5 Questions to Ask Before You Put Your Business Online

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If Google doesn’t know you exist, then potential customers won’t either.  Getting found online is a must and one of the best places to start is with your website.  But for start-ups, creating a website is often a challenge. If you’re ready to get your business online, take a few minutes to answer these questions:

What are my goals for my website?  How will it support my overall business goals:  attract new business, build relationships with current customers, become an ‘expert’ with your target market, build passive income or create strategic alliances or power partners?  This is important so give it some thought.

What do I want my website to do?  Is it simply for marketing purposes to educate and communicate value? To generate leads via calls, emails or requests for quotes? Do you want to earn money directly through product sales or class registrations?  Do you want video on your site?  Do you want it to integrate with social media?  Will you offer customers technical or service support such as order tracking or scheduling appointments? Do you want to be an information source for customers and prospects?

Who do we want to reach online?  A clear target and message is the foundation for good marketing. Your website is no different.  Be clear on who you want to reach, what you want to sell and why you are the best choice versus your competition.

Who will update and maintain my website?   Adding and updating content is important for search engine optimization.  If you plan to blog or add press releases, new products or landing pages, you will want a platform that allows YOU (or some other non-techy person) to easily perform these tasks. The WordPress platform is popular these days.  With a lot of common applications (widgets) built right in, web developers can create a quality website in a lot less time.  In addition, it’s easy to use and inexpensive to maintain, a plus for small business owners.  Finally, Google loves WordPress.  Need I say more?

Should I hire someone or do it myself?   While there are do-it-yourself templates, these are appealing to start-ups who are looking for a quick and inexpensive way to get their new business online.  Most have preset formats for different types of businesses that you can tweak and be online quickly.  However, there are some downsides.

  • Most small business owners are not experts at writing copy.  As a result, your content and messages may be weak or not compelling enough to create sales opportunities.
  • Your website may have the exact same look and feel as others in your industry. So much for standing out.
  • Savings and speed are less of a factor.  Today’s technology makes it easier for web developers to create a quality website for you – quickly and affordably!   My advice, talk to one before you assume you can’t afford it.

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