Launching a Website Without a Plan
A great thing to do before you begin contacting web developers to create a website for your small business is to take some time and draw up a plan. Make a list of the items you want to include on your website such as specific content and images.
Next, try to figure out how many different pages you will need on your site, as shown in the diagram below.
As for design, surf the Internet and find websites that appeal to you both in layout and colour schemes so that you can show your web developer what types of designs and layouts you like.
Once you have this information put together you can meet with your web developer and review what you have.
This will give your web developer a good idea of what you are thinking and they can use this information, as well as their professional ideas, to work with you to come up with a great design layout as well as plans on how to organize and optimize your content and images in a professional manner.
A well designed website with excellent content will turn visitors into buyers, as well as give small businesses the edge in competing with their large competitors.
Thinking Flash is a Must Have
The second common mistake is believing that a flashy website with images flying around on the screen is a great way to catch people’s attention. While flash may be suitable for some types of businesses, most businesses are better off going with a simple web design that loads quickly, is easy to read, easy to navigate and worth returning to.
Misunderstanding the Importance of Well Written Web Content
One of the most common mistakes made by small business owners is not understanding the important role that useful well-written content plays on their small business website.
While many people use the Internet as a source of entertainment and to socialize, most people use the Internet to find information.
They are looking for a solution that will help them solve a current problem.
Therefore while your business website may contain common information such as Services, Contact, Hours of Operation and Location, it also needs to contain good content.
To actually be found and indexed by the Search Engines, and then found and read by new potential clients, your website needs to have well written, useful content about how your clients will benefit from your products and services.
Good content also needs to include the keyword phrases that people are typing into the Search Engines when looking for your products or services.
A professional copywriter knows how to find the right keyword phrases for your business and how to write good content for your website.
For example, one of the biggest problems for people this year is “Bedbugs”. People are waking up to bedbugs in their home. Perhaps for the first time in their life, and they do not know what to do about them or how to get rid of them.
So...while some people will hit the Yellow Pages looking for an Exterminator, most people are hitting the Internet searching for phrases like “bed bugs”, “getting rid of bed bugs”, “kill bed bugs”, etc., and the websites containing those phrases within their content are getting a lot of traffic.
So that means that if you own an Exterminator business and you have good content on your website that includes these bed bug phrases and provides solutions, you will be seeing a lot of website traffic, which in turn could generate many calls from new clients that have found your company online because your website talks about “bed bugs” and they wish to hire you to clean up their home.
A great example of a company that has done this is Orkin. They have posted an excellent article on their website entitled “The growing bed bug problem”.
As mentioned earlier, people typically go online looking for a solution to their problem(s). They are searching for information that will help them out with whatever it is that they currently have going on in their life. They may be researching a health issue or they may be looking for a new restaurant in their city.
If you fill your small business website with lots of flash and images and forget to include good content, then how will the people that need your business ever find it online?