The days of advertising with only billboards and word of mouth are over. You need a website in order to attract customers to your business, even if you don’t have any wares to sell online. People will use your website to figure out your hours of operation, to get contact information, to find out what you sell and what’s available, as well as to leave comments and more. Having a website makes you look more professional and approachable to clients, but not everyone knows web design.
That means there’s two schools of thought to creating a website for your business. The first is to hire a professional web designer; this is a great option if you have the resources to do so. Professional web designers can often program features into your website that might not be available with a basic web hosting service. Web designers will also have a good eye for digital media design, which is incredibly important for getting the right responses from customers. Information hierarchy helps clients navigate to where they need to go, and good structuring can help guide their eyes to the most important features of your website.
For those who don’t have the cash to fund an entire web design team, never fear! There’s a variety of low-cost to free options for web design, including SquareSpace and Wix; these sites use templates so that the information is already well organized; it’s up to you to upload content, but otherwise, the coding elements are more or less handled for you. Even though these services make it much easier to design your website, there are a few elements you want to keep in mind during the design process. The Government of Canada has conveniently listed 8 essential elements that should be on every website; the list is certainly worth perusing.
When creating a website, it’s important to keep your overall objectives in mind. Are you going to need a webstore? If so, it’s probably a good idea to have a call to action front and centre to get people to buy items from the store. If you don’t have a web store, imagine to yourself why your clients would be on your website. If you’re a restaurant, having your hours of operation and menu prominently displayed is a good idea, along with an about us. If you’re a not for profit, your about us should be more prominently featured, as well as a call to action to donate.
Getting a good website up and running is really important, and if you find you don’t have the money to do so, you should consider what your expenses are. Sometimes, you could be saving a lot of money by getting an efficient Winnipeg accountant to help you find tax breaks and write-offs you didn’t know about; it’s worth considering!