Top Tips on How to Establish a Website
With three out of five people in the UK employed by startups and SME businesses, they today account for more than 50 per cent of the turnover for all UK companies. Yet achieving instant success doesn’t come overnight; it takes hard graft and tenacity when getting a business off the ground. And even then, only 40% of startups succeed in the first three years. Here, Tom Coker-Jones, Customer Engagement Specialist at Fasthosts, provides his top tips for how to establish a website to ensure you give your business the best start possible.
Without question, taking the plunge to start a new business is one of the most exhilarating yet daunting things you can do.
When you’re first trying to get your business off the ground, it can also quickly feel overwhelming with not enough time to dedicate to crucial elements such as marketing. A survey by CB Insights found that 28% of startups had fallen by the wayside either due to poor marketing or ignoring their customers.
So how can businesses avoid this happening, and importantly how can they ensure that if they grow exponentially, they can keep up with demand?
Here are my top tips for getting ready for success.
A big issue for start-ups is that scalability and the future is often something that isn't considered in the early days of launching a new business. Thinking about your online presence by starting out on a small web hosting package is a sensible idea, but you should also consider your path forward.
For example, is your web hosting package easily upgradable? Are you keeping your website up to date (WordPress version, PHP, etc) to make transitions easier?
Research the platforms and options to get a good start - WordPress is usually a sure bet, but would a website builder be better for you?
What’s more, be ready to adapt. You might have a very solid opinion of what your site should be, but if it's not having the desired effect then you need to be ready to accept that and make changes.
Do Your Research
Next up, even if you have a clear vision for your site, look at your "competitors" to see how best to compete for attention online. See what works and what doesn't.
Learn from their mistakes and adapt their best bits.
Ringfence Your Domain
Take advantage of domain offers – this can be great for SMEs starting out. With costs sometimes starting from as little as £1, this makes it very simple and easy to secure your brand's domain name and takes the element of risk out of the equation.
It also makes it easier to secure multiple domain names and protect your brand (securing the .com version of your .co.uk domain).
Test, Test, Test
Once your site is built, get feedback. Is it easy to navigate? Are visitors ending up where you want them to be?
Sit your friends and family down and ask them to do something that you'd want users to do on the site (buy something, get to a certain page, etc).
If they can't or it's taking them a long time to get there, have a think about your design from a UI/UX perspective.
Down the road you'll be able to see this data through your analytics, but you won't get that information right at the start and it's good to get an idea before you go live.
Get SEO Ready
Get going with SEO right from the start.This is incredibly important, and the earlier you get it sorted in the website’s life span, the sooner you'll see the returns on that time investment.
The benefits of good SEO compound over time, so make use of any tools available to make sure you are starting on the right foot.
Thankfully there are a range of tools available to get a head start with this, both free and paid – for example, our Online Marketing Suite provides SEO tools alongside a range of other useful features. You can also use tools like Google Keyword planner, Semrush and Moz (amongst many others).
To help businesses, Fasthosts is creating a series of handy instructional guides, to provide guidance for anyone looking to get their website off the ground. Customers can find topics from getting their website built and optimising their website, to getting the site visible via SEO.
It will be an ever-evolving platform where Fasthosts will offer latest tips, tricks and tools useful for those getting their website going.