Building a new website can be a big step for a business. There are so many things to consider before you even call someone to help you. I find that most of my clients haven't really thought about their website (present or future). They come to me and say they know they need an updated website (which is an excellent first step!) but have no idea where to go from there. I am more then eager and willing to help, but here are some things you can consider on your own to help you prepare the best for a website that is going to make you, and your customers, happy.

1- Know Your Aims
Before you start on a web project, take some time to think about the purpose behind it. Consider whether you want to build awareness of your business in the local area, if you're looking to sell online, or if/how you want to distinguish yourself from your competition.

2- Your Audience
Make sure you know what people will be looking for when they visit your website. Think about who you want your site to appeal to.

3- Website Creation
Once you know what you want your website to achieve, and who it will be aimed at, you can start the creation.

4- Look and Feel
The point of your website isn't just to look nice. It must also send the right message about your business and what you're offering. 

5- Website Usability
The organization of the information on your website makes a big difference to the visitor experience. Think again about your audience and why they will be visiting your website. This will help you plan your website layout to make the user journey as easy and enjoyable as possible.

6- Website Accessibility
Make sure the web company you use builds your site to W3C accessibility standards. This ensures: 
       - people can access your site from different browsers
       - people with visual and physical impairments can access your content

7- eCommerce
Would you like to use your website to sell directly to the public? If so, you will need to build in eCommerce functionality.

8- Content
Content is one of the most important aspects of any website. This includes text and images, as well as rich media content (ex. video). Content is how your site communicates with visitors and will affect your position on search engines. 

9- Search Engine Optimisation
It's important to include the right keywords at strategic points in your section titles and content to achieve good positions in search engine results. Incoming links from other websites will also boost your ranking.

Having a clear understanding of the processes involved in creating a successful website will maximize your chances of achieving your goals. But don't let this article overwhelm you. If some of the talk is to "techy" or something you don't even know where to begin with, that's ok. We are here to help you. We would love to walk you through each of these steps. But even if you have a beginning understanding to some of these points, it can help us work better together to create a website you are going to love. 




A couple days ago, during my lunch time, I attended a really great Webinar put on by Social Media Today. It was all about how to make 'Word of Mouth' advertising work for you and your business. They focused on how this is done online now, through Spreadable Media. What is Spreadable Media?

Spreadable Media is:
- how people engage with brands in the digital age
- how people circulate content (your AUDIENCE does this through social networks)

How people hear about you is changing. They see you online, in their friends news feeds or mentions. Customers used to have to rely on looking for you in static places, such as the newspaper, but now anyone can stumble upon you without even meaning to look all the time. Is this a good thing for your company? It sure is! Check out this Infographic which shows impacts on a consumers decision making process. 

92% of consumer choice comes from people they know. Only 33% - 47% of consumer choice is impacted by typical advertising schemes, ads on TV, mobile phones, etc. However, top decision impacts come from what other people are saying about you. Has this convinced you that your business should have an online presence yet? Specifically a presence on Social Media. You no longer need to be pushing your product as much, you will have 'Brand Advocates', your friends and loyal customers, selling your product for you. 

What is the best way to get people attracted to your Social Media sites and sharing your information?
1- Make sure your content is informational. Share helpful stuff.
2- Create content that is social. Create conversations, invite your consumers in to help elevate your social status.
3- Design your content so that it is emotional. It should provoke emotion in your audience to help motivate them to want to share your content. 
 * What is key for your content is knowing your audience. Know who is reading your content and make sure you are directly appealing to them and their needs. * 

Ultimately, remember that marketing isn't sales, it's a service. Serve your audience and they will be talking about you wherever they can.