the following:
- Have they demonstrated a reasonable understanding of your business?
- Do they offer service after the site launch? (e.g. hosting, maintenance)
- What do past clients have to say about their experience?
- Can they provide SEO and traffic monitoring once your site is launched?
While smaller firms may not always appear flashy, they tend to have the bandwidth to provide personal attention and often produce equal (or better!) results. As with many things in life, more expensive doesn’t always mean better!
If the budget for your business website is in the four-figure range, expect to supply your own photos, copy, logo/branding, and marketing materials. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable technology consultant can result in a wonderful website, but the message and marketing materials will most likely need to come from you.
Top 3 Considerations When Building Your Business Website
Just because you hire technology experts to help build your website doesn’t mean you should leave all the decisions up to them. Here are the three most important things to consider when creating (or refreshing) your business website…
Consideration #1: Who Are Your Website Visitors?
Even though you know quite a bit about your customers, it’s always an eye-opening experience to build a couple of visitor profiles:
- How old are your website visitors? Will they have trouble reading small text?
- What’s their average income? Will they be viewing your site on a modern smartphone?
- How much time are they likely to spend searching for your product/service?
It’s critical to keep your design within accessibility standards. Remember that things like fancy script and small screens can make your wevsite unreadable for some people.
Consideration #2: Your Website Must Serve Your Customers
Think very carefully about what your customers need and how they’ll likely feel once they arrive at your new website.
If you offer emergency plumbing services, visitors will likely arrive at your website in a panic. Chances are they need to talk to someone — FAST! If it takes three clicks to find your phone number, they’ll leave your site and you’ll lose their business.
Personal introductions and photos of the family dog aren’t a good idea for the front page of most business websites. The primary goal of your website is to deliver answers (or solutions) to their concerns/questions as quickly and clearly as possible.
Consideration #3: How Will New Customers Find You?
For your NH business to be effective, people must be able to find it easily. Be sure your website is designed to amplify your content for search engines. Good SEO starts with quality content but nothing can replace referrals from trusted sources.
Drop us a line and tell us about it.
We’d love to hear from you!