It is a common feature in Nigeria to see businesses not having websites, the ones that have do not maintain them. Your business website is a representation of your entire business on the world wide web. It should reflect the status and stature of your organisation, this is where vital information about your business can be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time.
A good and well managed website gives your business a boost, integrity, wider reach, global recognition and patronage resulting in additional profit. It is a portal through which additional stream of income is added into your business, so you cannot afford to neglect it.
It is quite unfortunate that this very vital tool for business in modern economy is not taken seriously here in Nigeria. It is a regular occurrence where information cannot be easily accessed from websites of businesses, Organisations, Government establishments, Examination bodies, universities etc.
To show the importance of having a good and functional website, firms like Phillips consulting had at a time given award to business organisations that have good and functional web pages in Nigeria. Businesses that maintain their website properly will always be at the top, no doubt about that.
Because of how important this is to your business growth in that in most cases majority of your business could be done online, I am prompted here to show you how to manage and maximise your website even if you are not an expert in web development. You really need to know what your business website should do for you.
Design and Host your Website Properly
The overall functionality of a website depends on how it is designed and hosted. The design of a website should be simple and easy to navigate through. Visitors to the site should find it very easy to access your site as quickly as possible. It makes no meaning having a flashy website with all the ‘wow’ factors in place and still it cannot be easily accessed.
While considering the aesthetic qualities of your site, its functionality should be taken seriously too. The best technology should be used for sites with heavy pictures and graphics. The hosting plan and space for the site should be one that accommodates the number of web pages, pictures, graphics, payment solutions and other features the site will contain. A properly designed and hosted site loads easily and faster when accessed. An expert should be involved here to assist in proper designing and hosting of your business website.
Add Good Content to your Website
The content of your site should be taken seriously, this is what brings visitors to your business. Visitors to your site will need quality, regular, fresh, hot, indepth and timeless information to keep them coming back for more. The number of visitors to your site determines how valuable your site and business will be. Good content also determines the depth the visitors will explore your site, the duration and frequency of their visit. Add quality content to your site because no one will want to visit a site that lacks good content. It is the regular eyeballs on your content that will add value to your website which will invariably impact on your business.
Update your Website Regularly
Many websites are left without being updated, it is not enough to have a website, the site should be updated regularly with fresh and current information about your business. A webmaster should be on hand to upload information on the site on a daily bases so that prospects wishing to do business with you can easily access your site from any where and get all the information they need even without coming to your office.
Maximise your Website
After you must have taken into cognisance all I have outlined above, it is now time for you to profit from your website. Like I said earlier, your website will bring additional business opportunities and income to you.
The main thing that brings value to your website is the number of people that visit your site, this is known as traffic. The number of eyeballs that pass through your site helps you achieve great online profit. Since traffic is what gives your site value, let us quickly look at simple and high leverage ways to drive traffic to it.
1.Embed your website address on your business card, letter-headed paper, all your advertising messages, stickers. Also create a signature file to attach to every e-mail you send.
2.Use free online tools (like forums, free stuff sites, press release sites etc.) to promote your site.
3.Register your site with major search engines like Yahoo, Google, MSN.
4.Advertise your website both online and offline using banner ads, classified ads, in-context links, e-zine ads, email rental lists, newspaper ads and other media.
Having got good traffic to your website, you can profit from it through:
The main product or service of your site: Using the e-marketing strategies earlier discussed in my previous articles, prospects will be attracted to the main product or service which you offer. This is the product or service around which your business website is built. You will make additional income by selling your service or product online.
Affiliate Programs: An affiliate program is an online joint venture between a marketer and a company that wants to promote their product. This is one of the easiest ways to make extra profit from your website. All you need do is to check for products that are related to the concept of your business which your prospects will also need, join the affiliate program and sell their product on your website for a commission. There are several affiliate programs on the internet, a famous one is that of Amazon.com, where Amazon.com provides a link to your site. If someone clicks on the Amazon.com link and buys anything, you will receive a commission for that.
You will also increase the profitability of your business through the advertising revenue that comes from your website. This is achieved when the traffic on your site is reasonable enough. The eyeballs passing through your website now becomes asset which you rent to other businesses. you can;
-Place banner adverts of other businesses on your website and get paid for anyone who sees or clicks on the banner.
-Sell classified ad space and in-context link space on your site
-You can join the advertising program of Google known as Adsense. Here, Google sends adverts to your website regularly through a code and pays you a certain amount of money per click or per search made on the adverts.
These simply steps of managing and maximising your website when followed properly, will improve your business in no small measure. Expert advice can also be sought at any point in time.
To your business success!