Establishing Your Online Presence

Establishing Your Online Presence

Establishing Your Online Presence

08

APRIL, 2018

Web Development

At this day and age, many small businesses are not aware of the potential of having a website. It’s not because I own a web design business. Its the fact of the matter that website is just on the upper hand.

If you are serious about your business, then the least you should have is an official website for your company or brand.

When I mention ‘Establishing Your Online Business‘, it simply means a process. For which anyone, not only businesses, should take their ownership to position themselves out there. Learn the steps to be involved in this revolutionary trend. Else, they are just too ignorant about it. And in most cases, they will lose out.

If you take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit – Local Singapore Train), you can see at least 90% of the commuters hold their cellphones and do their things. Some might be playing games, some might be hearing Spotify, some might be engaged in social media activities, and some might just be surfing the browser looking for information.

“What does that tell us? Majority of us are online!”

Traditional marketing techniques such as giving flyers, roadside banner ads and newspaper ads are getting obsolete. When is the last time you read a newspaper? When is the last time you search for businesses in yellow pages? When is the last time you watch TV (excluding Netflix)?

Back when I study in the University, Google is your friend. You just have to admit it. All the pieces of information are out there! I mean, there are still other sources of information like the magazines and old newspaper articles. Without you knowing, all printed materials can be found online!

Let say I am looking for a barbershop around my place. I will search for “barbershop in Jurong West”. Look at the search results below:

Big up to Black Tie BarberShop for making it to the first page on Google. BUT, what are the things are they lacking? An official website! The company came out to have a site with a (simply.me) URL, a Facebook page and a listing on Yelp.

If one fine day I decide to open a new barbershop in Jurong West and create an official website for it, who has more authority in this space? You know the answer.

Establishing your business online presence shows credibility, authority, and professionalism. If you are still unaware of it, then you need to read up my friend.

Well, you can say you have a social media page like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. How on earth are those platform yours??? You are just a registered user that promote brand awareness on their platform. Not fully yours.

I am not writing off social media. Don’t get me wrong. They are useful for engagement and social presence. It’s the limitation of things that you can do within those platforms.

Let me break down the pros and cons of social media vs official website so you can have a clearer understanding of this.

Social Media Pros

Free and fast
Most social media sites are free to start with and are easy to set up. You can have one up within minutes.

Little to no-commitment
If one day you decide to close down your business, or your profile doesn’t do any good to the business. You can simply delete your account with a click of a button. Or, simply ignore it.

Global
Stats show that businesses that redirect their traffic to their respective Facebook page increase 25% year after year.

Interactivity
Social media page allows you to engage closely with your customers. In most cases, it is casual and more human-like way. With that, it allows you to easily interact with them and build relationships.

Branding
Customers can learn more about your business’s values, mission, and purpose, through your updates and how you efficient you respond to them. This builds loyalty and your brand.

Social Media cons

Limited to design
What sucks about social media is, they have a fixed layout. Sadly, you have to follow it. The only you can customize is your header and profile picture. As for the rest, you will not be able to change.

Viral feedback
Social media is the best platform to check reviews, feedbacks, and complaints. Well, it’s social proof. So you can’t run away from it. Meaning, you have to closely monitor your page. Recently I came across a local business that gets tons of complaint about their poor service. It will probably make you go out of business sooner or later. The big picture is – you’re not in complete control.

Limited reporting tools
Service descriptions are limited to a number of characters, you are not able to add more fields to describe more about what you do as a business. Or make it more appealing to potential prospects.

Ownership deficiency
In any social media platform’s terms and conditions, they regulate your content to what is deemed ‘appropriate’ for them. For example, if you want to run a promotion, you must follow their rules. Last but not least, ever considered what if one day the platform shuts the site down? And the only online presence you have is with them?

official website Pros

Cost-effective
Website creation ranges from free to premium ones. It all depends on your budget and business needs. Free websites (like WordPress.com) may definitely be a good place to start. You can always upgrade to premium one later.

Credibility
All consumers expect companies to have websites today. It develops trustworthiness of a business if it has a website.

100% control
When you own your own website, you are given the flexibility to dictate how it looks and the feature it presents. Even if you use a template, that can be customized to the way your content is laid out. Templates can be personalized to make it look uniquely yours.

Greater marketing
You have more freedom to communicate and sell to your customers the way you want. You can include cool features like videos, customer reviews, blogs, special promotional offers, and other season campaigns. It allows you to limitlessly market your business within the space.

Decreased overhead
Most customers prefer to get a business’s information online. If you position your website as a useful source of self-service information, it can cut down your operating costs.

