Getting online is a vital avenue of growth for many small and medium-sized businesses that have not yet ventured on to the web. Countless companies that are already online are finding the internet makes up one of their biggest sources of custom.
But what does it take for a business to get an online presence established for the first time? In particular, what does it take for them to establish that presence in a way that will bring them success and growth?
Professional Web Design
The first step is to have a website built. If you want a professional-looking website (which is completely essential for a business), you should probably avoid templates and easy website builders. Instead, go for a professional web design service and have a site built from scratch specifically for your business.
This is likely to be the biggest initial investment involved with your site, but a professional, sleek, well-designed site that is appropriate to your business will almost always deliver far better results thancheap alternatives. The result will likely be more business sourced through your website, and ultimately this will probably offset the initial cost many times over.
Just as you need premises to open up a physical presence for your business, so your website will need a place to stay. A website is made from data, and that data must be saved on a physical server where it will be accessible through the internet. This service is known as web hosting, and is offered by many companies. For instance,https://www.somersetwebservices.co.uk/website-design offers hosting and web design in Somerset.
Your web designer may well be able to help with hosting, or you could look for a better deal with a third-party company. You should avoidfree web hosting packages, however. These may seem tempting, but they are specifically designed to grab customers and then make them want to upgrade to a paid package anyway. They are often missing key features, such as the ability to send emails from company addresses rather than just receive them, and claims of “99.9% uptime” are often optimistic to say the least.
Sadly, you can’t expect to just set up a website and expect the customers to just start rolling in. People are unlikely to simply stumble across your site with no effort on your part to bring them there. This is where web marketing comes in. Social media, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) are all avenues you may want to explore.
If your business also has a physical presence such as a shop, then you should try to integrate online and offline marketing efforts. Any advertising for your store should also include your website URL and any social media pages you have. Likewise, make sure your website includes details of your store so that people who find you online, but realise they are not far away, know that they have the option to drop by in person. They may prefer this over dealing with you online, giving you an edge over other businesses they may be looking at.