According to a survey from Nielsen Online and WebVisible, only 44% of small businesses have a website. The survey of nearly 4,000 U.S. Internet users found that 63% of consumers / small business owners turn to the Internet first for information about local companies and 82% use search engines to do so. “The Great Divide” makes the case that small business owners need to have an online presence.
A website keeps your business open all the time, it is working for you even when you are not open. It needs to be done professionally so your customers, business partners, and even investors look at your business seriously. The visitor needs to be able to find the information quickly on your company, products or services. If it has been years since your site was designed or worst you do not have a website at all, make this an important item on your communications plan.
Here is an each approach to putting a website plan together.
- Gather all information about the company like full name, address, phone/fax/toll-free numbers, domain name you own or desire. A brief description about the company as well as who your target audience is.
- Define the websites’ purpose. Is it to sell products, promote your service, provide information, or promote a cause? Do you want to promote your business nationally or globally?
- List your top five competitors and their website address, if known.
- Begin to outline the sites’ organization and design. How many pages do you think you need? List them if possible. What is your expected timeline? Do you see video, audio or animation as part of the design? Do you need add-on modules for databases, e-commerce, news feeds, surveys, site searches, or user name/passwords? Differentiate the outsource from in-house functions. Who is supplying copy? Design? Programming?
- Describe your search plan. Do you need search engine marketing? Is it natural or paid? Besides the home page, are there any underlying pages that need unique SEO development? For keyword development, list phrases that would describe your industry or target audience. Besides the major three search engines, list any industry sites that you are aware of.
- Think about your hosting and maintenance needs. Do you need hosting, uploading, or ongoing maintenance? Will you need changes on a daily, monthly, quarterly or annual basis?
As an advertising agency, Brigham & Rago is here to help businesses develop powerful marketing communication vehicles. Your website is an important part of your communication plan. We will treat it as such. This website plan can help your company organize this promotional online project’s needs and goals.
Call 973-656-9006 to set up a meeting to discuss your website plan. We look forward to putting an estimate of costs together and working with your company to help you meet your business objectives. Visit our online portfolio to see examples of work we’ve created for our clients.
“The Great Divide” study is available for download at www.thegreatdivideonline.com.