What to consider when setting up a website

Do you think your business should have a website? Maybe you have a website but are unsure whether you are getting the most out of it?
We have put together a brief guide on what to consider when setting up a website.

Purpose of your website

Think about the purpose of your website in the context of your overall business plan and what you want it to achieve. This will depend on the nature of your business and your customers as well as your budget.
Do you want your website to become a key selling tool? If so, will it be an e-Commerce site where customers can place orders at any time or will it simply display products so that orders can be placed by phone or email. An e-Commerce site can be incredibly convenient for customers who want to place orders with minimal fuss but you will need to ensure that all products and prices are kept fully up to date. On the other hand you may prefer for customers to contact you and to place orders which, can offer opportunities for interaction or even cross-selling. Alternatively you may choose a website that simply provides a taste of what you offer and serves to drive customers to your shop or an alternative selling platform such as Etsy whilst generating awareness of your brand.

Website content

What will you include on your website, how will it be displayed and where? Your pages, products and other content should be clear and attractive without taking up too much space and require a lot of scrolling or clicking through. Keep in mind that too many images on a page may make it slower to load. Your website should also reflect your business with consistent branding including your logo.
The content of your website should achieve your main goals first and foremost, whether this is active selling or encouraging customers to visit your shop. Always try to look at your website from a user perspective, you may consider additional content such as a news section or a blog to engage visitors, provide useful information or showcase your latest project.

User experience

Starting from your home page, make sure that it is easy for users to navigate your website and easily find what they are looking for without too many clicks. This includes having your website pages logically structured as well as easy to browse menus and content simply laid out.
Think back to the goals of your website, if you want customers to get in touch are your contact details obvious? A website geared towards selling should make the order or transaction process as simple as possible. For example, if your customers are likely to frequently re-order products could this be made easier? If you are selling a wide selection of fabrics how will customers find what they are looking for? A search feature or product filters may help them.

Website visibility

How will visitors find your website? By including relevant keywords that users might type in to search engines in your content you can help your website appear higher up in search rankings. You can also promote your site by posting links to engaging content in social media and email as well as other media such as print advertising and business cards.

Conclusion

Setting up a website is a complex process so it is important to plan what you want to achieve and to have a budget in mind before diving in. Besides the issues discussed above there are other important factors to consider such as website security. Be sure to look at a range of websites in your industry to generate ideas and speak to contacts you have with websites to find out about their experiences. Whether you decide to build a website in-house or approach a web developer, seek reviews and recommendations to ensure you find the right solution for you.