Are you a business owner or the owner of a holiday villa or cottage, tasked with creating an exciting new website?
Many people find the whole area of websites, web marketing and being successful online a frustrating and time consuming process. You may well already have a website and feel that it’s due an overhaul, or perhaps you’re undertaking this for the very first time. Either way, we understand that you want your website to be a useful selling tool and an asset for your business, not a source of constant frustration and headache.
Our quick start guide below will hopefully answer many of the questions that business owners have in mind when faced with the task of that new website for your business or holiday property. You may know some of the answers here already, but there will probably be something there to make you think about your overall objectives.
Choose a domain name. You may already have one, but do you have all of the variations, such as the .com plus country specific versions, such as .co.uk, .fr, .ca, even .net? Our article on choosing a domain name will help you look at all the options.
Talk to us about your objectives. Many people jump into a website simply because they’re driven by the worry of ‘everyone else has one, I’m getting left behind’. Before you rush headlong into engaging someone to build you a website, it’s worth spending just a short time deciding exactly what you want your website to actually do. Are you a business to business organisation, or do you deal with the public? Or even both? If you deal with the public, this may mean that you need to explain technical terms in ways that a layman can understand. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your professionalism and knowledge. Our article on how this exercise, a technique known as content marketing can help establish your authority is a useful read. If you deal business to business, then industry resources will prove useful, plus showcasing your website through LinkedIn is a good step.
Decide upon design preferences. This will cover things like colour schemes, either to fit your branding or to create the right ‘mood’ for a website. You may then think about things like how often you want to update it with newsworthy content, what you want to appar on the home page and other things that may well depend upon how much time you have, what budget you may set for creating content and how important it is to keep in touch with your visitors
Capturing information. We are firm believers in building email lists for marketing. Most visitors will guard their email address carefully, owrrying about what it may be used for or if it’s passed on to third parties. Building an email list over time, one where your visitors have actually consented that it’s OK for you to send them information, is a powerful marketing tool. You need to offer something in return for their trust. This could be a useful ebook, a special offer or any number of useful things. We can help you start to build this resource.
Photography. This is one of the most overlooked areas in website design, which is surprising if you consider that websites depend upon visual impact to capture your visitors attention and encourage them to stay. Read our advice article on obtaining professional photography of your business for website use.
Written copy. Just as vital as photography, we need to give careful consideration to website written copy. All too often, we hear of web design companies simply asking for copy to add to a design they created, as if they expect their clients to suddenly transform themselves from busy business owners into professional writers and experts in online copywriting. Part of the overall design we offer is to create website copy that actually flows, read our article on crafting website written copy to see how we create content for website owners that visitors find genuinely useful and engaging.
Building the website. Based upon the choices we decided above, we create the design, the layout, the content, the images and all of the other things that bring your website to life. We use an industry standard content management system to make updating the website as easy as writing in a Word document
When you are happy, the website goes live. You will have access details to enable you to update the website as you need to, together with a training session from us on how everything works and how to manage your content.
Website promotion. We build each website with search engine optimisation built in. This means that the pages of your website will automatically be found by search engines and indexed according to the keyword searches and topic we were aiming at. Be aware, though that initial indexing of your website has a finite limit and promotion of you and your website is an ongoing process. The competition will soon be watching you and they won’t stand still. We offer a wide range of options for website promotion with budgets to fit a variety of sizes. These can include things such as creating back links, which is of some value but is probably on the wane. Read our pages on content marketing to see how more imaginative techniques can give long lasting, authentic results.