Building a website and moving into the digital space is a natural move for almost any business. Everybody is going there and there are plenty of reasons. The most obvious of course is that the internet has replaced antiquated services like phone books and directories as the number one place for finding services or companies. So, if you are not on the internet then you are almost completely undiscoverable to anyone. But having a website is a whole lot more complicated than getting a listing in the Yellow Pages – or more specifically it is not much harder to get there, but it can be fraught with nasty surprises along the way. Here are a few things that you should be aware of and which you should factor into your planning.

Visitor numbers

Websites need to be hosted somewhere so that they can be accessed by the world at large. You need to make sure that you find affordable hosting with a package that scales. Typically, the more traffic that a website generates the more it costs. This is all well and good if you are not getting too many visitors, but, you need to know what happens in the event that something happens to change that, and you are suddenly pulling silly amounts of users. If these are all revenue generating visitors then that is all well and good, but if the traffic is not being converted into cash then you could find yourself on the receiving end of a horrible bill at the end of the month. Ask about caps and limits when you agree your hosting package.

Traffic doesn’t come from nowhere

Unlike the old phone book where services were listed alphabetically, this is not the case with the internet. Search engines work with complicated algorithms to determine what results are best placed to satisfy the need of their searchers. And you need to plan accordingly and optimise for search engines if you are hoping to appear in search engine results. Aside from direct traffic, organic search is probably the highest driver of traffic and it is incredibly important. Work with a SEO specialist and make sure that you think about this key element when putting together your digital strategy.

Create an ecosystem

Social media is another critical component of the overall digital strategy and you need to be on top of it all the time. In times gone by dissatisfied customers would write you an angry letter. In the digital age they take to social media and are very quick to lambaste bad service or experiences. It is often very unjustified, but the sad reality is that negative social media comments reach millions and can cause massive harm to brands and reputations. You need to be aware of this and be ready to act in the event that this happens. Never be afraid to engage angry clients. A well-placed response is a great way to turn bad into good and it will look a whole lot better than deleting the issue.