With more than a billion sites on the web (that is “billion” with a “b”), it is be a given that every business is online these days. Or is it? The truth is, only around 54% of businesses in America have websites. But, building a website doesn’t have to be difficult process.
What makes having a website important is that all the way back in 2014, Adweek approximated that over 80% of consumers researched purchasing options online. And 60% of those relied on search engines to help them find what they were looking for. So it stands to reason, that if you want to succeed in business, you need to be discoverable online.
To put it bluntly, about half of you reading this article don’t have a website. And chances are, if you are reading this, you need a better website. Your customers are online, they search for goods and services, and they make purchase decisions online. While websites are proven tools for business growth, just having a website is enough for success.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we are here to help.
Three Different Website Types
Wait, there are different types of websites? Yep.
Even though there are many different variations, you can group most websites into three categories: online brochure sites, lead generation sites, and online stores. Each type of site servers a different purpose, works for different audiences, and requires a different level of commitment.
Online brochure sites are the simplest. Designed to represent your brand well, provide specific information on what you do, and provide leads the information they need to do business with you. That’s it. If you are looking for something basic and not complicated, a brochure site may be right for you.
Websites built to generate leads are slightly more complex than online brochures. Yet, they require a higher level of commitment. Think of these website as marketing engines that, when done properly, use search engines, social media, and email to continuously reach new audiences. If you need to generate new leads, this type of site might be right for you.
Finally, online stores, also referred to e-commerce sites, are exactly what they sound like – places online where you can buy stuff. You might be familiar with a little online store called Amazon. If you sell products directly to consumers, you might want to consider an online store.
Website Building Basics
Every website has a few things in common. They are made up of code, stored on a server (platform), contain information (content), and have visual elements (design). And oddly enough, those are the basic elements you need to build a website.
Think of platforms as the technology behind the website–from the type of computer that the code sits on, to the programming language that supports it, to the systems that help run and organize the content. Even with so many options there are some simple solutions you can get started with today:
- Squarespace is a very popular point-and-click platform for online brochures.
- WordPress is the most popular platform and is perfect for lead generating sites.
- Shopify is an easy to set-up and use online store that can have you selling online in minutes.
Now that you have chosen a platform, you need to figure out what information needs to go on the site. Start with the basics: what you do, why you do it, and how someone can buy it. From there, depending on the type of website you have, you may need a bit more content.
Finally, let’s talk design. Design is the look and feel of the website. The colors, the fonts, the images, and how everything is laid out. Design matters. A well designed website, is attractive, easy to navigate, and makes finding information simple. A website with great design accomplishes all of that, and converts visitors to customers.
So where do I begin?
At Click we know it can be an a difficult path to navigate to build an effective website, give us a call and we can help you out.