Here at Preface Studios we like to empower our readers with knowledge. We have recently been running a series of blog posts looking at various aspects of branding we cover and what we feel would help you. This article will look at the common mistakes people make when setting up their website.
The importance of a website
Every business now has a website, it almost an expected requirement. It is no longer a novelty and as we have briefly discussed in previous blog posts, it is important to get it right. Ultimately your website needs to mirror your business/brand, whether you are services or product based.
A website is often the first port of call for those interested in your business. This places a higher importance on its value.
A daunting prospect
Setting up a website can be a scary prospect for anyone, even more so for those who are not so used to the increasingly technological world we live in.
Therefore we have decided to help and give a few hints and tips on what we feel to be common mistakes people make as they launch their site.
Underestimating the work involved
As briefly mentioned above, a website is not easy to set up. Many fall into the trap of assuming that it will lead to both greater publicity and faster, easier money.
In many respects, setting up a website is a process of trial and error to establish if you are successful in driving traffic to your website. It is not easy to get right first time.
Another important aspect to consider early on is how much time to dedicate to the website. An online presence should be run the same as a traditional business. You will need to spend a lot of time improving and adjusting your site. Do not make the mistake of setting it up and leaving it.
Thanks to the influence of Google, the search criteria potential customers use to find websites is often evolving, again adding to the trial and error process (please see previous Search Engine Optimisation post)
It may be a good idea to have a list of everything you want or need to do on there and work your way through it.
A business plan and marketing strategy
Building a proper website can be a costly exercise so before you start its worth thinking about your business plan and marketing strategy. This does not need to be a detailed affair but there are a few questions you need to consider.
Think who your market is. Who is/are your target market? Make sure your site is targeted and designed towards these people. The website a bank might have will be different to one a computer games company will have for example.
Similarly, think about the product or service your organisation offers. Your website will need to promote these to the full. It’s important to consider what your online presence should consist of and how you will promote yourself.
One of the best ways to come to these decisions is to assess your competitors. Who do their websites target? Are they successful? Have they missed something? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Choosing the correct host
It is very easy to get seduced by the idea of using a free host. However if possible try to avoid this route as there are a number of pitfalls. Firstly you will not own the name of the site, which means people and professional businesses might not take you seriously.
Secondly free hosts do not allow access to functions such as social media. With social media being so closely interlinked with websites this is a huge disadvantage. Furthermore this means you do not own the content created for the site.
Spending around £75 to £150 a month for a web host means you will own the site and its content and should be able to link and access social media through it. If you would like a quote for adding your website to our hosting server, contact Arps today.
We recently wrote a blog post about WordPress which might be a good place to start if you are unsure about managing your website.
Too blog focused
Another error many businesses make is to make their website too focused around their blog. As we have mentioned frequently WordPress is a fantastic site to use but it is not necessarily the best site for every business.
If you are using a website to provide a blog or perhaps a strong news section then WordPress might be a good option. It is a great tool to entice visitors to a webpage.
However this does not necessarily lead to an effective website. A very commercial website selling lots of products would not be so suitable.
There are many options out there!
The importance of copy and design
It is important that visually your website is attractive to the user. However it is very easy to focus on this over the actual message and content you are trying to promote.
If your website is attractive to the eye but not conveying anything of use then people will not read it. Copy is an extremely important aspect. Ultimately it is the message you are trying to get out to visitors.
We hope this blog post has been helpful and given you some food for thought! We are highly experienced in building strongly branded WordPress websites so please feel free to get in touch.