What’s the point in having a website if it doesn’t work properly? A flawed site will inhibit your SME’s operations and could leave a bad taste in visitors’ mouths. Even if you don’t have the budget to create a masterpiece from the very start, following these guidelines should give you the best possible start:
Anything that leaves visitors frustrated and ultimately unable to find the information they require could push them away.
Possessing a logically laid out site that looks like it was created in the past year or two, rather than a decade ago, is a great start. No modern business should be stuck in the early noughties. Attractive colours and pictures, infographics and interactivity will all help the cause; solid blocks of unattractive text, slow loading times and poor SEO management will help neither you nor the visitor. But style must be accompanied by substance, which means making sure that all pages work; keeping prices accurate and up to date, and creating a clear ‘contact us’ page
Make sure that it is as responsive on a mobile device as a desktop device, and lastly, use analytics to assess information such as bounce rates to see that any changes you make are having the desired effect and that people are not leaving without accomplishing their aims.
Who will host your site, and what level of security will it possess? Choosing the correct web host will determine how easy it is for you to scale upwards if the business turns out to be a success and the level of speed and reliability that your site offers. Crucially, many vps host companies offer a huge array of features that include 24/7 contact and access no matter where you are in the world, meaning that you should be instantly able to deal with any potential issues that occur.
Add a channel
You’ll probably already be well-versed in social media and the power it can give your brand by linking through to your site – but are you using all of the channels that can help you the most? You may already be using Facebook and Twitter, but what about Instagram and Snapchat, and the channel that many brands criminally underuse – YouTube?
Even if you intend only to use Facebook, have you exploited its powerful marketing tools, such as the demographics of those looking at your posts? You can discover their gender, age, and interests, and target your messaging accordingly. It doesn’t take a lot of research but can reap big dividends.
Be consistent in your tone
Your tone defines you and everything you stand for. From your logo to the choice of colours to your shop front to your social media interactions to your offers, all of your decisions and behaviour are watched and considered by your potential customers in an attempt to understand you as a brand. Lurching from a serious sombre tone with dark colours, to a whimsical approach with pastels colours and more infantile designs, will leave clients confused.
Choose a path and stick to it. Keep your signage and message consistent. Keep your logo and logo lockups consistent. Make sure the site works effectively and simply – if you have a blog, stick to using one writer, or at least writers with similar tones of voice. That also applies to your social media posts and responses.