Less than a decade ago, small and mid-size companies started to build their presence online. The large corporations were early adopters, they knew there was an important shift in communication and simply put, no website, no business.
It´s a fact that in the US alone, 46% of small businesses still don´t have a website. If you want to succeed in today´s market, you not only need a website, but one that captures attention and leads. If you don´t have a website, you are not only losing business, but failing to build on your credibility. In today´s market, everyone should be on the Internet. If you´re not there, you don´t exist.
A website is highly complemented by a blog. The general misconception is that a blog is a place to vent your personal opinions and disagreements. Nothing could be further from the truth. A blog is a space to inform, educate, lead and influence with relevant news and opinions, as well as tips and best practices. Linked to your website, it provides you with online presence that complements each other, adds traffic to your site and moves you up in the search engines organically.
In order to build a highly successful website, I suggest you follow these 5 basic tips:
- Make it scalable. Many companies start with a simple and basic design, not thinking about the future. The most important aspect of building a website is to build it for growth. Don´t make the mistake of starting cheap to later spend great deals of money on redesigning. Do it right from the beginning.
- Track it. If you can´t measure it, it doesn´t exist. You must constantly track your traffic by using tools like Google Analytics. Learn about topics that interest your readers, what influences traffic, where the clicks to your website come from, what pages are viewed most, etc.
- Integrate Social Media. This is crucial. You must make your content easy to share, facilitating word-of-mouth among your readers, allowing them to distribute your content among their networks.
- SEO. Search Engine Optimization is truly a mystery. I highly recommend you learn the basics, but I urge you to hire an expert to do all the dirty work. Search engines change their algorithms every 6 months, so an expert is the way to go.
- Make it attractive and commercial. You have 30 seconds to capture your reader´s attention so make the most of it. Don´t overwhelm your visitors with ads, confusing information or impossible navigation layouts. Make it as simple as possible. Use photos and videos. Include a free e-book or relevant and downloadable information to capture leads.
Finally, website building is not only fun, but highly motivating for you and your business. If you feel you can´t do it on your own, find someone to do it for you but become part of the creative process regardless of method. This is one smart business decision you´ll never regret.