Short answer? Yes, your business needs a website. Whether you have just launched a new business or you have been around the business block, a website offers so many opportunities to you. Creating a website will open your business up to new markets, position you as an authentic expert in your field, and act as a lead generator. Below, we chat about the key ways having a website can improve your business and guide you through the basics of getting your new website up and running; what type of website you might need, how much it might cost and who can help you turn your digital dream into a reality.
Importance of a Website to a New Business
Your website takes you global. Having an online presence massively extends your market reach. Even if you’re not looking for world domination, having a website means many more people than those who walk by your store or hear about you from their friend can find you. A great website empowers potential customers to connect with you, understand the way you work and learn more about your services from wherever they are, at whatever time they choose. Your website doesn’t have trading hours, it’s always open to share your message with visitors.
Now that we’ve established how your website can help more people know that you exist, how can it be used to get them to like and trust you more? A website, when well created, is a wonderful place to showcase your brand values, personality and way of working. Use video content, testimonials, imagery, layouts and so much more to help potential customers establish an understanding of what it means to work with you, before they have even committed to stepping foot inside your store or office.
Are you thinking about getting a website for your business, but you don’t know where to begin? Let’s look at some of the primary types of websites you might want for your business.
Establish your online presence with a simple portfolio website. This type of website has simple functionality, it might include a gallery, blog and a simple contact form. You can use it if you are looking to showcase case studies, testimonials and information about your business online. A beautiful portfolio website will open your business up to wider audiences. This will also improve customer experience as clients can find lots of information about you online, without having to call or visit you. It can even be a great lead generation tool, as potential clients see your work in case studies and imagery while still in their research phase.
E-commerce Websites for New Businesses
Another common type of website for businesses is an e-commerce site. With an e-commerce website, visitors can purchase products or services through your site, process payments and even receive confirmation and receipts. E-commerce websites offer a wide range of reporting that tells you all about the transactions that have taken place. Integrate Google Analytics to your e-commerce website and you can track everything from which audiences are purchasing the most from your site, to which pages on your website are leading them to purchase. You might want to sell a product, like yoga mats, or a service, like an hour-long consultation. E-commerce websites open your business up to far wider-reaching opportunities as you can transact with people regardless of time or location.
The third type of website new businesses typically look for is a connect site. This type of website usually requires some additional functionality beyond a portfolio or e-commerce website. Some examples might include a restaurant owner who wants to integrate a reservation system, like Open Table, into her site so customers can book a table straight from the website into her system. Connect websites offer an increased level of functionality. They can really impact the way a business runs. We use this style of website for Nettl Academy, which means our partners around the world can be booked onto training courses, download course materials, watch pre-recorded videos and join live training sessions, all from one website.
What do Businesses Use Websites for?
When researching the type of website you will need, begin by identifying your goals for the site.
Some of our clients are sole traders, they don’t always have the capacity to answer questions or take enquiries over the phone. They promote their simple brochure-style portfolio website to potential clients. This way, the client can do more for themselves, and the owner knows that he isn’t missing potential clients while he’s working on a project.
Someone else might want to use their website to access a wider market, and need to sell online to facilitate this.
You might want to streamline the way your business operates. Rather than taking booking requests over the phone, via email and from walk-ins, a hairdresser might integrate their booking system to their website and have all bookings come in to the one place, rather than having to manually manage 3 different sources of bookings.
What Makes a Good Website for a Small Business?
If we’re creating a website for your business, we have a huge bank of free advice for you – from User Experience to Search Engine Optimisation, and so much more.
Your son’s friend, probably. Although we have heard more of those horror stories than we ever care to remember…
Nowadays, there are countless ways to get online depending on your proficiency, network and goals as a business owner.
Nettl teams create websites for local businesses everyday. Our studio teams work directly with you to get rooted in your business. That way, we are the people who build your brand with you, create your marketing campaigns, design your website and so much more. We cherish our relationships with our clients, and want their business to succeed, so nothing gives us greater pleasure than seeing a new business go live with their website.
What is the Cheapest Way to Make a Website?
Especially if you have just started your own business, a website can be a really daunting thought. At Nettl, we think your website should mould and grow with you.
Once we identify your primary goals, we will work together to find a way to get started. Sometimes, the end goal might be a multi-currency e-commerce site delivering globally and translated into 5 languages. Your starting point, however, might be a beautiful website that represents your brand and values and sells 25 simple products in 1 currency and 1 language. As a new business, you can use this to test the market. Identify any potential issues in your supply chain or processes and earmark your best sellers. As you grow, we’ll grow your website with you. Integrate more functionality, add new product lines, build in stages. The cheapest way to make a website is to start small and grow, think of it in terms of a minimum viable offer. What do you need to get started?
How Much Does a Website Cost?
Website costs vary depending on:
Size of the site (number of pages)
Functionality (do you need it to connect to something?)
Creative time we need to spend building it
Amount and quality of content you can provide versus what we need to create for you
Websites can start from a few hundred pounds and grow in budget as they grow in needs, according to the above list. The best thing to do, is consider your budget and goals, and chat to your local Nettl team to find a project that best fits your situation right now.
What Other Costs are Involved in Websites?
Aside from the cost of the actual website build, here are some other things you might need to factor into your budget. These might be bundled into your website build, charged on a monthly basis, or only recur every few years.
If your website was a shop on the high-street, this would be the name above your door. A domain is the name of your website and a big part of how people find you.
Your website was still that shop on the high-street, your hosting would be the rent and rates of the building that it is housed within. Website hosting is like the rent you pay for the space on the internet that houses your site.
An SSL certificate adds an additional layer of security to your site. Once upon a time, these were most pertinent for e-commerce websites who processed credit card details. In recent years, it has become the norm for websites to show the little padlock of security beside their url. SSL certificates offer increased security for users encrypting data captured by the site like contact form submissions. These certificates have also become a factor in the trust Google places in your site, and therefore the ranking it gives your site in relevant search results. SSL certificates are usually charged on an annual basis.
You might want to launch a care plan with your website. Every website, as we mentioned earlier, is alive and changing everyday. The creators of the plugins, themes and CMS that powers your website frequently release updated versions of these that have improved functionality, security or bug fixes. To maintain your website’s functionality and reduce security risks, your local Nettl team can provide a care plan for your site. We keep your website up-to-date and running on the most relevant versions of plugins, themes and CMS for you and provide a work report each month so you can see what’s been improved on your site.
SEO + PPC
Once your site is live, you’ll probably want to promote it to establish traffic sources. Search engine optimisation is a service in which our Nettl team completes a range of trusted, best practices to improve the relevance and trust Google places on your website, and thus, the ranking they give you in search results. Pay-per-click refers to ad campaigns that are based on a bidding system. Nettl will create ad campaigns to position your site in front of relevant searchers. SEO & PPC are available as standalone or combined digital marketing services, and typically charged on a monthly basis.
Don’t know where to start and looking for some help? Our local web designers and account managers offer free website consultations to help you identify your website goals and to map out a proposed project, just for you. Get in touch below to book a web consultation with your local Nettl team.