By now, most companies understand that they need a website. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a company that would disagree. However, most don’t understand exactly why they need a website, and how they can improve their business performance with it.
The result is that most companies copy what others seem to be doing, and get a little misguided along the way. In this post we’ll discuss what you need to consider before getting a website developed, giving you the tools you need to make an honest, informed decision.
The Common Mistake
The common mistake is to think that big is always better. Sure, if you’re Kraft you’ll need a website with lots of information about your brands, staff, company information, shareholder information and so forth. But are you Kraft?
It’s a misconception to think that your website needs hundreds of pages of content, and it’s something I see many brands doing. By creating too much content, more often than not, brand’s find their image is diluted, content becomes redundant and they create less of a buzz than they thought they would.
A far better idea would be to think about the most critical and persuasive content, and then nest it in a succinct but well designed site.
The eagerness of companies to get a website live often results in costly, ineffective websites. The rush of getting large websites live leads to site glitches and missed opportunities.
To get the most out of your website, you need to slow down and evaluate what goals your company needs to satisfy. More often than not, small companies will use their website to reach out to potential customers, generate leads and provide information for existing customers.
This understanding tells us that a smaller site, with persuasive content, a great design and lead capture forms would be the most effective route.
Before approaching a web design/development company, make sure you have a clear understanding of your goals.
Content marketing is becoming one of the most effective ways to communicate with customers and promote your brand. The key, however, is to pick the right content.
As most companies won’t need a website with too many sections, it’s important to be selective over what content you use to market your brand. A blog is a great place to start, is simple to integrate and can act as the voice for your company.
You may also look at using real-time content feeds from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The combination of a blog and social media should, for most small companies, be the right mix of marketing content.
Design is Key
It’s often far more effective to focus the design of a smaller website than the functionality of a larger website. Of course, this rule doesn’t apply to all. But for a small, budget-tight company looking to get the most out of their website, it’s best to lead with a killer design.
For some, a one page website will do the trick. One page websites have advanced a lot, and can now replace the need for numerous pages. Indeed, for some brands, a simple one page website is a perfect way to persuade, provide information and blow customers over with a fabulous design.
For others, a website with more content will be needed. However, the principle remains the same. It’s far better to think small and focus on a design that is aligned with your brand and reflective of your company’s character; this way, you avoid building a site with reams of pages, and a message that’s disjointed and lost in sea of content.