Many companies, especially SMEs, recognise that their website is their shop front and often the first thing potential new customers see.
Quality costs, whether it’s in time or money. However, even if you do hire someone to develop your website for you, you’re going to want to access it in the future to make small changes and updates. More than ever, businesses need to be agile to compete. Holding your hands up and claiming, “I’m not techy!” won’t wash any more.
Think of it like driving. You don’t need to be a mechanic to know how to drive. It’s sensible to know how to change a tyre, check oil and top up the water to avoid any costly and stressful mishaps but that’s about it. So you need to understand what you’re commissioning and paying for. You also need to understand what you can easily do yourself!
Do it yourself
My best advice when it comes to building your own website is to go with WordPress. It can be a pain at times but there is no shortage of support out there and you can do an amazing amount with very little.
Michael Hyatt does a great screencast taking you step by step through setting up your own self hosted WordPress site:
An online presence is essential in today’s economy no matter the size of your business. Having a great website is the first step and as you can see from the video, it doesn’t have to be a headache.
Get the experts in
The biggest benefit I see from DIY is the flexibility it gives you. However, I’m all for outsourcing things that you don’t have the skills for or don’t have the time to do. Regardless of what you decide, make sure you watch this and learn a bit about WordPress and other platforms so that you at least understand what it is you’re paying for. This will save you time and money in the long term because it will help you to plan better and ask for the things you want up front. Often web designers will have to charge you for updates (no matter how small). You’ll avoid this if you understand and are clear in your initial requests.
NB: Make sure you are a sensible client – you don’t want to end up on Clients From Hell (you’ve been warned!)
Keeping up with the interwebs
My last piece of advice for saving time and money on your website is to treat it as part of your communications. When you’re planning how you reach out to customers, always factor in how your website supports this and make sure it’s working hard for you.
- Do you have a newsletter? Make sure the sign up is front and centre on your site.
- Are you capturing attention in the right places?
- Is your website content adding enough value for your audience?
It’s important to keep ahead of the latest trends so that your store doesn’t end up looking a bit tired. Check in with these guys and you’ll be on the right track:
- Moz for all things SEO
- Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn for all things internet marketing
- Lead Pages will keep you up to date with the best page formats for converting online sales
- Canva will help you create beautiful graphics when you need a refresh
If your business is actively looking to increase web traffic, remember you need to know why you want visitors on your site. It will save you time and expense on low-performing advertising campaigns and other traffic generating activity if you have a clear idea of what you want users to do when they reach your site.
- Why do I want more traffic?
- What do I want these users to do?
- How do I make that as painless as possible?
…and stop wasting time just trying to increase traffic if it’s not helping you to reach your wider business goals!