Discerning businesses understand why having a presence on the Internet is super-important - do you?
Most discerning businesses recognise that having a presence on the Internet is a really good thing, if you're still not sure, or are perhaps one of those that says that my business doesn't need a website or presence, think again whilst you check some reasons why (if you're in a hurry, checkout the bold bits!):
- People are accessing the Internet from a variety of places, home, work and on the go.
- They're using laptops, desktop computers, Smart TVs, mobile phones, and tablet computers. If you have a website already, does your site work well on these devices - if not you ought to consider a website overhaul - all web sites developed by All Tech Plus are responsive/mobile friendly - this basically means that the site will automatically adjust to different screen sizes, and often the navigation menu will be optimised for mobile use when appropriate.
- Many people use Google (their search engine of choice) to find out about businesses and leisure pursuits in their area or the area they are visiting. If you don't have an Internet presence, are you missing out!!??
- Most people tend to look only at the first one or two pages of results. It is quite difficult to get your site up there but there are things that can be done to help with that which All Tech Plus can help with.
- You can engage with customers, old and new through your site, here are some of the ways you can engage with them:
- You have a permanent advert (that you can change, and is more cost effective than print-adverts), and
- the possibility to build e-mail lists so you can keep those customers up to date or send them special offers (read more about e-mail marketing...).
- Showcase your products and services using images and where possible videos - The Internet is a rich medium for things like this, you simply can't get this through print media such as newspapers.
- Allow customers to review your products and services - this builds trust amongst potentially new customers. I know that I always checkout product or service reviews when about to make a purchase; which I don't necessarily always make that purchase online - if you've ever used Ebay, you will probably have a good idea how valuable feedback can be.
- Provide a variety of ways for your customers to contact you, telephone, e-mail, contact form, social networking pages, online chat.
- If you are a retail outlet, there is the possibility of developing online sales but at the very least people can see your products and prices before they visit your store. People also compare with similar businesses. This transparency can also build trust in your brand.
- A link to a map with directions on how to get to your business - these can also be setup to work with mobile sat nav. devices.
What do you need to setup a website?
You need the following in order to setup a website:
- A domain name - this is your address on the web (mine is www.all-tech-plus.com) - this is something you rent and will typically cost around 20 euros per year.
- Web hosting - this is where all the files that make up your website go. Your domain name registrar (they could be the same as your web hoster) update special servers on the Internet that tell us where to find your website. Costs for webhosting vary wildly - these are dependent on lots of factors; the amount of bandwidth (a bit like your data allowance you would have on a mobile phone), a shared or private server, e-mail facility, disk space for your site, database availability, service level agreements - too many to mention.
- Content - you need to prepare the content for your web pages = lots of time.
- Graphics and images - your own or paid for ones - most images on the Internet are subject to copyright.
- Page design and requirements for your site. Will it need online shopping, the ability to contact you using a form, support forums.
- Lots and lots of time and effort to put it all together and keep it up to date. If you pay a web designer, you are paying them not only for their time, but also their experience - they'll be able to prepare it much more quickly than a novice.
Reasons not to do it yourself
Whilst it is possible to make your own website once you've secured all the items in the list above, consider the following:
- The end result might possibly end up looking rather amateurish which probably isn't the best light to convey your business reputation!
- It can take up a lot of your time, time that is perhaps better spent doing what you do best - running your business!
- Submission of site to search engines, directory listings, setup of Google+ pages will now need doing.
- Websites need to be kept up to date.