Do I need a website for my business?
Do I need a website for my business? This is a reasonable question and a simple one to answer. According to Verisign, 84% of websites are important to small businesses. Also, 97% of those businesses would recommend a website to a colleague. The numbers speak for themselves, as they show the level of importance a website is to any business. But why? What is the appeal to having a website? The simple answer is exposure. Everyone is on the Internet and without a website, you are missing out on a lot of potential customers.
Am I prepared for a business website?
To be honest, deciding whether a website is right for your business is the wrong approach. You should be determining whether you are even prepared for a website instead. Ask yourself right now. “Am I prepared for a website?” To most this could be a daunting question. Where would you even start? Lucky for you, I have three simple questions to help determine your readiness for a new website.
Do I have goals for a business website?
The first question you need to ask yourself is “Do I have goals for my website?” This particular question to me is the most important. To determine whether a website is helping your business, it needs to have goals. Goals will allow you to measure the success of your website. An example being that you wish to increase conversion by 2% within the next month. A way you could measure this goal is by keeping track of the number of new customers who buy your products.
Websites can have as many goals as you wish. I would recommend setting new one for your website at least once a month. Doing so will add value to your website and your business.
What challenges do I need to overcome?
The second question you need to ask yourself is “What challenges do I need to overcome to reach my goals?” You may know what goals you have in mind for your website, but how are you going to achieve them? Goals do not complete themselves. This is where listing your challenges helps.
Going back to our goal of increasing the conversion rate by 2%. How can you achieve this goal? One method is by using social networks to direct user traffic to your website. So, the challenge to overcome is to create a profile on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s assume that you have your Facebook profile set up. How do you get users to visit your website or what value can you offer them? You could write blog articles and comment on Facebook to refer to those articles. Now two more challenges arise. One being to setup a blog on your website and the other to write the articles. As you can see listing challenges reveals a path to achieving your goals.
Who is my target audience?
The final question you need to ask yourself is “Who is my target audience?” Many businesses have a particular consumer they sell their products and services to. Let’s pretend that you make backpacks and you sell them to hikers. What would you say about the backpack that would reach out to your target audience? Hikers tend to travel through rough terrain. Thus, you can mention the durability of the backpack. Hiking can also cause the individual to sweat. So, you can also talk about the bags airflow ventilation. I would also recommend that the bag actually have these features, but you get the idea. Knowing your target audience helps you market to their needs. This approach should also apply to your website. Every page, section or article should be talking to those you are trying to reach out to.
Any business can benefit having a website. The real question you should ask yourself is “Am I prepared for a website?” Do you have business goals your website aims to achieve? What challenges come with those goals? Who is your target audience? Asking these question will help determine your preparedness for a website. Once you’re prepared to use your website, you’re ready for the next step. Check out Phill Myer’s article on How much should a website cost?