As you probably know, every business needs a website to communicate to the world who they are and what they do. I know this sounds obvious, but what you might not know about web development is that having a website can also hurt your business too if your website does not accurately reflect who you are and what you do.
We see this happen all the time and we are sure you have experienced this too. For example, let’s pretend that you’re in the market for a new pre-workout supplement to help you burn those extra calories at the gym. If you’re like most of us, you probably either go straight to Google (or straight to Amazon). You then do a few searches, scour through the reviews, and then narrow your options to 2 to 3 pre-workout supplements. If you’re the impatient type of person, then you might just purchase the product with the most reviews or the product with the best-looking label. However, if you’re the type of person who reads the nutritional labels, researches whether or not the ingredients were ethically sourced, and/or looks into whether the company who is selling this pre-workout supplement is a real science-backed nutritional company, then chances are high that you visited the websites of each company’s pre-workout supplement website to help you make your final decision. The chances are also high that you also decided to purchase the pre-workout supplement from the company whose website confirmed what was being advertised and best reflected the product you were interested in purchasing. At the same time, the chances are also high that you also subconsciously blacklisted the company of any of the other pre-workout supplement websites that you visited whose identity or message did not align with what their product was advertising.
The above is just one of many examples of why it is so important that your website accurately reflects who you are and what you do.
Developing Your Website To Accurately Reflect You, Your Products, and Your Business.
If you invest the time and energy into developing your website so that it is professional, responsive, and reflects your business accurately, you will see an increase in sales as well as customer loyalty, guaranteed.
STEP 1 - DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
When you’re ready to start developing your website, the first thing that you should focus on is clearly defining the purpose of your business and products so that you can communicate this through your website to your customers.
Once you have completed the task above, you can pat yourself on the back because you just created an outline for how to communicate to your customers through your website. This message will accurately reflect you, your products, and your business and will authentically resonate with your customers. More on this later.
STEP 2 - DECIDING TO DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) OR HIRE IT OUT
After you have defined the purpose of your business and your products, it’s time to decide what you want to try doing yourself and what you want to hire out. There are plenty of website builders out there now so building your website yourself is now a real possibility.
For starters, here are just a few questions that you need to ask yourself if you want to try building your website yourself.
- Which platform do I want to use?
- Can I achieve all of the functions that I need with the platform that I chose or are there limitations?
- Do I feel comfortable addressing any technical issues that might arise?
- Is my website going to have e-commerce capabilities or is it going to be a strictly informational website?
- Do I want to update and maintain my website myself or do I want someone else to do this for me?
If your budget is under $2,000 and/or you’re just starting out, then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try building your website yourself.
Choosing the right content management system (CMS) for building your website yourself is very important. WordPress is the most powerful and scalable but Wix is the easiest to use for beginners, so make sure that you look at all three options carefully. We LOVE WordPress, so the decision is easy for us.
STEP 3 - DECIDING ON WHAT TO INCLUDE INSIDE OF YOUR WEBSITE
Whether you decided to build your website yourself or if you hire it out, there are still other website-related tasks that you still need to think about. Here are a few more questions that you need to ask yourself.
- Content – Do I want to write my own content or do I want to hire a copywriter?
- Images – Do I take my own photos, purchase stock photography images, or hire someone to shoot professional photos for me?
- Video – If videos are required, do I try to shoot them myself, purchase stock videography, or hire someone to shoot them for me?
- Features – Do you want your website to have any special features? Custom forms? Integrated Social Media? Blog? E-Commerce?
Content – Nobody knows your business and your products better than you so will have to be somewhat involved in the content part no matter what, but that doesn’t mean that you have to write your whole story yourself unless you love writing. There are content writers (copywriters) who will be happy to listen to your story and write a lot of your content for you. We have copywriters in all kinds of niches that would love to write your copy, so if you need this service, let’s talk!
Images / Video – The same thing goes for images and video. You can take photos and videos of your products or you can have a professional take them. It’s up to you. If you have products that can be shipped, we can take your professional product photography photos for you and send them back when we are done. This is often easier than trying to find local professional product photographers to do this. If you’re interested in this service, then let’s talk!
Features – Most websites have special features that need to be built in addition to standard copy, images, and video. There are some features that are simple and quick while others are more complex and take longer to build out. It’s important to think about this from the beginning so that you can make sure that your website’s framework is scalable and can incorporate all of the features that you want. The most common feature request that we get are custom forms. Examples include contact us forms, requests for pricing forms, sign-up forms, etc. Other features might include an integrated blog to help with your search engine rankings. Adding a shopping cart to your site is another common request. If you want your website to perform a specific task other than providing content, images, and video, then these would be features. If you want to know more about different features that you can add to your site, then let’s talk!
It’s up to you to decide what you want your website to do and what you want it to say. All you need to do is let us know what you want your website to accomplish and we will help you make it happen.
STEP 4 - DESIGNING THE LAYOUT OF YOUR NEW WEBSITE
If you decided to take the DIY approach and build your website yourself, then all you need to do is pick one of the templates that the DIY website builder gives you, add in your content, and upload some images. After you do this, your website layout and design are mostly complete as everything you do is created on the DIY platform. If you don’t mind a template-based website design and basic features, then this is not a bad option for you.
However, if you want a professional website developed for your business that stands out from the competition, then hiring out the layout of your new website to the professionals, is the way to go.
At hiredmarketing.com, all of our web development projects are designed from scratch, so the possibilities are endless when we design the layout of your new website. All you need to do is give us 3 websites that you like and tell us what you like about them and what you don’t like about them. We will then get together with our design team and put together a mockup that incorporates the feedback that you give us from the 3 websites that you give us. If you like the mockup that we present to you, we then work to turn this mockup into a reality.
STEP 5 - DEVELOPING YOUR WEBSITE ON YOUR HOSTING SERVER
Once you approve your website design, it’s time to start developing your website on your hosting server. We highly recommend that you avoid shared hosting and instead host your website on either Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or DigitalOcean. Not only will your website be significantly faster and more secure, but you will also enjoy the added benefit of better SEO.
We will analyze the type of website that you need and recommend the best hosting and CMS platform for your specific application. After that, we will start building the foundation of your website on your new server and start developing your site to mimic the mockup that we created for you in step 4.
Once your initial design has been implemented, we will then start adding your content, images, and video to your website. If you provided us with the content, images, and video, then we will use them inside your website. If you don’t provide this to us, then we will outsource this responsibility to our copywriting and graphic experts to provide this for you.
Once your website has been developed, we will then send you the first draft of your website to review and test. If you like it, we will make it live on the internet. If it needs revisions, we will make them and send you another draft. We won’t rest until you are 100% happy with your websites.
STEP 6 - ANALYZE AND REVISE AS NECESSARY
Once your website is live on the internet, the next order of business is to analyze and revise your website on an ongoing basis.
In order to do this, we need to set up analytics on your website to give us the data that we need in order to analyze what your website is doing well and what it could do better. For example, are your visitors to your website engaging with your website or are they visiting and then leaving? If they are visiting and leaving, then the analytics will show us why. It could be something as simple as improving your copy so that it engages better with your visitor. It could also be that there are too many words and not enough eye-catching graphics that grab your visitor’s attention. There could be hundreds of reasons that this is happening but once we know why then we can revise your website and make it better so they don’t leave as often.
Analytics are important if you want to continually analyze and revise your website so that you convert more shoppers into customers.
Web development is a prerequisite to effective product marketing, so you want to make sure that your website is something you can be proud of because it will continually be a resource for your current and future customers.
If you would like us to build you a custom website that you can be proud of, then let’s talk!