Having a website can provide a range of opportunities and benefits for your business. With consumers having access to more information and a broader range of products and services online, having a web presence means you won’t be left behind.
Your website allows you to display your products or describe your services in detail and get your message and brand in front of your audience. It can become your shop front, available to customers all over the world.
Benefits of a website
A website can be important to your business’s success and growth. Some of the benefits of having a website for your business may include:
- giving your business a digital shopfront
- allowing your business to be open 24/7
- increasing your target audience reach to a global audience
- allowing your customers to be able access your products or services anytime, anywhere
- working as a marketing tool to sell and promote your products and services, and increase customer engagement
- creating or enhancing your brand and reputation
- improving your business productivity and efficiency.
There are many ways in which a business can develop a website and the type of web presence you create will vary from other businesses. To stand out from the growing number of businesses, you'll need to find a way to make your online presence unique. Even if your product or service isn't a one-off, try to think of an approach that will make it stand out.
Tips on setting up a website for your business
It is important that you do your research before creating a website. Choose an option that is useful and targets your products and/or service.
Here are some tips on what you need to know when setting up a website for your business:
Tip 1: Create a digital business strategy
This can lay the foundation for an effective online presence regardless of what options you choose when going online. A digital strategy:
- outlines what you want to achieve using digital technologies, and how you hope to achieve it
- involves thinking about what your goals are and deciding how to achieve them
- clearly defines responsibilities for execution
- provides a road map for your business's future
- gives you control of your business success.
Tip 2: Understand eCommerce
If you want the capacity to sell your products or services online then you will want to invest in a website with an ecommerce platform. If you simply want a website to inform your customers where you are based and what products or services you supply then a simple website or blog might be the right fit.
Understanding how to buy and sell online is an important first step when creating a website. With ecommerce you are able to accept payment for your products and/or services online.
You may want this type of website to supplement your physical-offline-shop, or as your sole point of sale.
A good blog should provide useful and engaging content for your customers, while helping to build a positive image for your business. Like a journal, a blog is usually updated regularly.
Most successful blogs consist of a regular flow of new and relevant posts to keep people coming back.
Tip 3: Pick and register your domain name
As part of going online you will need to select a web address, or domain name. It is worth spending some time considering this decision as your domain name is an important promotional tool.
To ensure your customers know you are an Australian business you can register a domain with the .au extension.
Tip 4: Decide if you want a template or custom website design
A relatively straightforward way to build a basic website is to use a free package that will provide you with a template web design and a web content management system (CMS). If you want to build a more complex website, you will need to hire a web professional.
Tip 5: Choose a web hosting service
A web hosting service is required and should be chosen based on your business needs. To be publicly available, a website needs to be stored on a server that is constantly connected to the internet.
Your decision on whether you will be using a third party website's pre-made template and content management system may help you choose a web hosting service. These third party websites may have web hosting packages you can choose from as part of your website set-up.
Tip 6: Build your website
When building your website, there are a number of things to consider. These include:
- understanding your customers and how they will use the website
- the website design and usability
- making your website accessible
- making your website mobile friendly
- considering your search ranking.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a set of web best practice techniques that allows the information on your website (web content) to be discovered, understood and ranked against similar websites on search engines. There are different factors which could assist with a high ranking for your website based on relevance.
Find out how using keywords and meta description tags can improve your search ranking.
Tip 7: Launch your website!
It's important to test your website before you launch. This ensures your customers' can easily navigate around and successfully purchase your products or services.
When you are ready to go live, communicate with your customers to let them know that you are launching your new website. Encourage customer feedback to help you improve your site once it's live.
Other online channels
If you're not ready to commit to a website or don't have the budget to hire an expert, here are some useful tools your business can use to connect to your customers online:
- social media platforms
- online directories, such as business or suppliers' directories.
Find out more...
- If you are thinking of setting up an e-commerce website read our page on buying and selling online to learn more.
- Make sure you're aware of online scams targeting small business.
- Learn how to include social media into your day-to-day business activities.
- Find out about search engine optimisation (SEO) to help you reach more customers.
- Learn more about how to choose and register a website name for your business.