Most small businesses are now aware of the need to have a website and the benefits that can come as a result of your online presence. If you are setting up a business website for the first time, here are some important things to remember:
Domain names: Obviously, businesses want to save money wherever possible and a free website sounds very tempting. Unfortunately this is actually often false economy. Customers will be uncomfortable about purchasing from a company that can’t even afford to invest in their own domain name. The same applies to the email addresses that you use for official communication on behalf of your company – free hosts are not advisable.
Be pro-active: You cannot simply build a website and sit back waiting for people to come. If you do this it is likely that you will wait forever. It is important to be pro-active in listing your website on search engines and finding partners with whom you can exchange links. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is also critical for making your site easier to find.
Avoid being overly complicated: Some websites look great but take forever to load or are impossible to navigate. Research shows that if a visitor cannot find what they are looking for very quickly they will simply leave a website rather than spending any more time. Try to streamline your website with just the right amount of text and pictures.
Reliability: This comes back to the free hosting issue. Unless you are paying for hosting, you have no assurance that your site will remain online. Good paid hosts will guarantee that they have virtually 100% uptime. This is important because if a potential customer visits your website and it is down they will assume you have closed and probably never come back.
Fresh content: Without a regularly updated website, you will not attract repeat visitors. Search engines favour websites that have new content added on a regular basis. Try to set aside some time every week to make adjustments or write a blog article.