Goodbye 2020. Welcome to 2021.
I am sure most of you can agree 2020 was one of the most unusual years we have all faced in our lifetime. The uncertainty of what lies around the corner is sadly still with us; however, a positive attitude can go a long way!
Here at The Ideas Cupboard, we have been through a lot of changes in the last 12 months, from changing the way we work and visit clients to socially distanced repairs, everything still feels a little strange and we can't wait to get back to some sort of normality.
January would usually be filled with redesigning and printing new stationery ready for the wave of advertising ahead, this year is a little different as digital advertising has taken the lead for us.
So we thought we would start at the beginning and give you a couple of helpful hints to consider with your most important asset, your website.
1. Never underestimate the importance of your website.
Having a website has become a necessity for anyone in business in recent years, with the introduction of lockdown and further restrictions it has become even more important. There is a very good chance your customer’s first impression of your business will be your website, so take care of it, nurture it and help it grow. Static and stale sites with out-of-date content, broken links and missing images give the impression you do not care. Template builder sites can often be repetitive and easy to spot, often giving the impression of unwillingness to invest in your business. Set yourself apart from your competition!
Be careful not to over-complicate the design, if the site becomes hard to navigate you will lose customers. Try to think of it from their perspective, information needs to be easy to find and read, images need to be clear and quick to load. Overlooking these simple things can mean customers will go elsewhere.
Compliance now forms a big part of website development in the professional sector, make sure you have the correct data protection policies in place and have adhered to the laws regarding limited companies if they apply to you. Cookie policies and notices are mandatory along with privacy policies for all websites.
2. Getting your customers to find your website.
Now that you have a website to be proud of what are you going to do with it?
It is great to have a website, but you cannot expect customers to find you if you do not do anything with it. Page 1 of search engine results for most of us is not going to happen without investment of either time or funds. SEO is one of the basics that should be taken into consideration when building your site, from high-quality content and keywords to alt text and load speeds, the more appealing your site appears to search engines the greater the chance you will get a good ranking. there are hundreds of tutorials and articles on how to manage your SEO yourself, so this is where your time investment kicks in. If you are unsure or confused about SEO, get advice from a professional or good web developer. Great SEO will make all the difference!
3. Advertising your website.
There are lots of ways to advertise your site, PPC (Pay Per Click, often seen as the Ads section at the top of search results) is often very tempting, but can be difficult to get it to the right target audience without professional help. Social Media Marketing can be a little more productive for a lot of businesses, however, it is important to choose the right platform for your business and target audience, again professional help or research into it before you start is strongly advised.
Other avenues may also be useful to your business, but as always research first. Professionals can also have a difference of opinion so it is worth speaking to more than one.
4. Anti-virus and updates???
Anti-virus and updates for a website might sound a bit strange to some, but just like your computer, your website is vulnerable to attacks from hackers. If you run an online shop this is incredibly important, as lost revenue through infection can be costly, not to mention the potential downtime while your site is repaired.
No matter where you host your website, you are ultimately responsible for its security, data breaches, potential loss of data and the associated fines from the ICO should it go wrong.
A good web developer will offer hosting and maintenance packages with the websites they build which should take care of all of this for you, prices and services included can vary, so choose carefully to make sure you are getting the best service possible.
Check out our Blog for more helpful hints on specific topics, feel free to get in touch for a virtual chat.