- Define business objectives and key results
- Navigate digital services and pricing
- Find a reliable business website developer
How to navigate business website development services and pricing?
Frustrated because you know you need a new business website and you don’t know who to ask and where to start? You’re not alone. Today the market heavily relies on limited personal networks and most of the new website development projects are started by businessmen asking around who can help to build a website. And I think that inherently we understand that this is not the right approach because the uncertainty and unclarity remain – how do I know what do I need and how to get there? Very often people feel like they also know how much should it cost – if anyone can create a website quickly, it must be cheap! And let’s say you’d like your website to be done by a professional, then $3000 sounds like a good price, right? And the correct answer is, it depends. And it depends on the objective of why do you need a new website in the first place.
Setting objectives to order the right website for your business
Today every business is almost required to have a website even though not all businesses are dependent on their online presence. There are 1000s of businesses that sell and market themselves elsewhere rather than on their websites, including other digital platforms. Restaurants are a good example, their business mostly depends on their location and other factors not related to their website. But when a specific restaurant decides to attract customers by selling reservations online, it becomes important for them to have a performance-driven business website, one that can attract visitors and convert them into paying customers.
A simple business website is like a business card, it’s good when it has a nice feel to it and you’re happy to share it with people you meet. And this is practically how you should look at – a business card website. It may have a support function to find you or learn something about what you do. Most of the time it will be seen only by a few people, the ones you meet and the ones who are exactly looking for information on your company online. Business card websites are usually seen as an expense rather than an investment.
Result-driven business websites are business instruments that conduct work for you. They can only be successful at generating business if they do attract your target audience visits and convert them into customers and you would measure them for ROI (return on investment).
How to develop a good result-driven business website?
The first thing would be to decide what are our exact sales and marketing objectives and key results we want to achieve with the website. You would set different objectives for startups that need to test the idea vs established businesses looking to expand. Here is a complete list of questions one would need to consider:
Research the market and define a business model and key performance indicators that will allow measuring if you have made a positive return on your investment. Define the full list of services and the budget needed to achieve a positive ROI!
- Is it an established business looking to expand or a fresh new idea that needs to be tested?
- What are the target markets and geographies?
- Is it a local or global business?
- What is your sector or industry?
- Are there any related industries?
- How many products or services are you going to sell?
- What’s the competition like?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What’s your business model?
- Do you have a business plan?
- What KPIs are important to measure?
- How do you generate revenue?
- What are your margins?
- How do you make a profit?
- How much can you afford to spend on acquiring one customer?
- What is the demand like for what you’re selling?
- Do people search for it online, how often and how they name it (keyword research)?
- What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
- Why do you think people choose you among others?
- What trust builder can you provide?
- Guarantees, awards, certificates, testimonials, social proof, etc.
- How strong is your brand?
- Can you achieve your objectives with what you’ve got or do you need to invest in brand awareness as well?
- What is the time frame to get this business website up and running?
- What’s the budget?
- What risks are there and how do you plan to mitigate them?
How to go about planning resources to develop the business website?
Every business is unique and the situation different. One would have the old website that needs to be redesigned and migrated and the other would build everything from scratch. The initial planning needs to consider the unique situation and adjust accordingly.
- Do you have a domain name?
- Do you have a current website?
- Is there anything that works well and needs to be reapplied to the new website?
- Do we need to migrate any parts of the content?
- Will we need to redirect old links?
- Do you have a logo, style guide or brand book?
- What’s the general functionality like?
- Is it totally unique?
- Will you need a catalog?
- Do you need a checkout and payment integrations?
- What server or hosting is the best for your business website?
- What’s the best project management methodology?
- What platforms, technologies, and programming languages would be wise to choose for your business website?
- How is the quality assurance going to be tested upon finishing the project?
What is the right structure and content for your business website?
The best way to structure a business website and its content is based on data and the unique selling proposition.
- Retrieve data from the keyword research
- Prioritize content
- Based on demand aka search volume
- Based on the target KPIs
- Develop a sitemap and plan the URL structure
- Draw wireframes
- Plan the user journey and experience
Designing a result-driven business website
At this point, all the details are planned and known and it’s only required to make it look and feel good. Sometimes you would need some creative design solutions to achieve the business objectives and sometimes all you need is a clean and clear structure to present the offering.
- Create a mood board
- Decide on the design approach
- Homepage design
- Catalog page
- Product page
- Checkout process and other
- Interactive elements to increase user engagement
- Develop or select images and videos
- Update the style guide
- Prepare files for development
Programming the business website
One of the final phases of a business website development is programming. This is a really straight forward process and all the developers need is to put it all together and make sure it all works as planned.
- Allocating the necessary resources
- Planning the schedule
- Setting up the environment
- Front-end development
- Back-end development
- Quality Assurance
Writing and optimizing copy for the high-converting business website
- Content development
- Content optimization for better search engine visibility
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Keyword placement according to the best practices
- Internal linking
- Adjusting images to the content
Launching the business website
It’s been a long journey to get here but in reality, the business journey of the new website is only about to get started.
- Launching the website
- Submitting the sitemap to Google Search
- Setting up tools to analyze the performance of the website
- Google Analytics
- Goals or E-Commerce
- Commenting on major changes
- Moz, Mixpanel, HotJar, other
- Setting up retargeting scripts from major platforms
Your new website is now live and ready to start generating business for you. It will require continuous work on acquiring the visits and conversions and that will always remain a never-ending journey for a busy business website. You might need to consider:
- Inbound Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Paid Acquisition on Search and Social networks
- Speed and performance optimization