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Startup & Small Business Website Fundamentals 1 of 3

First in a three part series of blog posts.

Website planning

Perhaps you already have a business that needs a small business website or maybe are you are thinking of having a new startup business website. You may have some good ideas about what you want the site to do for your business, how things might work, what the design might look like. All are very relevant.  As web developers we will be very interested in those ideas, We will interpret your ideas and reflect them in the design and layout or the site.

Naturally the website design is very important. The site should reflect your brand well and get your message across clearly to your visitors, whether you are building an e-commerce website or a brochure or services web site. If you have your branding in place before approaching your web designer then this can usually be a help.

First step: define your goals

The first step in constructing any business website is to define your goals. Yes… world domination you say!… well maybe not just yet… but you still need proper planning before you can achieve even the most modest goal. Why? Because without proper planning in the area of things like keyword research you will have far less impact on the search engines.
For most small business websites that goal means encouraging their visitors to pick up the phone and call them or contact them via email, a lead. In the case of an e Commerce website the goal would be to make a sale. All these actions have a starting point leading to the site visitor acting on what they see or read on the web site when they visit.

Second step: discover your keywords

For many website visitors the journey often begins through a Google search for something. So how do you get people looking for your goods or services to your website? Keywords. Keywords are words or phrases used in searchers on Google, Bing or Yahoo to find things online. Research and planning in defining your niche online is vital if your site is to be seen by potential customers or clients. Choosing, refining and deploying the correct keywords in your site structure is vital. Most business owners have a pretty good gut feeling what these words and phrases might be. The question is, is anyone looking for them? The next question is, how strong is the competition for the keywords on say, Google?

Keyword research is best done in consultation with someone experienced in the area to define attainable goals. Once the words and phrases you plan to target are agreed on. Both you and your web designer will have a much clearer idea of where your project is going and what the structure of your website is going to look like. This leads us nicely to the next in the series of posts about the site structure and navigation.

First in a three part series of blog posts.

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