What do I need to know before creating a website?
Are you looking to create a website from scratch? Or want to breathe fresh air into your current website? Before you jump straight in (we love your enthusiasm), there are a few things you need to know prior to creating your website.
Grab a coffee and we’ll chat you through it.
Who is my ideal online audience?
Many business owners would have heard the term Unique Selling Point (USP). Before we jump into the business 101 talk, think specifically about the qualities that set you apart from your competitors within the same industry.
What comes to mind?
Ultimately, your services or products will help you define your target market. Who would use your services or products? Who is your perfect customer?
Knowing your ideal audience is crucial to your business, and to your new website. It will help determine the navigation features, language, tone of voice and graphics across your site.
And don’t get caught with the phrase “anyone can buy my product or service”. Statements like this are way too broad. You need to be specific, so that your website speaks directly to your ideal audience.
What is the goal of my website?
We always like to say that your website is your number one digital platform – you have complete ownership over it, unlike your social media sites and other digital platforms. We like to call it your digital shopfront.
It should represent your brand in a positive way and be designed around your audience as well as the key actions you want your customer to take.
Will your website feature products for purchase? Will it explain your services and incorporate an easy booking form and process? Will it provide regular news and information to help your target market? Is it designed to improve your experience with your customers? Do you want your website to generate leads (big yes to that one!)?
Understanding your goals will help you determine the structure of your website.
How much will the basic setup of a website cost?
Let’s get the hard part out of the way: creating a website for free is simply not possible. No matter the messages you’ve seen from some website software providers.
Many inexperienced website owners or builders want to achieve a large business milestone for free, which is a tad unrealistic! When it comes to your website, finding the pricing sweet spot is key to a long-lasting extension of your business.
Here is what you will be paying as a minimum:
- Domain – $30 approx p.a.
- SSL Certificate – $100 p.a.
- Web Hosting – $10-$150 p.m.
The design and development of your site are where the bells and whistles come in to make your site effective, attractive and engaging. A good designer will work with you to design a website based around your goals, audience and key messaging, as well as make it SEO-friendly, modern, user-friendly, responsive on different devices and incorporate the technologies you need. The cost of a designer to build your site… well, how long is a piece of string. It will depend on your website scope and goals (if you are looking for an affordable site, we’ve got the perfect package for you).
Depending on the platform you choose, these costs may be a monthly fee or a lump sum at the start of your build. That leads us to the next question.
Wouldn't it be easier to let someone else take care of the hassle for you?
The Marketing GP provide comprehensive website packages for a range of industries and have a cost-effective solution for every sized website!
What platform should I create my website on?
After you have the costs in mind, the next question to ask yourself is what do you intend to do with your website? Are you creating a blog based website, a business site, or an eCommerce website?
Where you choose to build your website depends on this initial thought process. Every website type can drastically affect how and where you decide to begin your digital journey.
Creating a website with WIX or Squarespace
Building a website can be a rewarding experience if you have a flair for design or a creative mindset. Sites like WIX and Squarespace have made the overwhelming task of creating a site from scratch a little easier and with hundreds of templates at your fingertips.
The drawback of this option is that you’re likely to have a website that a handful of other businesses already use (and believe us, we can tell). There goes your online unique selling point… But if you’re looking for a cheap and quick website build, this option can be a solution.
However …. These are membership sites. So whilst you have a low entry fee, you are paying that monthly fee – forever. Plus the things we know are essential, such as analytics, are an add-on fee.
And the biggest downside? These sites are not transferrable.
Creating a website with WordPress
If you want a site that is more along the lines of your brand, then why not use the world’s most loved website builder?
This option is used by more than a third of websites built online – in the world! As it uses pre-coded plugins as its bread and butter, the number of ways it can be configured is virtually limitless. Whatever function you want a website to serve, there’s a plugin that will make it happen.
As we mentioned previously, we don’t tend to recommend ‘membership’ type of websites involving a monthly subscription payment. This means you never actually own your website. And we believe your website is your most important digital asset!
The only drawback about a WordPress site is that it can be a tricky learning curve for those new to website building. Although it has many moving parts that can be tough to get your head around, these are all vital for a high-performing and customised site. And when you work with a marketing agency on the development of your website, they will hold you hand as you learn a new software tool!
What content & imagery do I need to reach my ideal audience?
So now your website is all set up, with a domain name and secure hosting… but what about your copywriting and engaging imagery? This step in the build process may seem like the easiest part – but without hitting the sweet spot in these areas, your website could be a flop.
Creating content that is not only personal but is search engine optimised is tricky and takes practice. Not to mention developing professional and content-related photos that speak directly with your intended audience and do your brand justice.
The best practice to overcome this hurdle is marketing research and industry knowledge. The more you know your consumers and their needs, the better you can directly communicate to them online.
Suppose that seems like a time-consuming project for you or your team. In that case, The Marketing GP offer copywriting services with a wealth of knowledge in a variety of industries. Our team provide SEO keyword research that reaps traffic benefits and implement those SEO strategies across your website. Not only do our wordsmiths create persuasive and engaging copy, but we also make sure it’s in line with your brand and voice.
Build your new website with The Marketing GP. We're a leading website development agency!
The Marketing GP has helped many small businesses take control of their online presence through the creation of a custom and optimised website.
From strategic copywriting to backend development, The Marketing GP work closely with you to create the best digital shopfront experience for your business. Our team offer a seamless user experience, so you can get on with what you do best while we deliver a solutions-driven product that suits your needs.
Whether you need a few pages updated, or are looking for a complex website, we can provide a responsive, custom-built site that best reflects your business.
And to make the process even easier, we offer website hosting at an affordable and manageable monthly cost. The Marketing GP is dedicated to the performance and security of your site. We continuously update your platform to protect you against attacks from threats. We even regularly evaluate security best practices to ensure we are delivering an uncompromising experience.
If you’re interested in any of our website services, why not book a 15-minute free consultation with our Chief Marketer, Holly Martin?