To get your business online, you just head on over to one of the many website hosting platforms, sign up, and away you go.
Well, not so much.
While it’s easy to create a website, it’s not so simple to create an effective website. By effective, we mean a mobile optimised, SEO focused, ad-incorporating selling machine. Each of those elements requires its own technical know-how – you could have a shot at it, but if you want to ensure you’re getting the best results, you need to make sure you know you’re on the right track.
That’s the value of paid websites.
While paying an expert may seem unnecessary, it comes with a range of benefits – and by not utilising such expertise, it could end up costing you just as much in time wasted.
Here are some key elements that you need to keep in mind.
1. Building an online store
Putting together a basic website is easy, but the best websites – the ones you go to regularly – don’t look like the basic templates, right? As technology has advanced, consumer expectations have increased, and the best performing websites, these days, incorporate a range of functionalities in a seamless, integrated fashion.
Like having your own online store.
Building an online store is a great way to boost your sales opportunities, but setting it up can be a nightmare. Think of it this way – on a regular blog post like this, you might add in a couple of links, which requires inserting a reference point to another website to guide the user to that resource.
With an online store, you have to account for variations in size, different images for each product, price changes, availability – there are any number of different connections you’ll need to make to each individual page. And this is before you factor in payment – an element you definitely do not want to get wrong.
If you’re looking to build an online store, seeking professional assistance will likely be worth the extra investment.
2. Mobile optimisation
Did you know that Google will penalise sites that are not mobile optimised, making it harder for them to appear in search results? Google wants to deliver the best user experience possible, and part of that these days is connecting them to efficient, effective pages that display properly on mobile devices.
For this reason alone, you need to ensure your site is mobile friendly. So where do you start?
This is another element where expert advice can help. You can definitely research the common focus areas for mobile optimisation and work to ensure you’re covering your bases, but SEO can get very technical. There may be elements you can’t even find that are restricting your search engine performance.
3. SEO focus
Putting aside mobile search, search engine optimisation (SEO) in itself is a key element. For most businesses, the majority of your referral traffic will come from Google search results, so it’s imperative that your business appears in those first listings.
As noted in the previous point, SEO can get highly technical – things that are totally obvious to experienced SEO practitioners will be completely lost on those not proficient in SEO requirements. If the code on your website is not structured correctly, if your sitemap is not up to date, if your robots.txt file contains errors – you see what I mean. Things can get very technical very fast – again, you could go it alone, but it may be worth calculating the cost, in terms of time spent, versus the up front investment in having a pro look at it.
4. On-site advertising
This is not for everyone, and it may not be applicable to your business. But your website can start earning you money.
By signing up for online ad providers like Google AdWords, you get paid for the amount of ads shown on your site. This won’t necessarily being in millions for most sites, but it can be a handy way to offset some of your costs and provide another avenue for income.
But again, setting up such a process can be difficult – and it’s not even available on most free website hosting providers. In order to set this up right, it’s worth considering professional input. Maybe the cost of setting ads up will offset the initial expenditure.
5. Ongoing support
The last key consideration in assessing whether you should pay for outside help when setting up your website is that most creation services also offer ongoing assistance.
As your website becomes a more integral part of your business process, it also become more valuable, and an outage or problem will end up costing you real money.
If you’re serious about building your online presence, you need to consider the ongoing impacts, and how you’ll need to ensure your service is always running at optimal efficiency.
These are just some of the reasons why you should consider seeking professional help to create your business website. As noted, there are many options available these days, and making a website is easier than ever, but the extra work involved in doing so can end up being costly. If you’re serious about making your website a central pillar of your strategy, it’s likely worth the investment.