If you are tired, confused and frustrated with some of the website design "jargon' then this section is for you!
Here we explain what work needs to be done in order to create a successful online website. We also give you some pointers on keeping costs low!
We'll use Joe's Shoe Shop, a small independent that prides itself on personal service, located on North Berwick high street as our example.
Your time costs money and you want to be spending that time on your core business not chasing up some website designer. After an initial consultation where we get to know your business and your key objectives gozoot.co.uk does the rest and we'll promptly reply to emails and be at the end of the phone. In theory, after you provide the content for us you only need to sign off on the website meaning you get to concentrate of your own business.
Make your website clean, simple and easy to navigate for your customer. By doing this, your customer will thank you and so will your wallet! You can always add fancy new features later on, once your know your website is making you money. You'll know this from the analytics tool your developer has provided you with.
Design costs can spiral out of control...usually upwards! So be clear about your goals and fix a price for the website design that will deliver your goals. It also makes sense to put a time/date limit on when the site will be finished. At gozoot.co.uk we can usually launch a website within a couple of days of sign up.
This can be one of those nasty hidden extra areas. Ask how much the hosting cost of your website is per year, it should be below £100. Clarify that this is a fixed cost and not likely to increase after a few months.
What if you want to add new content such as a new price list? Will your developer do this for free or ask for an additional fee? What happens if you want to add a blog to your website...again, will this be an additional charge? At gozoot.co.uk we don't charge for this type of work, we'll even give you access to your website so you can make adjustments if you want.
Any website designer should take time to get to know what your business is about. What is your main product or service? What do your customers look like? And what are your key business objectives online? The website designer can then build a website around your goals and what you need...not what they think you need! Joes Shoe Shop prides itself on personal service so it makes sense for his website to get customers to visit his shop, an online shop for example is probably not the right fit just now.
You can employ a website designer to build a website from scratch but this takes time, can be expensive and you will pay extra for upgrades...costs you don't need.
For the small business there are now thousands of website template designs available, which look great, are low cost and scalable. Joe's Shoe Shop doesn't have a huge budget so this is a good option to keep costs low. At gozoot.co.uk you pick a template design that fits your business and lowers your costs. Easy.
If you are a small business owner you should keep things simple. You want to make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for...too many features are confusing and will cost you more.
For any website you should have the basics...
Home Page: A nice clean "easy on the eye" page that gives customers a feel for your business within 30 seconds.
About Us Page: What makes you unique? What's your story? Customers like to know who you are and what you are about.
Services/Prices Page: What are you selling and how much does it cost?
Contact Us Page: Make it easy for me to email, write, phone or visit you in person.
Around half of your website visitors will be viewing you from either a tablet or mobile device. It is therefore vital that you ensure your website display is optimised for all devices (mobile, PC, laptop, tablet). This is not hard to do so should not cost you more to do this. At gozoot.co.uk it's included for free.
This is your bit, after all who knows your business better than you! the internet is a vast place so there is no point being a generalist, it makes more sense to be a specialist. Customers are looking for something they want and if you sell that something they want you need to make it easier for the search engines to find you. In the case of Joe's Shoe Shop all the content in the website should obviously be about shoes, where his shop is located, what the shoe designs look like and whatshoes are unique to Joe.
Nobody wants to read through pages and pages of writing on a website when shopping for something so pictures are a great way to make your site interesting. The pictures should grab the customers' attention and of course Joe should show pictures of his lovely shoes...the product he wants to sell.
Videos are another great way to grab a customers attention and can be easily be uploaded to sites such as youtube.com and vimeo.com then neatly displayed on your website. Nobody likes reading through pages and pages of text so they make your site "easier on the eye" and they are also a great way of improving your search engine optimisation (as long as they are labelled correctly e.g. "website design edinburgh" and aligned with your online strategy).
Customers like to know who they are dealing with, so tell them. What is your story? What experience and knowledge do you have in your chosen business and how easy it is to deal with you. The old saying "people buy people" still holds true on the internet.
A list of your products/or services and what they cost is also a must. Customers want to know the price of the goods they wish to buy and the simpler, more obvious your pricing is the better. You may wish to sell goods and services online and for a small additional cost gozoot.co.uk can set you up with an online shop making it secure and easy for customers to pay you.
If customers have questions, you have the answers. Or, if they want a quote from you it needs to be obvious and easy to get in touch. Your contact us page makes it easy for customers to find you, email or phone you. It makes sense to also display a map with directions on how to get to you.
The internet is a vast place, and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd...so make it easier for customers to find you by being a specialist, not a generalist. You need your own content that showcases the unique aspects of your business. With Joe's shoe shop the content will be about shoes telling clients what makes his shoes special and why they should buy them from him. Your website should reflect what you do in the most compelling way to attract customer interest.
When writing and telling people about your business you also need to consider some of the keywords or search terms people are using on search engines like Google. In the case of Joe's shoe shop it pays to take some time to find out what the most popular search terms are
and then weave these keywords into the body of content on your website. This then makes it easier for the search engines to display your website higher up in the search results which means more customers can find you. In turns out that for Joes Shoe Shop the most popular search term for him is "shoe shop North Berwick" followed closely by "North Berwick shoe shop". You can get help by using a keyword planning tool such as https://moz.com/explorer
If your website is your shop window then social media is the inside of your shop where you get to engage with customers. For Joes Shoe Shop, having his website linked and integrated with his social media accounts makes sense. This is where he can advise and update all his clients with his specialist knowledge and hopefully more people will start to recommend him to others.
Many people now value how other customers rate their experience with a business. if you have bad reviews the likelihood is new customers will be put off. Luckily Joes shoe Shop has lots of good customer feedback so in the website design process these have been displayed in a dedicated review section with links to his facebook page so new customers can see what a good chap he is.
Once your website is built, don't just leave it sitting out there. Website analytics monitor traffic to your website and allow you to know more about customers visiting your site...this new insight enables you to make better business decisions. For example Joe has noticed that 70% of customers visiting his website are from North Berwick and are female, yet only 40% of his stock is for ladies shoes. On viewing hi website analytics he decides to increase his stock of ladies shoes to satisfy the demand. At gozoot.co.uk
website analytics are always installed free of charge.
Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits. Joe decides that his most frequently asked question is "are you open on Sundays?" so his opening hours are displayed clearly on his contact us page and in his frequently asked questions page.
If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist! That's why you need a domain name. A domain name should reflect what your business is called. A domain name for Joe's Shoe Shop would be better as joes.shoeshop.com rather than Joe's.com because the domain name tells us what Joe's business does and is therefore easier for search engines to find. Contact gozoot.co.uk to get a new domain name or an existing one transferred
You want your website online and working 24/7 not crashing all the time. Customers want to know you are open for business, if you are not online they will simply go to someone else. Hosting costs are pretty low these days so its a good idea to make sure that your website is also fast to load and responsive.
What happens if something goes wrong online with your website? what if you want to make content changes, update your prices or add new features? What if the software needs upgraded? For a small business you don't want nasty hidden costs being added to your bill, so it pays to have a planned fixed budget for all this. At gozoot.co.uk we keep the design costs really low and the support costs low at only £7.99 per month. For this you get 24/7 technical support and everything else is taken care of by us. Absolutely no other nasty hidden costs!to
We love our customers, so feel free to call. We are based in Edinburgh and East Lothian
EH11 2DR, Edinburgh, City Of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom