There’s more to knowing how to run your website than you think
Creating and running your own website from scratch is easier than ever. The key thing to remember is that there are more factors to take into consideration than you might realize.
Running a website that works for you and your customers can be broken down into segments. It makes things simpler and easier to manage when you look at the individual pieces than become overwhelmed by the whole.
The look, content, and overall navigation of your website are the core elements that will showcase why a visitor will stay on your site and do business with you.
An amateurish website can be a major distraction from what products and services you offer, with a high percentage of your website traffic abandoning your site at the first opportunity.
How much does it cost to run a website?
Setting up and running a website of your own does not have to break the bank.
The main cost is your time.
This is when you need to factor in how much time you are prepared to spend to run your website and if it is the best use of your time. Remember that you have a business to look after and there will be issues that could arise that may take up many hours and bring added stress and frustration. Is that worth it?
Setting up a website will not usually involve a large outlay. The question you need to answer is ‘How tech-savvy are you?’
If you have had experience with setting up a website before then you may find shortcuts and navigate your way through any problems that occur. If you are a novice, then you may need to look at setting up a simpler style of the website or seek professional help from a digital agency or I.T. professional.
What’s in a name or domain?
The key ingredient for your website is the Name.
This is how your business will be found and will be known and remembered. It’s crucial that you spend time deciding on an engaging and memorable name that suits your business.
There’s isn’t anything wrong with choosing a .net domain but not if it is only because there is another business with the same name as yours – (e.g. foodchampion.com and foodchampion.net). Two websites like that will compete, possibly cannibalize each other and most importantly, confuse the consumer target market.
A point to note is that the .net site will generally lose out to the .com.
Most people presume that the site is a .com and these domains are both more memorable and effective. As far as branding for a site with almost the same name but ending with .net, it is just asking for trouble. It’s very possible that all your hard work in gaining a solid reputation could inadvertently be sending traffic to a competitor site.
The downside of uploading
Running a website by yourself may seem easy at first, but there are special things to consider if your business is constantly changing with new products or services.
The majority of hosting providers will have set limits on what you can and should upload to your site. These include limitations on the file types you use and file sizes. There is also the matter of when updates can be made and if there is a set schedule that must be followed to avoid corrupted data or the site crashing.
If you have an e-commerce site, then you may need the freedom to update your product selections by adding new offerings and deleting old or out-of-stock products.
This is when urgency is essential or you may have customers purchasing products that were shown as ‘in stock but are no longer available. This is where knowing how to run your website efficiently can mean the difference between an increasing turnover or losing sales. Running your site can often mean looking after the marketing of your brand and knowing how to drive traffic to your business.
Losing out because your site can’t be found
A common mistake many self-created websites have is that they are too hard to find. This is where you need to put yourself in the shoes of a potential client.
Can you answer the following questions?
- How will I find your website? Website searches that do not bring up your name mean that your business is virtually non-existent. Work out what online searches should find you and how you can market yourself to a specific target market. Remember that you do not want to have thousands of visitors who realize your business is irrelevant to their needs. There is no point in having visitors who have no hope of becoming a client of your business.
- Does this site show me what I want to know? You have a short period of time to showcase why you are the best place to do business and guide your website visitors through the customer journey.
- Is the website look and content engaging? Your content needs to speak in the same voice with its personality. A dull website or overly complex site will mean visitors abandon you with little likelihood of ever returning. You only get one golden chance to engage a potential client. Make it count!
This is where proper SEO marketing comes into the equation.
The online marketplace is ruthless and users are generally time-poor. They will want to find what they are looking for and want to see clear and compelling reasons to choose you.
Make the sales journey as simple and effective as possible. Slow loading pages and navigation errors are all huge turnoffs when you are trying to build your turnover. Remember that your time is also of value. This means working out how many hours are spent in maintaining your website and if it is more cost-effective to outsource some of the tasks involved.
Experts who can help
You may not need the resources of a full corporate branding agency but you could benefit from the skills and expertise offered by a digital marketing agency.
Such an agency will be able to take you through all the ins & outs of your website set-up, the frameworks, and how important the navigation of your site can be. Do you have the skills to ensure that your website is mobile, tablet, and Google-friendly?
Whoever or wherever your website is being hosted will impact your business too. Firstly, there is the overall cost of the hosting component. Then you need to factor in how secure your site will be and the relevant data protection solutions in place.
With the constant threat of hacking and data breaches, you need to know that all your information is safe and secure especially when it comes to your client data. If you are running an e-commerce business, you may be liable for financial loss because your website was not properly secured and the appropriate safeguards on personal information were not in place.
It’s vital that you do all the research you can to be sure you know how to run your website. Keep in mind that your time may be better spent building the business and entrusting experts with the rest.