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Making your website the hub of your new business

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It’s a given that a new business needs a website, but the power and importance of their site is something many entrepreneurs underestimate. They approach it as a kind of tick box exercise, alongside such items as installing a water cooler or buying stationery. They might put a lot of effort into setting it up, fussing over the look of the pages and checking the functionality of the online store.

However, they will often overlook the importance of new developments in technology that would offer additional functionality and improved customer experience. It’s also easy to forget about your site once it’s published, apart from updating stock information and important details and maybe posting an entry on the blog.If you recognise yourself in these descriptions, you need to learn how making your website the hub of your business will improve your offer and make a significant contribution to your marketing efforts.

Creating the best site

The design and functionality of your site needs to conform to the basic guidelines on website creation and accessibility if you want it to look and perform in a professional way and be a positive representation of your business. While it’s possible to create a smart-looking site using a cheap website builder, to get full value from your site and make a serious impression in your sector, you might be better off using a professional design team. They can create a bespoke site from scratch, using your specifications and their knowledge of the most effective design techniques. They can also maintain the site and update it for you, or make changes to the layout and functionality as your business grows. Alternatively, you could employ a member of staff or a freelancer to carry out this work for you, depending on your budget and the complexity of the website you need.

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is an inescapable necessity in digital marketing, but it is an ever-changing and complex field. There are basic requirements for all websites to make them favourable to search engine algorithms, including the optimal use of keywords in both the visible text, as well as images and metadata, high-quality content and both incoming and outgoing links to other quality websites.

You can do a good job of mastering these basics if you have the time and skills, but that’s just the start. To really boost your ranking, you’ll need to employ a second stage of optimization techniques, such as building up your external links by publishing content on a variety of other high-ranking sites. This requires a further degree of expertise, and again an investment in time, neither of which you may have at the level required.

There are many businesses offering their services to help you boost your SEO, but don’t just go for the first one you find. Make sure they have evidence of what they’ve achieved for other businesses, as well as testimonials from genuine customers. Find out more info about how they will achieve the results you’re looking for, and what they can offer that goes beyond their rivals before making a decision.

Making your site mobile friendly

During the creation process, you should ensure that your site has been optimised for mobile devices, which means checking how your pages look and function on smartphones and tablets. The use of mobile devices to make purchases and enquiries is still on the rise, and you need to be confident that when your site is viewed on a phone or tablet,it will be user-friendly in both form and function.

You could follow the example of many successful businesses and develop an app for mobiles. These condense the site information to make it more visually appealing and easier to engage with on a small screen, and with the technology available for facilitating mobile payments they can handle the entire process just as effectively as your main site. However, you should always offer the option of allowing users to access the main site, as some will prefer to use the system they are familiar with rather than the app version.

Affiliate marketing

There are several advantages to becoming involved in affiliate marketing, and the use of affiliates is becoming a standard tool in marketing strategies. Making an arrangement to have your products or services featured on other sites and, where appropriate, recommended by the site, or by social media influencers, can be a valuable source of new leads and sales. It will also increase your online presence, which contributes to your SEO strategy. Setting up affiliate marketing relationships has become a streamlined process that is further facilitated by technological support solutions that manage all the cash flow elements and ensure a seamless experience for the consumer.

Directing traffic to your website

Your marketing activities should have a central aim, which is to get customers to click through to your website. You may have a paid-for advertising campaign on a search engine or social media platform, or you may run an email marketing campaign, use a text service for making contact with mobile customers, operate business social media accounts, or have printed materials that are distributed door to door or at shows and events. Regardless of which methodologies you use, every one of them should be structured in such a way as to get people onto your website. Once there – providing your site is well-designed – they should be able to find all the information they need, get in touch with you easily, find answers to their questions, and of course,make purchases and enquiries. Your website is where the money is to be made, so however,you choose to promote your business, be sure that the call to action guides customers to the appropriate part of your site.

There are so many factors to consider when creating your marketing strategy that it can seem overwhelming. Which methods do you employ? How do you monitor the results of your efforts? Do you need to adopt every new technological advancement? The best approach is to concentrate on making your website as effective as possible and use the highest quality services for support and advice.

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Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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