24/7 availability
Your website will be “open for business” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world even if you’re closed.

official website cons

Site Maintenance
Depending on the capacity of the site, keeping content up-to-date will require some time and effort. But that can be easily done once a week or, month.

Extended complexity
The more complex the design and functionality, the more time and effort it will take to create and set up.

More marketing effort
An extensive effort is required getting traffic to your website. That means you have to produce a marketing strategy and implement it.

To sum things up, I would really encourage all businesses to get their official website up the soonest as they can. Every minute counts. Else you are losing tons of great opportunities ahead for your business. If you need assistance to get your site up, hit me up and we’ll discuss further over coffee.

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The Importance of Website for your Business

The Importance of Website for your Business

The Importance of Website for your Business
01
JANUARY, 2018
Web Development
Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous New Year 2018.  I hope this is going to be a very special year for all of us. A new year brings new ideas, new hopes and of course courage to overcome all the new challenges.

I have encountered many million dollar businesses with no website. But here’s the catch, they usually work for just one or two clients that they service or are responsible for government tender projects.

In order to help you whether you need a website for your business or not, let us answer the following questions:

  • Are you looking for more customers/clients?
  • Do you want to showcase your products/services to the world?
  • Are you looking for ways for your prospective customers to find you?
  • Are you looking for people or companies to donate to your non profit organisation?

If any of these answers is Yes, then I suggest you to have a website.

Let us look at it logically. Put yourself in customer’s shoes.

What do you do when you need a product or a service?

  • Ask your friends/family
  • Check out local listings
  • Do a google search

In any case, you would like to know the offerings of the recommended business. You would ideally like to see what they do, what they have done, probably check whether they have genuine recommendations before you really engage with them.

A website allows you to showcase your products/services, show testimonials/recommendations from previous clients and allow the users to get in touch with you 24x7.

Let us take a few real world scenarios

  1. Buying new running shoes
  2. Looking for a plumber for your house in a new city
  3. You want an investment consultant to handle your funds
“It is imperative for every business to have a website. The more professional your website is, the more advantages you can gain.”

Scenario 1 – You’ve realised that you want new running shoes. Here is it how you will make the purchase.

  • If you already know what shoe to buy, you will just go to the shop or an e-commerce store and buy the shoe. Rarely the case since you need to first find out what shoes would be best for you
  • You would go to a known shoes shop in your area and ask them to show you different running shoes. Find the one that you like and make the purchase. Many people did this about 10 years ago
  • You will conduct a google search with relevant keywords, find relevant shoes, probably read reviews and then order them offline or online. Most people do this now

Scenario 2 – Lets say, you have just shifted into a new city and want a plumber for your house.

  • If you already have friends / family, you would probably ask them for the contact details and get in touch.
  • Else, you would try finding plumbers online on yellow pages, local classified websites or google. If there are two plumbers – one without a website and one with a website with clearly laid out services, you would probably get in touch with the second one first.

Scenario 3 – There is a sudden need for a good fund manager to manage your wealth. You’re looking for someone who is good at his job and will give you good results.

  • If you already have friends / family, you would probably ask them for the contact details and get in touch.
  • More often than not, you would do your online research and find wealth consultants who have shown case studies, have good recommendations and more.

As you can see, website is your 24x7 sales office that people can visit and know about you. A website thus is very important.

But it is more important to have a good website. A website that conveys your value proposition, does not over load information and convinces the user to share their contact details to get in touch.

So, in case you’d like to have professional help creating a website for your business, check out our portfolio and get in touch with us at Roquepress.

May this new year bring many new opportunities your way to explore every success in life.

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How to Build a Website

How to Build a Website

How to Build a Website
24
OCTOBER, 2017
Web Development
Do you know? Online entrepreneurs achieve three percent more turnover than their offline colleagues, according to research.
With a successful start of your business, a good business website cannot be missed.

Ideally, you hire a professional agency for this, but those who want to get started can also quickly create a (simple) business site. Below are the simple steps to follow:

Step 1: The Preparation

You do not start a business just like that, and you also have to make the necessary preparations for a website. And we mean not so much as arranging the hosting or domain name (that will come later), but rather that you get insight into what kind of website you want to make.

“How does the site look like, what kind of information do you want to post and, above all, what do you want to achieve? ”

Is it mainly about creating an online platform with which you want to increase the findability and name recognition? Or are you also going to link a web shop to offer your products and services?

Therefore put your plans and wishes on paper in advance so that you know what you want and you have the layout of the website in your head once you are ready for the next step: choosing a good domain name.

Step 2: Determine Your Domain Name

Choose a well-remembered domain name so that your target group can easily find the website. You can choose a paid name that ends with, .com, .org, .sg or .eu. You can purchase your domain at Namecheap. You can register your domain as low as $0.48/year.

