Planning Your Business Website

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November 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm #256

b.nieto
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Planning Your Business Website

So you’ve decided to create a website for your San Diego business. Congratulations! What do you need to do first? Just like when you launched your business, the first step to success is creating a plan for your website.

Start your plan by figuring out what you want your website to do:

  • What kinds of customers do you want it to attract?
  • What do you want customers to do on the site? Will they visit to learn more about your business’s services, to interact with you via chat or email, or to buy products (ecommerce)?
  • If you’re planning to sell products, you’ll have to figure out how you will handle operations challenges such as accepting payment online, shipping products, communicating with customers about their orders, accepting returns, answering customer questions and other factors.
  • Last, but not least, know how you will promote and market your website—whether with social media, online marketing and advertising, search enging optimization (SEO) or some mix of all of these.

Once you have made these decisions, it’s time to buy your domain name (or URL). You can visit domain registration sites such as godaddy.com and register.com to see if someone already owns the domain names you’re considering or if they’re available for purchase. (Typically, you’ll want your domain name to be your business name or some variation of that.) Register the name and any variations of the domain you don’t want competitors to have access to.

The next step is writing a site outline that details:

1. Site content. The content you want to have on the site will vary depending on your industry and purposes. It could include product photos and descriptions, information about your company, articles or blog posts, FAQs, ordering information and more.

2. Site structure. This maps out what elements will be on what page of your site and how the pages connect to each other. You want your site structure to be simple and intuitive so users can easily find what they need. Starting from your home page, outline how the other pages will flow from that.

3. Site navigation. This is the way users get through the site, such as tabs, sidebars, icons, graphics, etc.

This doesn’t mean that you need to design or create your own site, but you do need to think about what you want before you start having your site developed. You can get ideas by checking out templates for site designs such as the ones at websiteservice4all.com.

Remember, a key purpose of your site is making your business look professional and reliable, so be sure to list a physical address and phone number for your business on every page. When customers know they can reach you in the “real world,” it makes your site seem more trustworthy in their eyes.

Think through your website goals carefully, and you’ll come away with a website that meets all your business needs.

 

 

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