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Starting a new business venture is an exciting time; you can put all of your ideas into action and are excited to see the response of others towards your latest idea, product or service. However, the biggest problem startups face is getting their business out there. Once finances are in place, employees are ready to work and you are all set to go comes the difficult bit – spreading the word.
Marketing is important to all businesses, but it is vital to startups. It is well publicised how businesses need to include search engine optimisation, social media management and email marketing into their marketing mix. However, before embarking on digital marketing and traditional techniques you must ensure you have something to market; you need to drive potential customers and clients to a website.
A website is a business’ online shop front; it shows off your brand, what you are offering and provides a place whereby all your marketing results are driven in the same way a physical store would but instead of people walking past and being enticed in, they are browsing the web and they stumble upon your website. If this is the case, why do so many people fail to appreciate the importance of a website for startups?
Startups Need a Website More Than Most
It is likely that as a startup you will be lacking in customers or clients. This isn’t a reflection of your business it is simply that people do not know you exist yet. The importance of a website for a startup is often overlooked, however:
- Websites are the first place someone will go to find out more about your business; without one, how will people find out who you are and what you do?
- If someone hears about a product or service you are offering, where will they go to find out more? Your website.
- With more and more people going online to shop, businesses without a website can miss out on a number of business opportunities.
- A website can be a blank canvas that allows you to show off your brand, create brand awareness and show people you mean serious business.
- A website reflects a company; a professional website can make a small startup appear as a much larger and successful company.
As a startup it is important that people find out about you and as the examples above show, a website is a key way to achieve this.
Good Websites for Startups
Though the importance of a website for startups is clear, it must be remembered that a website needs to also be well-made. A basic one-page website may have worked a few years ago, but with digital advances and even small companies having professionally created websites it is key that you are not left behind. All websites for startups should be:
- Responsive so they can easily be viewed on mobile phones and tablets.
- Fully branded with your business logo and colours.
- Informative, engaging and creative.
- Frequently updated with news, updates and promotional offers.
- Accurate; consumers will want accurate product information and full details of your services, without which they may take their business elsewhere.
- Personal. Startups need to stand out from others and bit of personality throughout the website is a good way to achieve this.
- Created with the business in mind; an overly corporate website will send the wrong message for a fun and young startup, and similarly a playful and skittish website will send the wrong message for a white-collar company.
Additionally, all websites should have a contact form and call to action buttons. This is especially important for new businesses and startups as it is likely that people will want to find out more about you before committing to parting with money and the easiest way to do this is via email or by picking up the phone.
A website is one of the most important things a startup requires to give it the best chance of business success. Websites are the future and with more and more people heading online, it is important that even the smallest and newest businesses keep up with the bigger players. Digital marketing is similar to building a house; a website is the foundation of all digital marketing and the other elements are the bricks, building upon an existing platform to create a strong and sturdy digital marketing strategy.