Your business website can mean the difference between success and failure. Right now, there’s someone who wants what your business provides, and they’re reaching for their cell phone to start a search. The best business websites pull their attention like a magnet, and that’s where they’ll spend their money. Based on what they see on your website, you could either win their business or lose them for good.
You probably already have a basic idea of what you’re looking for in a business website. Your company needs a website that communicates your message at a glance and functions without hassles or hiccups. Plus, you want a business website that’s designed and positioned to reach the people looking for you. To get there, you might be tempted to try one of the templates and website builders you’ve seen advertised.
That road leads to several potentially negative outcomes. You could end up with a cookie-cutter website that blends or one that’s vulnerable to hackers. Or, your business website could be buried pages deep in search engine results. We’ll help you choose a better path with our 7 easy steps to creating your business website.
- Do Homework on Available Options
- Determine Your Timeline & Desired Budget
- Identify & Describe Your Intended Audience
- Share Examples of Sites You Like & Why
- Gather Content: Logo, Messaging, Images
- Communicate Needs, Requirements, & Goals
- Contact A Professional Web Designer & Builder
1 Do Homework on Available Options
You really do have only one chance to get this right. Either you choose the best method of creating a website for your business from the outset or you risk losing time and money. If a website design company or online website builder focuses on being cheap or fast, that should set off alarm bells that make you evaluate with cautious skepticism what they’re really offering.
The truth is, most local web designers aren’t really designing or coding at all. They’re actually peddling $40 templates with your logo and content cut and pasted in. They charge a high price for reselling what someone else created and sold to the masses, and you still don’t get value for your dollar. Sure, their business websites might look flashy, but you need one that works to grow your business.
At Stoodeo, we’ll help you identify which options are right for you. Instead of wasting your time and cash, you’ll invest in a business website that brings a return on your investment and creates lasting value for your brand.
2 Determine Your Timeline & Desired Budget
Projects progress at one of three different speeds, and only one of them is right. You either get a rush job, a drawn-out project that turns into a money pit, or the steady, process-driven pace of an experienced professional. Creating a professional business website is a process that takes time, and seeing measurable results takes even longer.
On your end, you’ll need a chance to gather necessary resources, but we’ll talk more about that later. It’s normal to feel impatient and want something live by yesterday. Yet, there’s a reason we don’t microwave our turkey on Thanksgiving Day. What helps is having realistic expectations of the turnaround time for creating a professional website for your business. With Stoodeo, the end result is always well worth the wait.
Have a realistic budget in mind when you communicate with your website designer or developer. That way they can help you find the right solution based on your needs, timeline and budget. On average, expect to start around $2,500 for template-based sites and be in the $5,000 range for custom websites. Ecommerce websites typically cost $7,500 or more. Be prepared to put down an initial project payment, with a percentage that varies based on the scope of your project. Remember, you’re investing in your business in a way that brings measurable growth and results.
3 Identify & Describe Your Intended Audience
In order for your message to reach people through the noise, you need to know who you’re talking to. The most effective business websites start with a foundational understanding of their intended audience. Google has one goal – to rank the most relevant sites at the top. Your users aren’t simply performing a search, they’re trying to solve a problem.
Don’t think in terms of the faceless masses. Picture one person who embodies the traits and characteristics of your ideal client. Then, ask the following questions:
- What does that customer or client want?
- What are their needs?
- What pain points or obstacles do they face?
Once you identify what they care about, you can start developing a marketing strategy and goals for the actions they take when they visit your business website.
4 Share Examples of Sites You Like & Why
Imagine you wait the time it takes to build your business website, then when you sit down with your web designer, your business website is nothing like what you expected. You’d be disgruntled, only to realize you’d need to spend more time and money if you wanted to start over.
Your website designer or web developer can’t see the ideas that are in your head, so it helps to provide them with a handful of example websites you like. When you do, it allows them to get a visual feel for your expectations and understand the way you think and process information.
Use tools like Evernote to clip web pages and make screenshots so you have a collection when you start creating a website for your business. Identify the specific elements and features you prefer, and be ready to explain why. Evaluate the look, layout and functionality both of websites you like and competitor websites. Then, you and your web designer are on the same page from the very beginning.
5 Gather Content: Logo, Messaging, Images
The process of creating a business website bogs down when the web design company is waiting for content from the business owner. The truth is, no one knows your business like you do, so they’re counting on you to provide the information they need for your website pages. They’ll also need your company logo in a web-optimized format and high-quality images that showcase your business, products and services.
6 Communicate Needs, Requirements, & Goals
What’s the reason you’re creating or redesigning your business website? You likely want more than just an updated appearance, but if you don’t articulate your requirements, that could be all you get.
Make clear marketing strategy and measurable business goals for your project. For example, you might let your web designer know you want a business website that directs visitors into two sales funnels; one for lead generation, the other for ordering a product.
Success is defined, so be specific. Remember earlier when we mentioned creating goals for your visitors? How will you know they met them? Performance goals might include the number of times visitors sign up for a newsletter, click a call to action button or complete a transaction. When your finished website has performance goals, you can measure increasing success or detect the need for change. Your business website should work for you.
7 Contact A Professional Web Designer & Builder
Once you know what you want, what you can expect to spend and how you’ll measure success, you need a website design company that can help you make it happen. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people willing to take your money who don’t care about your business website goals.
One of the most common new client complaints we hear is that previous web design companies over promised and under delivered. Just because a website designer or developer has a shiny looking website doesn’t mean they understand the bigger picture of growing your business. Many become unresponsive after your website goes live and they collect their final payment. If you need to make a change or something breaks, they might not be available to support you.
Stoodeo’s web design packages are professional, all-inclusive and worry-free. We have a track record of delivering business websites that consistently meet performance goals. Plus, we’re here around-the-clock to provide support if you need us, and our customers love us for it.
Professional Business Websites Delivered
A professional business website will make the difference between a business that grows and thrives online and one that goes unnoticed. If you don’t get this right, you’ll lose valuable opportunities, and those opportunities will go to your competitor. It takes time to build enough traffic to make an impact, so you don’t have time to waste.
Stoodeo can help you create a professional business website that attracts new customers, elevates your brand and grows your business. Schedule your free consultation online to get started. Or, give us a call at (903) 871-5170.