Today, the entire world is online. No matter what size your business is, what industry you operate in, or where you are located, it is vitally important that you have some form of online presence.

Consumers and potential clients today expect to be able to find anything and everything online, and failing to have an online presence, even a basic one, could mean that you lose out.

Once upon a time, setting up a website, filling it up with content, and launching your own blog was a difficult and time-consuming task. Right now, it easier than it has ever been. You don’t need any specialist knowledge or skills to hit the ground running with your own site.

Consumers and potential clients today expect to be able to find anything and everything online, and failing to have an online presence, even a basic one, could mean that you lose out.

If you are not yet online with your own website and accompanying blog, it’s time to get to it! The benefits far outweigh the costs both in terms of time and money, and you can get one up and running in less time than you may think.

On this page, I am going to demonstrate to you how simple it is to create your own website for your business and utilize the power of blogging to build authority within your industry from ground zero.

But First, A Little About Me

For almost ten years, I have been working as a digital marketing consultant and website designer. Although I am based in Norfolk, my clients are based all over the world. Throughout my time working as a digital marketing consultant, I have had a guiding hand in hundreds of projects that have ranged from website redevelopment jobs for small businesses to producing entire SEO strategies for large corporations.

My clients operate in a variety of industries and are of varying size. From small start-ups to household name brands, I have worked closely with all types of company to help them stand out above all the noise on the web and get noticed.

This page should serve as a very basic introduction to website development for small businesses, why it is important, what benefits are to be had from being present online, and how you can go about doing it for yourself. Anybody can develop their own website and if you are willing to put in the effort, there is no reason why you won’t succeed.

If you need any help, guidance, or would simply like to ask a question, feel free to get in touch with me. I am always here to help you achieve the best results possible with your available resources.

How I Can Help

Myself and my team are here to help you out whenever you may need it. Whether you simply have a question or would like to enquire about our website development services, feel free to contact us and begin the process of getting on the right track.

Together, we have several years’ worth of practical experience in working with small and large businesses in areas such as website design and development, content production, digital marketing, and SEO. The processes, tools, and methods that we use have proven to be successful and have delivered measurable results for hundreds of satisfied clients.

My team and I are here to help you out with any problems you are facing or any questions you may have. Whether you have never even considered SEO in the past or have had a stab at it yourself, we want to help you get on track.

Between us, we have several years’ of practical experience working with small and large businesses in areas such as SEO, website design, content production, and digital marketing, amongst other things. I am confident that our processes, tools, and, methods are among some of the best in the digital marketing industry.

We will work closely with you to assess your situation and apply a methodical process that will help you build up a strong and modern online presence that is ready to capture the attention of your target market.

If you are interested in this or anything else, contact me to find out how my team and I can be of assistance.

The Rise of Digitisation in Business

In the business world, digitisation is a hot topic and has been a rising trend for several years, but what exactly does this mean?

To put it simply, digitisation is the process of moving your business presence and its assets from the physical world to the online world, often to the cloud, in a digital form. Lots of companies are making the transition from offline to online, and indeed most already have.

Companies have long-since recognised the several benefits of transitioning online. Easier management, more streamlined operations, cheaper operating costs, and scalability, in addition to being able to access consumers easier, are all contributory factors.

It is new technologies that have powered this shift. Companies are now able to be more efficient and strategic by moving online, and this trend of business digitisation is set to continue increasing as smaller businesses begin to appreciate the benefits of moving online and capitalise on them.

Online, the possibilities are endless. Workflow improvements, remote working, document management, and daily backups of your important data and other business assets are just a few of the things being used by businesses that have transitioned online.

That’s Great, But Do I Really Need a Website?

Yes! Is the short answer.

Several studies and statistics by the likes of Deloitte, The Economist and PwC, including others, have shown that businesses that opt to not have a presence online in the form of a website are far more likely to fail and face bankruptcy.

The reality of running a business in the 21st century when the world is powered by digital technologies is that you need to prioritize being online and do a good job of it. There’s a reason why large companies now have teams dedicated to managing their online presence. From web development teams to individual employees tasked with piloting Twitter pages, it’s all done for a reason.

Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons you need a website.

1. Consumers Won’t Consider a Business Without a Website

Studies have indicated that as many as 30% or more consumers won’t even consider transacting with a business that doesn’t have a website. Your website is your primary marketing asset in the digital age and regular people now spend hours each day online.

At this stage, consumers expect companies to have a website and not having one is a sign that you’re not serious, professional, and could be a scam.

2. Consumers WILL Look for You Online

And these people are potential customers. Your business should always be in a place where your target market is, and your target market is online. Most online experiences begin with Google and other search engines and this is where potential customers will find you. There’s a reason why most companies go to great strides to have a modern website that is fully optimised for search engines.

With billions of Google searches performed per day, there’s somebody searching Google right this moment looking for a product or service you offer. If you don’t have a website, your competitor is going to steal your business!

3. People Want to Engage with Businesses Online

Consumers actively search out businesses online to engage with them. I’m not going to go into the psychology behind this here, but over 60% of consumers have been found to look for a company’s website with the sole purpose of engaging with them.

