At Absolute Marketing Group we design, develop and maintain lots of different types of web sites. Most of the sites that we are involved with are small & medium business web sites.
There are many different things to take into consideration when building a web site for a small business, yet in a lot of ways many of the sites are quite similar.
This is a quick rundown of what we feel a small/medium size business should look at doing to create a quick yet effective web presence, mainly through use of a web site.
Before you begin with your web site project, ask yourself: “what do I want my web site to do for me?”
It is important for a web site to have a goal. Some common goals:
- To inform people about your services or product (or to even sell)
- To build trust with your site visitors
- To make yourself look like an expert in your field
- To help people find or contact you
A good first step to take is to list out your goals – and then design your site so that it helps you achieve those goals.
Your goal for your web site is to generate leads.
You want people to visit your site and then fill out a contact form to request a quote for your services.
This is actually a pretty common web site goal, and there are many ways to achieve it. You may decide to use some of these techniques:
Eye-catching elements: an easy-to-see graphical button or large text on the site pages that tells the user to “request a free quote now”, or something similar – making this stand out on every page of your site.
Crafty content: Putting just enough information on the site so that the visitors know what you do, and trust you, but they need to contact you for pricing.
Multimedia: Add a video to your home page in which you talk about your services, talk about or show examples of your work and tell people why they need to work with you – and encourage them to contact you.
These are just a few examples, your creativity is the limit.
Web Site Basics
To put a web site online, you will need to combine a few different elements. You’ll need a domain name, a web site host, and a web site.
This is the address of your web site, and each web site has a unique address.
Example: absolutemg.com (the domain name for Absolute Marketing Group’s web site)
After you buy a domain name, you need to “point” it to your web site host. It’s easy to point a domain name, and the company that sells you the domain will either be able to do it for you or provide the tools and help that you need to configure your domain name.
Web Site Host
In order for your web site to appear on the Internet, it needs to be on a web server. A web server is basically just another computer on the Internet. When people visit your web site, they are actually connecting to the computer that your web site is hosted on.
Web site hosting is a common service and there are many different companies out there that has the ability to host your web site. Absolute Marketing Group is one of them.
If a domain name is the address of your house, the web site host (the web server) is the lot that your house is built on. Your web site is the house.
Once you have a domain name and a web host, you need to build your web site.
In terms of a small business, your web site could consist of any of the following elements, or even more:
- Information about the services or products you offer
- A shopping cart to sell products
- Downloadable e-books
- Printable information or guides
- A blog
- Information about your staff
- Information about upcoming events
- Contact information or other methods that allow people to contact you
- Company history
- Links to other sites on the web
You can take on the task of building all this yourself, or you can hire somebody to do it for you.
Many different companies exist that offer web design and development services. Absolute Marketing Group is one of them.
A web designer & developer will be able to help you do the following:
- Identify your goals, create a strategy for the web site
- Compile the content (text and graphics) for your web site
- Organize the content so that people can navigate through your site easily and find what they’re looking for
- Design the site pages and graphics
- Write the code to make the site work
- Set up the site on your web host and launch it
You will need to publicize your site. You need to help people find you.
There are many options:
- Use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to gain people’s attention and drive them to your site.
- Try to get your site ranked well in search engines.
- Pay for advertising and traffic by using something like Google Adwords or buying ad space on web sites that have advertising programs. There are tons of paid traffic options available on the Internet.
- Put your web site address on everything. TV ads, radio spots, business cards, phone book listings, mailers, brochures – anything you put out there should include your web site address.
Find something that works for you. If you have a tight budget, focus on social media, building links to your site and other things that you can do yourself without having to spend money. If you have a decent budget to use in advertising your site, you may want to look at paid traffic options.
Once you’ve got everything set up, you will want to track how well your web site is working and improve it over time.
Install a web site statistics package such as Google Analytics. This will allow you to see how many people are visiting your site, what pages they are looking at, how much time they are spending on your pages, and more. You can also see where your web site traffic is coming from, whether it’s from search engines or other referring web sites.
You can constantly evolve your web site to perform better. Over time you will:
- Get feedback from site visitors (very important)
- Analyze your web site traffic and find weak spots on your web site
- Come up with more content (text, images, videos) to put on your site
Listen to feedback and adjust. Fix the weak spots that are outlined in the web site traffic stats. Add more content to your site. Always take the opportunity to improve your site when able, this will give you an advantage over your competitors over time.
Absolute Marketing Group specializes in all aspects of developing, launching and evolving web sites. We are always glad to help out in any capacity. You can learn more about what we offer by browsing the various sections of our web site, and feel free to contact us if you want to talk to us about what we can do to help you develop a strong web presence.