Your website stands at the very heart of your branding efforts- or at least it should. Perhaps you’re resisting getting one from fear of the burden (or the technology), or from a feeling your existing advertising efforts pay off enough. Facts are, however, that without a website working for you, you’re losing business! 80% of modern consumers turn to the internet to research their purchases. Without a solid, trustworthy web presence, you’re missing out on their business. Zebra 360 takes a closer look.

Why do I need a website, anyway?

So many net users looking for websites– the latest stats suggest 90% of consumers use the net in their purchase journey. Yet almost 50% of business owners, no matter their motivation, believe they don’t need a website- then go home to do their own purchase research on the same internet! That’s a big disconnect. Honestly, the many benefits of a solid web presence could occupy an article of their own, but here’s the basics:

Websites bring in customers and money: Your website is always online, 24/7, and it’s in the space that people turn to, to drive marketing decisions.  They add credibility (and the lack of a web presence, conversely, often screams ‘fraudulent’ to concentrated customers). It showcases your position in your industry. Most important of all, it communicates with your customers. Answer common questions, help people to the information they need, and organise how they contact you- all without raising a finger. A website is a powerful tool to help you remain in control of your brand and image.

8 key factors to consider when building a website

What factors matter when you’re building your website, however? Let’s take a look at key areas of the development process your website needs to cover in greater detail.

  1. Mobile use: More and more users globally access sites from their mobile devices. It’s beginning to outstrip ‘fixed’ PC usage, in fact. Sites are no longer developed to look good on one specific device, but must react responsively across a host of platforms.
  2. Your audience: Who is the target of your website? What will their journey through your site look like? How will the site mesh with your social media endeavours? These key questions will help you solidify the build process without costly mistakes.
  3. Your brand: This is yet another outreach of your overall marketing campaign. It’s important that your brand identity shines throughout.
  4. Keep it fuss-free and intuitive: There’s a reason people laugh at garish, OTT 90s websites. It was all just too much. Users instead want a clean and clear experience that’s intuitive to use, especially in the touchscreen era. Likewise, you should also shape the experience to guide the customer down your sales funnel subtly, ensuring they can proceed easily through the site with this end in mind.
  5. Never stay static: You want your website to offer a return on expense, sure… but it also can’t stay set in stone forever. Needs, wants and fashions will change and grow, as will your brand. Be ready to accommodate this growth. Smart planning in the design stages will ensure there’s room for hassle-free expansion over time.
  6. Don’t forget SEO and social media: SEO is the tool by which websites and search engines find you, so make sure the process is smooth for them. Likewise, always have an idea of how you will incorporate other social media presences with the website.
  7. Data is king: Don’t just build and hope. Set up your analytics to ensure you know who’s interacting with your website, what they do and why. That way you can better refine your design to ensure maximum customer experience.
  8. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune: Perceived cost is one of the major factors that hold people back from creating a website for their business. The old adage does ring true- you get what you pay for. Cut-price and free websites look tacky and ill-placed next to their specifically designed counterparts, and few people outside the industry have the necessary skill sets to create a pleasing, purposeful page. That doesn’t mean you will go bankrupt just getting a web presence. Modern smart design solutions are not as pricey as you may believe.

Why WordPress works

When it comes to power, convenience and ease of use, WordPress is one of the most powerful web development tools around. Initially a blog-only platform, the service has long since expanded to cover a host of easy-to-use website building tools that are simple, yet versatile and flexible enough to achieve any goal. Despite this robust usage, and the many, many plugins and customisation options, it’s also freeware and won’t cost you a penny to use as a key part of your site, helping to keep both your design and other creation costs down.

Good SEO remains the backbone of your internet marketing efforts, as we mentioned earlier. Without SEO, no matter how quality your content, people won’t find you. The WordPress platform makes integrating powerful SEO optimisation into your site, as well as different content types, particularly easy. Despite this power, it remains a very simple and intuitive tool to use. Managing your website becomes easy. Yet its security features remain one of its strongest drawcards, keeping your site free from malicious interference and ensuring it’s easy to manage the inevitable spam that comes with an internet presence.

Creating a web presence, especially using powerful and versatile WordPress solutions, needn’t be a headache. Let the Zebra 360 digital marketing team help you create the perfect home on the web for your brand today.