That’s a huge chunk of your target market you’re missing out on engaging with when you don’t have a website.

4. Your Website Shows Consumers Who You Are

In a world where consumers are more switched on to cybersecurity and privacy risks, people often look for a company’s website to learn whether a company is legitimate or not. In addition to this, they also want to know who you are, what you offer, and how you can be contacted.

Consumers that are unable to verify a company as legitimate and offering what they need by searching for them online are unlikely to go any further.

5. Your Website Helps You Stay Competitive

Unless your product or service is incredibly unique and niche, you will have competitors operating in your industry. One way to beat them and stay ahead is by having a modern and responsive website that is fully optimised for search engines.

If you can rank higher than your competitors in search engine results, you are far more likely to beat them in the digital space.

Setting Up Your Own Website

This is where the magic happens.

Setting up your own website takes time and effort, particularly if you have zero experience. Whilst it is always recommended that you consult a professional website designer and developer such as me for the very best results, there’s no reason why you can’t give it a go yourself.

In fact, I personally encourage you to do this; it is the best way to gain some valuable knowledge that you can use to benefit your business in the long-term.

When it comes to setting up your company’s website, you have three distinct options: 1) use a website builder, 2) use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, or 3) code and self-host your own website.

1. Use a Website Builder

Once upon a time website builders were, to put it bluntly, rubbish! Today, though, they are actually pretty good and are great options for a variety of businesses, particularly smaller start-ups that are selling a physical product online or are looking to get the ball rolling with a new business idea.

Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace are all popular choices that make creating modern and responsive sites a breeze. Whilst they are less powerful than CMS’ and bespoke websites, they make great solutions for basic sites where you only intend to display basic information and have a blog or store.

2. Content Management Systems

WordPress and Drupal are two popular CMS’. Different CMS’ will offer different functionality, specs, scalability, and require differing amounts of existing knowledge. WordPress, for example, is the simplest CMS and requires little pre-existing knowledge whereas Drupal requires a lot of technical input.

WordPress is a great solution for a starter website and there are several plugins such as WooCommerce that can be used to add eCommerce functionality. With a library of said plugins and pre-existing free and premium themes, there’s a reason why over a quarter of the internet’s websites are powered by it.

3. Bespoke Website Development

Nothing compares to having your own tailor-made website. It is the best way to set you apart from everybody else and have complete creative control. However, to do this yourself you really need to know what you are doing. Website developers spend years in training and education to build bespoke websites for businesses.

In the long-term, custom-made sites provide you with more authority, more room to grow, and an opportunity to stand out amongst your competitors. Although they can be expensive, they are a worthy investment that can deliver huge returns.

Content, Blogs, and Other Website Additions

It’s great having a basic website that tells your target market who you are, what you do, and gives them a place to interact with you and buy your product. This alone, though, won’t drive the results you deserve and can achieve.

One of the most powerful and simple ways to truly stand out online when you have a website in place is to fill your site up with quality content, articles, and blog posts that are optimised for search engines and demonstrate to your target market that you are the #1 authority within your industry.

Blogging as a trend stretches back to the 1990s and it has been a staple of the internet since its inception. You have probably heard the term “influencers” a lot and nine times out of ten these people gained notoriety through blogging or vlogging.

Although it is not necessary to have a blog in place, there are several reasons why you should. Blogging is very simple to get going with and it only requires a little bit of your time each day. One or two blog posts per week can make a huge difference, especially when they are of a high quality and demonstrate to your target market that you are the best at what you do.

There are lots of blogging platforms to choose from such as WordPress that can be seamlessly integrated into almost any site, and website builders such as Squarespace even come with their own blogging functionality.

When Should I Consult a Professional?

This is a decision only you can make.

When it comes to a project as huge as building your company’s website from the ground-up, it is always recommended that you outsource the work to a specialist such as me.

As a digital marketing professional with web development experience supported by a team of industry specialists, I am in the strongest possible position to build you a website from scratch that is designed for the modern day that is fully optimised and will let you hit the ground running.

It’s not always necessary, though; it highly depends on your own skills, circumstances, and needs, and this is only something you can assess for yourself.

After all, there is no reason why you can’t build your own website with a website builder or content management system if you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn the basics and make mistakes. Website development is very accessible (we’ve all heard the stories of child entrepreneurs who learned to code!) but it does take time.

If you are looking for a quicker solution and would like to see the very best results possible, consulting a professional is always your best option. For example, I have spent years working with clients operating across the world to create and optimise their websites.

Additionally, your time is valuable when you are running your own business, particularly if you are planning on digitising, and would be better spent on other projects.

If you want to give development a go for yourself then I encourage you to do this. It’s always a good idea to develop skills that are key to your website’s success. Knowing the basics of web development is infinitely useful even if you outsource the work to somebody else.

You would be surprised at just how much you can do in terms of ongoing website maintenance with even the most basic skills and web development knowledge.

Where to Go from Here

If you currently do not have a website (or have a website that was designed during the 90s!) you need to take action. If you don’t, you will struggle to remain competitive in a digital world where all your competitors are heading online.

If you have any questions or are interested in my services, please contact me for an obligation-free discussion about your next steps.