In the digital age, the physical act of putting a business website online is easier than ever. This simplistic summary belies the true complications, however, in creating a digital presence that accurately reflects your business’s feel and goals. This can make what is otherwise a basic proposition a confusing web of ideas, where finding the right direction is much harder than building the site itself. With that in mind, some key concepts can help businesses establish their online presence if the right considerations are given first.
From a Starting Position
Before looking at the specific aspects of a website, you first need a platform on which to build. This can help give context to your eventual creations, letting you know how wide and tall your website can eventually become. Managing this step is, fortunately, also the easiest. Free domain hosting services stand among the best in the modern age, with features like advanced security monitoring, automatic setup, and 99.9% uptime meaning a stress-free starting position. Scalable and simple to understand, finding a service to give you all this is a must.
Maintaining Brand Consistency
When beginning the design phase of your online presence, foremost in your mind should be the idea of brand consistency. Though the possibilities of the internet might make you want to strive for a unique and progressive design philosophy, stepping away from your brand’s core visual elements is going to be a recipe for failure. Both returning and new visitors need to know that your website and your physical location and are the same not just in what they offer, but also in terms of goals and attitudes.
Working from a Template
Once you have a starting ideal to strive to, it’s time to find which patterns are the most relevant. As with brand consistency, the steps taken here need to highlight your physical brand aesthetic and reflect your unique selling positions. This doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch though, as website templates can narrow down options while still leaving room for customisation.
Of course, narrowing down a template in itself can be a challenge, and that’s where searching out contemporaries and competitors can come in. See what others do for their layouts that work, modify or ignore the elements which fail, and your website will excel because of it.
Taking a Specialised Approach
With some design progress and perhaps even a little implementation under your belt, you then need to work on more specialised aspects. What can you do to step outside the norm, to give something that others don’t? For some websites, a blog to keep customers updated with all the most recent additions could be the right fit. In others, specials or competition pages might go long way for achieving long-term engagement: it’s just a matter of finding your unique strengths.
Integrating Social Media
At the point where you have a set direction and some leg-work behind you, you next need to think about how to tie your work into social media. For those who already have a social media presence a consolidated and centralised set of graphical ideas should be leaned on. For anyone without social media pages, making the right choice in which avenues to pursue is key.
Facebook is a good starting point for all businesses. With around 3.2 billion active users, this website is the most well-rounded in terms of finding an audience, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. If your business includes heavy visual components, such as selling speciality goods or working as a repair service, then Instagram or YouTube could also be strong contenders. On the other hand, if rapid updates and specials are something you wish to pursue, then Twitter could be worth examining.
Looking at the direct design, this is why it’s best to leave social media for later on in the website creation process. Social media has strict templates on what graphical components users can modify, and you’ll want all of these to mirror your base website design. While operating separately from your main site, you’ll want to maintain the same level of consistency to social media as your website took from your physical premises.
The final steps of total integration of your business webpage and ideas can take some time, but remember implementation isn’t your final goal. Rather, every step along the way is a testing ground, and this is just as true when your website goes live. Ongoing experimentation and analysis of performance metrics are always going to play an important part in staying successful in the digital sphere. This is especially true for social media, where it can take time to build a solid connection-base. It may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little experience, you might be surprised at how streamlined and rewarding the process becomes.