I love it when a client says to me “I just want a website”. “I just want a website that has 3 to 4 pages on it”. I know what my client is asking for. My client wants a ‘no frills, no hassles’ website giving the company an online presence.
The next thing, I hear is “I just want my customers to be able to able to view my products and services and be able to contact me”. “Can you do that?”. “Sure, I can.” I respond, “but a website is not an island, it is part of a much bigger picture”.
“What do you mean?” says the client.
In this blog, I would like to explain the bigger picture, the benefits and my answer.
Would you buy a Tesla, just because it is known to be very economical? Maybe, maybe not. Irrespective of the decision you make, if you did some research prior to purchasing a Tesla, then you will know that Tesla vehicles are battery powered, they are pioneering the mass production of luxury autonomous vehicles, and these vehicles have exceeded some of the highest safety standards set in the world, and they are not just economical.
My point is, you can have just a website, but the platform which hosts your website is very sophisticated. 33% of the world’s internet websites use WordPress. This blog will discuss WordPress and its capabilities that are specifically designed for you to make the most of them.
Before I go on… if you are planning on launching a website or you already have a website, and it’s been sitting on the “shelf” like your gym card, then this blog is for you. If you know somebody struggling to get traction with their business or website, email this blog to them.
Purchasing your own hosting, then installing WordPress is a good start. So, let’s start here.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Very simply (under)stated, WordPress (WP) is a very powerful content management tool built with social media and blogging in mind. Used correctly, yes, you can make just a website.
WP is constantly updating its environment with new security patches. WordPress is well engineered to stand up to cyber-attacks. That doesn’t mean you must be coy about your security. By following the 5 minutes set up of WordPress and using plugins, such as Loginizer and Akismet, will improve your security and reduce spam to your website.
WP gives you a default theme, even if you don’t initially choose one. Editing your chosen theme isn’t very difficult to do, either. If you need assistance, there are forums, communities, YouTube videos and blogs explaining how to get started.
The theme you choose must allow for products to be added to it if you intend on making an online store. Because of the extra layer of security, the Divi theme is very capable of supporting e-commerce.
I wrote previously about how not all themes are not equal and this is something you need to be aware of. We use the Divi Builder and Divi theme, and one of the reasons we use it to build our clients websites is because its extra layer of security built on top.
Divi is also made with SEO and PPC in mind which makes it very powerful.
If your plan is to set up an e-commerce store, then you will need a plugin such as BigCommerce or WooCommerce which stores all your website’s product information. These plugins will facilitate all the financial transactions between your website and your online merchant, and facilitate all the transactional emails needed to send to your clients.
Best of all, you will be able to view your entire store all from your dashboard.
But that’s not all WP was built to do.
WP can provide you with financial intelligence, social media insights, SEO rankings, and much more analytical data that you require.
Data is gold! If you have data, then you have a lot of power, but are you using this power correctly?
Analysing your data can give you an in-depth view of your website’s sales. Understanding the data and using it effectively, can vastly improve your sales. You can also better identify your target market for each product you are sell.
Use Facebook’s Pixel, Google Analytics and other performance analytical plugins, such as Pingdom, for your website. Combining your client data and your website data you can increase your sales. For example, Amazon noticed that by reducing page load times by 100ms, it vastly improved its sales.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
Using an SEO plugin definitely gives you the upper hand over your competitors. However, remember, that some of your competitors will also be using these SEO plugins. SEO is a long-term approach. It will take 6 to 12 months, maybe even 2 years before you get any real traction for your website. SEO is about publishing and distributing your content in all its forms that has a specific audience in mind.
Yes, there will be some noticeable changes in social media, but don’t stop there. Keep going.
Install an SEO plugin. Follow the instructions and do the tasks required of you. There are many free plugins that can help you get started and put your company on the right path.
Writing blogs can be very time-consuming. It can take you hours, if not days, to finish. Email marketing is still very effective today. From making use of beautifully designed templates, you can get your message out there.
Create an email marketing channel and use the MailChimp plugin to facilitate the issuing of your blogs.
By making use of MailChimp, you can segment your newsletters and blogs to reach a specific audience. Reach customers who haven’t purchased in a while or customers who have not completed their orders. Your options are endless…
By creating your own knowledge base articles, not just your existing clients, but users searching for answers will appreciate your articles and they could, in turn, become clients.
There are free to premium knowledge base plugins. These plugins can be used to measure how well your articles have been written by adding a thumbs up or thumbs down at the end. In addition, you can dissect and group content to make searching easier.
Live chat plugins can definitely improve your customer satisfaction and reduce your website’s bounce rate. These apps are well known for reducing calls to call centres because users don’t mind sending text messages. More importantly, these plugins come with artificial intelligence which further reduces your customer interaction time by providing for automated answers.
There are out-of-box plugins to the premium plugins that connect to your sales and servicing funnels. Each plugin offering a different way to handle your online traffic.
Used effectively, these plugins can turn leads into sales. I strongly urge you to consider one!
The use of infographics has become widely used by bloggers, online marketers and newsrooms. By dragging and dropping your components into any webpage, it will simplify the information your customers are searching for.
Instead of writing a 100 worded page explaining yourself. Try using an infographic app such as, Infogram, to quickly create what you mean. Best of all, there is no need to do any coding when using these plugins.
As WP was built for blogging, then yes, social media is a very big part of WP as well. More importantly, your website can be connected to all of social media websites.
The very high-end premium plugins allow you to connect with all your social media websites. Once you have completed your blog, you can schedule a specific date and time for that blog to be published to all your websites.
By adding reviews and the number of likes to your website, these allow potential customers reading your company’s feedback to see what people are saying.
“Your website costs you money, right?” If its cost is a worry for you, it can actually be the least of your financial concerns if you use all of WP’s available resources, effectively.
I’m not saying that you should go and create an e-commerce website. Your services may be of a personal nature, so writing blogs about your company, its services, and case studies on a regular basis can improve your website’s authority in this field. Getting quality backlinks from respected authorities also helps improve your website’s stature.
This, in turn, will move your website closer to Google’s first page, thus increasing organic traffic, and hopefully improving sales.
As a web hosting, web designing and an online marketing company, it would be unethical of Finbar to make you just a website.
Just as it’s a Tesla salesman’s job not to sell you their car because you think its best-selling feature is it’s nice seats, but rather explain what the car is capable of and it’s real selling points, we at Finbar, will strive to make you see the bigger picture, the benefits of WordPress, and how best to maximise your investment.
So, after reading about what WP has to offer and what it can do for your website, my answer to you is, “Ok, but why would you want to make just a website?”.
If it’s just a website you want, then at the very least, we will ensure that your website is set up for SEO, your content is King and your images tell a thousand words.
Finbar is a Digital Agency based in Johannesburg, providing web hosting, web designs and online marketing to clients across South Africa.
Feel free to contact us.
If you invest in a reliable web hosting partner, you can’t go wrong with your business!