Getting a website is part of taking care of your basic internet presence (#BIPPlan) for your company, whether it is an online company or not. The website is where your customers actually enter a new trust level with your company and often take action to contact you, either through a form submit, newsletter sign-up, but more likely (and hopefully) a phone call.
There is a very wide range of websites – from very basic (one page) to thousands of pages website with all the bells and whistles. Can I just make a recommendation here right now? If you are getting a new website, please get a WordPress website. One of the main reasons is that you do not have to be stuck with one person who knows how to add content, updates and make changes to your website. WordPress is the content management system (CMS) that holds the frame and content of your website. There are many people who know how to use WordPress and often, you can make small changes and add content pages and posts with just a couple hours training. For basic stuff, it is easy to use. That’s our zone here right? Basic Internet Presence.
Back to the list…Your basic internet presence website should have the following (in no particular order):
1. Basic Company Information
This tells the website user who you are, what you do, why you are good at it and how they find you. Along with this “About Us” information, you would serve yourself really well by adding an obvious ‘call to action’. Help the website user know exactly what they are supposed to do next with your website. There are a million other topics you can add, but this is a basic content cornerstone.
2. Content Plan & Strategy
Create a plan to continue to add fresh, interesting, and relevant content to your website. Your pages and other content should be in an easily navigable manner so the user can get from one page to another without being lost. This is for the basic internet presence. If you want to get fancier, you can create sales funnels or specific paths to help you website user get to your call to action and find out more information that will help them make a buying decision.
3. Contact Form
These form submits help a website fit into what is expected for the human website user and for the bot or spider that is crawling your site to send back information to the search engines, reporting on how they perceive your website (with respect to many aspects found in the search algorithm. Having a form submit adds to credibility on your basic website.
4. Responsive Website Design
The responsive design simply means that the website changes to adjust for the screen size it is being served on without looking distorted and organizing itself for the best possible user experience. This will also cover any mobile design needs – you will not need a separate website for a mobile or smart phone.
5. Hosting Platform
“Hosting! What’s that?”, you say. Don’t leave me, I see your eyes getting glossy – this is simple. The website host is where your website originates when someone lands on your web address. When your website is found or entered into the browser or found through a link, the host serves the website information to the user’s computer. You want a host that has fast computers, does not break down all the time, and is secure. A plus would be they also take care of backing up your website regularly, don’t have too many or bad websites on your server and many other services that go beyond the “basic internet presence” picture being painted here.
6. Images, Video and other Visual Stimulation
Images and video make the website come alive. These can be your original, local images and videos, product images, office images, people/staff, and much more. These need to be copyright free or you do need to own a license for the image use if it is not your own original. There are many websites that sell images and it is fairly simple to hire our own photographer.
7. Solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Plan
This is another topic that sometimes is tricky to understand. Search Engine Optimization is simply keeping search engines in mind as you create your website, make changes and add content to your website. Some things to keep in mind are how the layout of your content affects the way users and bots navigate, what you name pages, what are the top keywords for your business, and much more.
8. Social Media Links
Social Media links to share your website articles or just to click through so the website user can see your other internet “billboards”. You don’t have to spend your life posting on all the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ (the major social media platforms). And, you do not need an account on all of these. We need to look at your industry and see what suites your style, business, target customers and your services/products. With most companies, social media is simply another way to get people to look at your website for a buying decision to be made.
This basic website does not need to break the bank before you even get started. The point of the “basic” part, is to help you and your business get off the ground with your internet presence, #BIPPlan, and allow you to focus on finding new business. Do not let the thought of a new website overwhelm you. You can have a very simple one and also add to it later.