As a small business owner, you know that you should have a website. But how many small businesses take that next step and use a website to promote their business? Not as many as you think.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only 40% of Australian businesses with less than 5 employees have a website. This means that only 2 out of every 5 small businesses take the next step to design a website for their business.
Building a website can be a daunting process, but the key to a successful web design project is working with the right people.
You need to ask the following questions when choosing a web design company.
How long have you been in business?
Unfortunately in the web development industry there is a trend for small local web design companies to be here one day and gone the next. It is important that the company you choose has been around for a while and is well established. Only to often do we hear from prospective customers that they can't find the person that developed their website. The web developer has either vanished or closed up shop.
Are you local?
Although the development of a website doesn't necessarily require face to face contact with the business owner, for a Brisbane based business, using a Brisbane web design company has many advantages. We find the initial consultation is critical to really finding out the needs and wants of the client and their website requirements. Email doesn't express the passion the client has for their business and their clients. And for you, the business owner, this initial consultation will give you a good indication of the people you will be working with to build your website.
Is the web development done in-house?
Outsourcing is common practice now, and it allows any body to offer any service. We often see designers and marketing companies offer websites with no knowledge of the technical requirements for a well coded website. Ask the question. Who is doing the build and if it will be compliant to both Google and industry standards?
Is your pricing clear with no hidden costs?
When engaging a web design company you need to be sure that you are aware of any additional ongoing costs. For example: domain registration, website hosting, SSL certificates, security updates, ongoing maintenance and support. These ongoing costs are part of having a website, but vary greatly depending on the website platform you choose. Some services have a lower upfront fee and higher ongoing costs, while others have a higher upfront fee and a lower ongoing costs.
Will I have access to all logins
It is imperative that you have access to the logins for your website, hosting environment and domain registration. You also need to have access to make changes to your website. We have heard many horror stories of Brisbane businesses locked out of their website, with no access to their domain and hosting environments, literally being held to ransom by the person that originally registered their domain or built their website.
Already have a website?
If you already have a website, then you have competitive edge on other local business already, but you need to ensure that the website is working for you. Technology changes over time, and a website needs to be thought of as a living breathing part of your business. Your website needs to grow and develop as your business grows and develops.
You need to confirm the following items in regards to your website.
Is my website mobile friendly?
A good user experience on your website on all devices, including mobile phones and iPads is now part of Google's search algorithm. As of mid 2018 web-pages that have either content wider than the page (needs scrolling to view the page) or links too close together (where they can't be clicked by your finger tip on a mobile device) will slowly start slipping on Google's page rankings.
Does my website reflect the branding of my business?
Did you originally use a generic template for your business that doesn't use your fonts, colours and logos. It is important that your website speaks about your business. It is the initial representation that prospective customer have of your of business. Perhaps you need to consider a website redesign. If you website is built in Joomla or WordPress a simple reskin cannot only freshen up the site to reflect your branding, but with new technology in the themes and templates the site will also be more mobile friendly.
Does my website show I am a local business?
For a local business, now more than ever, to have that competitive edge you need to embrace being a local business. Google search results will show the best search result that is the closest geographically to the the IP of the searcher. You needs to ensure that the code on the website includes your address and the local areas you service. A good web developer can also add the correct schema code to your website to tell the search engines that you are a local business.
Is my website linked from social platforms?
To really take advantage of the current trends you need to have your website linked from Social Media Platforms. Statistics show that around 70% of small businesses (less than 5 staff) do not have a Social Media presence. By having a website and linking it from your social media platforms will give you a local competitive edge.
It's not too late
If you are a small local business, whether you have a website or not, now is the time to take action. There are many choices available for Brisbane businesses to develop a web presence through a well built website and social media.
Want to know more, give us a call on 07 3103 3133 and we can help.