If you don’t have a website or if your website isn’t doing much for your business, you should consult with a web developer to evaluate how to use the Internet to drive your business. Consumers and even businesses are rarely using the Yellow Pages or telephone directories to find information. They are searching for information and looking for businesses like yours by using search engines, review sites, and even mobile devices to access mobile websites.
There are many sites that offer do-it-yourself web site design and development. But to have a professional appearance to your customers, you will want to seek out a professionally developed website. You are too likely to waste a lot of time trying to do it yourself and you’re unlikely to find positive results.
There are many ways to choose a website developer. You can work with a company or an individual who is an ocean away, or you can choose to work with someone where you can sit down and discuss your website needs, face-to-face.
Though your web developer will help guide you as to what information should be presented on your website, there are some key questions that your website should answer. Who are you? Who is the founder of the company? Who else works at the company? Customers love a good story. When thinking about expressing who you are, also think about telling the story of your business. Why did you found it? What makes you different from other, similar businesses? What needs in the marketplace are you fulfilling? You should also include location information if you expect people to walk into your business. Even if your business is run out of your home, you still may want to include an address because it looks more professional to show a physical location.
Your website should help your customers know what you sell or what services you offer. You can also provide your customers with information on your unique value proposition. Restaurants can offer menus, retail stores can show catalogs, and companies that sell technology or appliances can provide online manuals and other information that might be relevant to your customers.
Your website should also have photographs and other relevant multimedia to show your work. If you make draperies and bedspreads, show photos of installed work with close-ups to show more detail. If you are a nail salon, show some pictures of wild manicure designs or show off how thin and natural your acrylics look. If you’re a wedding photographer, show some of your work. If you’re a singer, have a way for people to listen to your voice. Your web developer will help you bring appropriate multimedia to your website.
Your business may also do well to have accounts on various social media sites. Not every social media site will be appropriate for every business, but your web developer can help guide you through those choices. If you sell to businesses, you should be active on LinkedIn. If you sell to consumers, you probably should have Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you are a business that serves a local community, you should claim your business on sites like Google Places. A website development professional is the best person to help guide you through developing your internet presence.