Even if you run a small-scale brick-and-mortar store in a tiny town, you need a website to promote your business.
If you operate a business of any scale within the ultra-competitive market in New York City, a website isn't just a necessity. Your online platform is likely the lifeblood of your organization, especially if you conduct any e-commerce sales.
To thrive in a saturated market, it's not enough to merely have a presence online; your website needs to be beautifully designed, intuitive, fully functional, and fast. As a business owner, you don't need to be able to achieve all this yourself.
If you have the know-how to develop and maintain your own website or the resources to hire an in-house web developer, you may want to consider other options. You can hire a contract or freelancer, or you can outsource the job to a digital agency. Though the latter option may cost more, it's advantageous to work with a web development company based in NYC that also offers creative and content services. That way, you can align all your digital marketing efforts and ensure your website function, content marketing strategy, and ad campaigns all work in tandem.
Regardless of which route you choose to build your website, you, as the head of the business, need to understand the basic principles of web development so you can set the right objectives and instruct the developer accordingly. If you own or manage a business but don't have a technical web background, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the following concepts before starting your search for a developer.
Understand and Target Your Audience
Ensuring that the right internet users visit your website will result in lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates and help your web pages climb the ranks for search engine results pages (SERPs). But how do you define your target audience and decipher their preferences? One word—data.
You can acquire this data from your existing customers' purchase habits and can incorporate data from third-party market data companies, Google Analytics, surveys, and public demographic reports. Using this data, you can identify and determine the behaviors and preferences of your target audience.
Know that User Experience Is Key
You've likely heard the acronym "UX" floated around, probably in the same breath as "web design." At its core, UX (user experience) design means creating a website with an interface that offers visitors a meaningful or rewarding experience.
Successful UX design takes the user on a seamless journey, beginning with an invitation to discover more about a topic or product and (ideally) ending with placing an order. On the other hand, a poor user experience will leave visitors feeling bombarded by information or not knowing where they should click to get the result they desire.
SEO Basics and the Importance of CTAs
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a collection of techniques you can use to make your website content easier for search engines to find. At the very least, business owners should understand these fundamental SEO concepts:
- You should have basic knowledge of how search engines like Google use algorithms to search the millions of webpages in the World Wide Web to bring users information that's relevant to their search request.
- To effectively optimize your site, you need to use a combination of onsite and offsite SEO. Onsite SEO techniques are those that you execute within your own site, such as optimizing copy for keyword phrases to make content easier for search engine crawlers to find and organize. Building a collection of inbound links is an example of offsite SEO.
- A call-to-action, or CTA, is a word or a phrase inserted in certain areas of your website that prompts the reader to act in a certain way. A CTA can be an encouragement to interact with more of your web pages, a directive to place an order, or an invitation to further engage with your brand by requesting more information. After consuming information from your webpages or blog, a CTA guides your visitors towards making the next step.
Content, Content, Content
Relevant, useful, and well-thought-out website content is key to SEO. The information on your webpages and how it is presented will either satisfy a user's search intent or send them packing to the next search result for their query. You need to take time to create well-researched, insightful content and to keep it fresh.
Grasp the Importance of Images, Graphics, and Videos
In addition to engaging content, you need to offer your audience captivating visuals. The images, graphics, and videos on your website should not be there merely as eye candy; they should have a purpose. However, they can potentially make your web pages load slower, so you need to resist the temptation to overuse them.
Guaranteeing Return on Investment
Developing a website is a complicated, time-consuming endeavor. However, your website may be the most important tool for drawing in new customers and fulfilling their needs. Working with a professional web developer may be a significant expense, but if they do their job right, the returns will make the investment well worth the while.