Ten years ago the internet was a very different environment to the one we have today, and ten years ago I built a simple online shop. I didn’t make the website keyword-focused, did no off-site marketing and it looked basic. In spite of that I sold a lot of units – such was the extent that demand overtook supply in virtual space. You did not require a sales strategy, you did not require ongoing marketing and updating, you just needed to publish a simple website and you were in the fast lane of commerce.
Flash forward to today and the internet is a vast, interactive, competitive, commercial beast. Today – if you are serious about setting up a website for a business, there are no shortcuts and there are no easy wins like there used to be. So many startups are not up to speed when it comes to the level of investment needed to maintain a serious website that intends to demonstrate growth in sales and stature.
The confusion remains because there are signs to say otherwise. For instance, free website templates are readily available, as is ‘dirt cheap’ hosting. People designing websites for less than the market rate appear attractive on paper, but don’t always deliver to the brief or expectations – I have seen this so many times.
This is perhaps the reason why websites on the internet are growing exponentially in number and the reason so many business websites simply fail after an obligatory period of floundering.
According to Alexa, there are over 180 million active websites and Google says the internet has over 30 trillion individual pages. Type in a query for a service or product on Google and the return of potential sites can be in the millions – so getting in front of a customer has become harder and more challenging than ever.
To befuddle those fighting for that edge, the rules of SEO are often changing, although quality websites, thankfully, are now more likely to rise above the ones trying to trick search engines. As this is now a buyers’ market – if your page doesn’t look right, isn’t instantly easy to navigate or has no obvious value proposition, a high bounce rate is guaranteed, which translates to no sales.
Today if you are going to set up a website for business – whatever that business is – you need to consider investing in the following:
Find out what the key considerations are on the next page.