Websites for SMMEs: The intricacies of a prominent online presence

Whether your business is a start-up or established, you need a competent internet presence. Read on for more on how to acquire a professional website.
It makes no difference whether you're a start-up, franchise or established community, small, medium or micro enterprise (SMME); the market doesn't care. What the market wants, is to see you, and since powerful industry presence is vital to a successful enterprise, you should remember that every facet of visibility must be entertained.

The internet exists as a prominent portal to just about everything; expanding ever outward, connecting the world and wrapping it safely within the all-encompassing web of instant access, heightened availability and an all-seeing eye.

It's obvious then that if you're in business, you need a competent digital positioning in the form of a website. Website building means you get your very own online commercial that represents you, your brand identity and what it is exactly, you offer. But how do you go about doing just this? Website building is not merely a matter of 'hey presto' and you're live, online. Involved is a network of intricacies that include design, user experience and interface functionality, not to mention, the non-exact but infinitely fascinating science of search engine optimisation, or SEO.

Getting Started

There are a number of ways to establish an online presence in the form of a dynamic, well-crafted, effective website. There are shortcuts, but it must be implored that cutting corners in website building and formation can only lead to dissatisfaction, and even increased costliness.

The Template Site

The Wordpress or Joomla option, although quick and easy, presents a problem in the absolute limitation; it's one of the shortcuts. Your site may, at some point, require specific customisation unique to what you require. Template sites hamper this, and severely hamper any chance of you making your website unique to your brand and yourself. Additionally, there may be, at some point, dissatisfaction with one or other area of your page and you will need the freedom to tweak and adjust your site, as you see fit.

The Brand Agency Way

Honestly speaking, to fully benefit from a site build that's only going to do good things for your brand, achieving the most desired results will come from a professional construction that takes a number of factors into consideration; factors that template sites embed and thus hide within the deception of convenience. A brand agency will look to include these factors:

Functionality

Depending on your needs, product and vision, every nuance of how your site will work, needs to be considered, pre-conceived and designed. This means that everything from how your content is displayed, to how the various buttons work, to whether or not you need a function linked to social media, will have to be considered and coded accordingly within the functions of your site.

Design

Similarly, pictures, what your header looks like, how big the buttons on your site are; these details fall into design, and design falls in to making certain your site represents your brand and identity most favourably.

Content

Everything from a video, to a page exclaiming the presence of an error, these all are considered content, and all have to be designed and built accordingly.

Furthermore, content must be generated in the form of copy. The words that populate your site are of profound importance. With copy that is well-crafted, eloquent and detailed, your brand message and intent will be projected to full effect. It's a vital step that cannot be overlooked, and done right, could mean the difference between a professional, well-crafted site conveying a message and direction for the user, and one which simply shows a collection of 'pretty pictures' and no real intent.

Hosting

Hosting and domain pertain to how and where your site will be positioned online. This will dictate cost, and will include the factors that lend to your site its own specialised place and identity online.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the science of ensuring a website ranks to the highest position on the results pages of today's various search engines. Because we know that users rarely bother going beyond page one or two, the skill is to ensure your site is there; and there are a number of ways to do this. This point could be the most important to increasing awareness online when building a website.

How It Works

The art of acquiring favourable website ranking is to research relevant keywords for content pertinent to that website's purpose. These keywords, skilfully inserted within each section of content, will work wonders in allowing the search engine being used, an easier way of categorising that web page and thus ranking it for relevance - a point referring back to the importance of copy mentioned above.

This SEO for SME practice is known as optimisation, and if done correctly, should increase traffic to a site, will convert that site into a living, selling entity, and guide the user looking for a product, to the relevant pages - in other words, your website. Most importantly, properly researched and inserted keyword-dense copy geared to site content, will move a site to the top of a search engine's results pages, ready for users to find your product conveniently and easily.

These techniques can only come with investment into the building of your site. They all fit together in a seamless formula that may look unnecessary in terms of work and funding, but they do harvest incomparable results in conversions from user visits, to user purchasing and engagement with your brand.

Contact WRAPPA Brand Consultancy today and make your brand work for you!

8 Aug 2012 10:27

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