Step 3: Go WordPress

To publish something on the internet, you need a Content Management System (CMS). You save your texts and images on a server or hosted environment and from there your pages are made visible on the web and linked to your internet address.

We highly recommend WordPress.org! It’s the best CMS platform if you’re just getting started.

There are many tutorials out there showing how you can get started with WordPress. I am sure you can get that set up within minutes!

Let us break down the benefits of using WordPress:

  1. It is an open source, meaning it is FREE to use!
  2. Very popular with bloggers and website builders.
  3. Simple and user-friendly.
  4. Thousands of template themes available.
  5. Customizable, you can get your site layout customized by any web developer with ease.
“Do you want to start a webshop? You can get started with Shopify

Step 4: Consider your content

Are you busy setting up your website and writing content? Always remember: for whom do I write? Keep your target audience in mind!

Make sure the content is always up-to-date and remove outdated information. If you have new information about a product or service, put it online immediately. 

Also, consider seasonal news or offers, do planning for this. Have you already helped clients? Ask them to write a testimonial that you can put on the site. This can attract new customers just over the line.

Step 5: User-friendliness

If your website is chaotic and unclear, visitors will probably not stay on your site for long, let alone buy something or come back again.

Ensure that the user-friendliness (also called usability) is in order. For a high level of user convenience, it is essential to consider the following points:

  1. Ensure recognisability; let your corporate identity come back in the design of your website. Put your logo on every page.
  2. Provide a clear structure so that visitors can navigate properly. Use a menu to indicate the topics. The most important information you want to share is on your homepage. Any remaining data is neatly structured on subpages.
  3. Add a search option to each page.
  4. Only use images and videos if they have a function, not just for padding.
  5. Use regular columns (not too narrow, not too wide).
  6. Use a font that is supported by browsers by default; Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana for example.
  7. Write briefly and concisely and consider what purpose you write.

Step 6: Choose your hosting

A hosting provider offers space on the internet. This provider ensures that your website is connected to the internet and that your site is active if you turn off your computer.

You can search for a suitable hosting provider via the internet. There are several websites where you can compare providers with each other, for example, Siteground, BlueHost, InMotion Hosting. If you are based in Singapore, I highly recommend Vodien or Exabytes Hosting.

 

When comparing, pay attention to the following:

  • Budget
  • Required web space; depending on, among other things, images and animations
  • The expected amount of data traffic
  • The costs can vary. A dedicated server is primarily intended for large websites with many visitors. A dedicated server costs a few hundred euros a month. A shared server offers space for several small sites and is a lot cheaper, a few bucks per month

Step 7: Keep track

To generate visitors and to keep seeing them, you have to update the information on your website regularly and consistently. Make sure that you always keep the same tone when addressing your target group.

Your website is your business card. So ask yourself frequently: what is my goal and do I still see it on my website? And keep an eye on your visitor numbers. Because you do not only have to be online, you also have to be online.

Step 8: Generate visits

If your website is online, you must of course also ensure that your target group visits the site.

Every day thousands of new sites are added to the internet, and it is therefore essential to be found. There are different ways for this:

  • Through search engines
  • By registering your website with search engines (submit your site to Google Search Console), it can be seen.

By optimizing the HTML code of your website, the website is found by the search engines. Important components are:

Title

The search engines put the title in the search results that their visitors see. If you do not use a title, the search engine puts merely the first lines of your website in, which of course makes a less good impression. The title should be a summary of the page.

Keywords

It is advisable to make keywords and a description for your site. Keywords are the words that search for a particular subject. Also, create combinations of essential keywords.

When a word is often misspell, it is advisable to include this in the keywords. Also, make sure that you include the words in both singular and plural. Finally, make sure that the keywords also appear in the first 200 words of text on your page.

These are all critical data for search engines, allowing you to score higher on the search list. Do not use the words too often, because then the search engines see it as spam.

Final Words

As we have written in the article, every entrepreneur is free to make his own choice. This article is therefore primarily intended to help entrepreneurs who want to build a website themselves.

Although it is also wise for entrepreneurs, who outsource their website to keep some points described above in mind. Do you find the above steps difficult for you to implement? Contact us now, and we will be glad to help out.

 

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  Establishing Your Online Presence 08   APRIL, 2018 Web Development At this day and age, many small businesses are not aware of the potential of having a website. It's not because I own a web design business. Its the fact of the matter that website is just...

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Who Are We?

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  Who Are We? 11   MARCH, 2018 Introduction We are a friendly bunch of people that help local businesses thrive on their online presence. Hi. My name is Naz. I am the founder of Roquepress. Just a little write up about who we are. Roquepress was formed in 2013. It was...