In 2019, it’s surprising to see that many business owners are missing out on potential customers simply because they don’t have an online presence. In fact, only 36% of Hong Kong’s small businesses currently have a website, according to our Global Entrepreneurship Survey conducted earlier this year. The survey also found that 35% of Hong Kong’s small businesses rely solely on social media platforms like Facebook for their online presence.
It makes little difference what type of business you are in or where it’s located, having your own website that effectively communicates your story to potential customers can be essential for success in today’s digital world. If your company does not have a website yet, and you thinking about getting started, here are three key steps to help you get started building your website.
Plan your website
As you get started thinking about your company’s website, it is helpful to create a plan of what you want your website to do for your business. Mapping your way to the final design and content via a well thought out plan can help raise your chances that your website will achieve your goals. The first step is to clearly define your goals for the website. Be sure they are realistic, measurable and align with your business’s mission. Attainable goals give you a way to track your company’s success and clearly defining your goals ahead of time can make it easier to connect with your target audience.
Next, it’s essential to know your audience. It’s best when you target potential customers closely aligned with your business’s market. Tailoring your content and language on your website, to your audience’s needs, helps you to encourage your target audience to purchase, subscribe, and share with friends.
Building a brand and developing a strong brand identity takes time. When planning your website, consider choosing a domain name that best fits your business and reflects your brand. Today, you also have the option to consider the new geo-and industry-specific domain extensions that can strengthen your domain name and email address to more perfectly represent your company and brand.
Build your website
After you have worked through the planning stage and have the fundamentals nailed down, you can start considering tools to build the website, such as a website builder or WordPress. Using website tools for example, you can simply add pictures, customise pages, integrate with Facebook, add email and even build the site on your mobile device within an hour. It also helps to optimise your site for search engines to help improve your company’s ranking. It’s easy to use, and requires little to no technical knowledge, which is a great way to start a website.
Managed WordPress is another option, especially if you’re looking for more customisation on your website. Whilst you don't need to learn coding, there are thousands of plugins and widgets available to boost functionality. WordPress is a great solution for your business website if you’ve got the time to tackle the slight learning curve.
Improve SEO ranking for your website
Once you have launched your website, working to build a strong online presence helps to reinforce your brand and better showcase what you offer to your target audience. SEO is the process of increasing web traffic to boost your website’s ranking when it is indexed by search engines like Google. This ranking helps categorise your site and display it in relevant search results. Customising your website can help improve its organic search results ranking, making your business easier to find when potential customers search for products and services related to your business.
A few steps you can take to help improve your website SEO ranking includes: using metadata and alt tags, publish relevant content and update your site regularly to make it more link-worthy. Consistent use of keywords is an example of how you can improve SEO with minimal effort. Keywords and phrases about your business in your web content make it easier for people to find your site via search engines. The aim is to “speak your target audience’s language” – know what words and phrases they are searching for and optimise your content to make it easier to find your site.
A strong online presence, starting with a website, can be a guide to helping your business grow
No matter what business you are in or how niche your business is, a well thought out and professional looking website can help your company get found online and let customers know your business exists. It can also help position you as a thought leader in your industry. Ultimately, having a strong online presence can help your company create and maintain brand visibility that connects you with your targeted customers, builds credibility for your company and brand and can help your business expand and grow.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Hongkong Business. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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As Regional President at GoDaddy, Roger is on point to build a market-leading position for GoDaddy in the Region by delivering compelling end-to-end experiences supported by world-class go to market activities offering SMB online solutions and platforms.
Prior to GoDaddy, he spent 6 years at Yahoo where he last served as Vice President of Product Management, led PM and Design teams for Asia across Media, Search, e-Commerce, Mobile, Partnerships, and Custom Solutions.
He has over 20 years of professional experience in Asia & US, focused on internet product development, marketing, consumer hardware, and telecom. His previous leadership experiences included Technical Director at AT&T/SBC Communications, and led product development of consumer laptop group at Dell with annual billion dollar product revenue.
Roger graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, double-majored BA degree in Computer Science and Economics.