My biggest recommendation to new business owners is:
invest in strong foundations that will support business growth.
In my mind, there are three non negotiables to running a successful business. These things should not be seen as a cost, but rather an investment that will pay dividends in both time and conversion for the life of your business. These are:
Brand – visual including color palette, typography and assets, and tone of voice.
Website and associated email address.
Imagery – professional photography and a bank of stock.
When starting a business, how you’re perceived is everything. A strong, clear, memorable and consistent presence is more important than ever to help you stand out from the crowd.
1. The big picture
You get less than two seconds to make it count, to grab attention and keep the viewer interested.
This is where a cohesive brand, a well thought out website, clear copy and beautiful imagery really shine. They say – we’re worthy of your time because you’re worthy of ours.
But although first impressions get you in the door, this is not where the sales journey ends. Your entire digital presence should flow like a well thought out story. From the opening sentence of your social channels, brand or homepage, to the final chapter of an order confirmation email. Or to get really serious – the automated follow up.
You could have the most beautiful photos, but if that Add To Cart button blends into the background, you won’t be making sales.
The details aren’t the details, they make the design.
2. Trust = Sales
Imagine for a second you’re purchasing a home. One of the biggest purchases of your life, it’s stressful and vital you get it right. Your real estate agent recommends a few local conveyancers to facilitate the transfer. You fire up chrome and these are the options you’re presented with:
goldcoastconveyancers.wix.com: The logo is a blurry rendition of papyrus, the copy is full of spelling errors and the pictures don’t load. You look for a contact page (there isn’t one) but you find an email address halfway down the page: [email protected]. It’s not hyperlinked.
morganconveyancing.com: The colours are crisp, the logo modern and clean, the copy concise. The top navigation clearly lists a Contact us page. On this page is a brief contact form, as well as office location, phone number and email address: [email protected]. It’s hyperlinked for your emailing convenience!
Enough said, I know which route I’m choosing.
3. Time is valuable
As a business owner we often end up wearing all of the hats. While I believe it’s important to have knowledge in all areas of business, I don’t believe it’s important to spend the time in the trenches working on all areas of your business. You should be playing to your strengths and your focus should be on advancement and delegation.
Spend time on the things that move your business forward.
I recently had a client who spent two full days trying to figure out how to connect her url to WordPress.org in order to build her site. Two. Full. Days. That’s without even starting to think about design, copy, imagery, mockups, build, SEO optimization, integrations like analytics and pixels, or testing!
If SQL Databases and FTP File Transfers don’t mean anything to you – outsource!
4. Just because you can…
Doesn’t mean you should! There are so many options for building your own drop and drag website these days. Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify, Go Daddy. Although these options can be great in some instances, I believe for most businesses, if not done well they can affect your brand negatively rather than positively. There are a few issues I commonly see:
Missing the basics. For example Google Analytics set up to allow data analysis and future improvement, or Pixels for future retargeting efforts.
Templates aren’t modified to suit your websites purpose or business needs. This means that your online presence becomes just another site in a sea of sameness.
Lack of thought surrounding User Experience (UX). As in example above, email is typed out, but not hyperlinked.
Not SEO optimized. This includes incorrect image file types, no page description meta tags, incorrect usage of headings etc. This means that your website isn’t capitalizing on organic searches that could be bringing you the exact clients that are searching for you.
Not responsive. Design should be mobile first and tested across various devices and screen sizes.
If you’re going down the path of building your own website, or have already done so, I offer site reviews starting from $400. These include strategy, UX and SEO checks, and 1:1 training on how to make updates/get the most out of your chosen platform. Get in touch to get started.
5. Future proof
There’s not much I like less than a redo.
Start out as you intend to go on.
Hiring a professional to think through your digital needs will save you time and reinvestment down the track.
I recently worked with a client who built their own Squarespace website and purchased an annual subscription, only to discover that they couldn’t use the platform to accept AfterPay.
With AfterPay boasting an average of 70% increase in retailer sales the business wanted to get on that train, and stat! However the catch was that they then needed to spend more time, and more money to have their website rebuilt on WordPress to enable this option.
Using a more complex Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, from the start, allows your business more flexibility and scope for growth as you go on.
Dip your toes in
If you’re ready to take the plunge, we’re ready to bring the sunscreen. Let us know what you’re considering, and we’ll let you know how we can help.