the right idea

The creative industry has been rocked by the arrival of ChatGPT – the oh-so-mind-bogglingly powerful artificial intelligence chatbot released in late 2022. If you haven’t had a chance to tinker with it you really should! The software can answer questions written in everyday language, it can write poems, make jokes and argue a position on historical events in alarming detail.

The software essentially consumes huge amounts of existing content on the internet, which it synthesizes and relays back as users ask questions. This morning I asked it what the 5 most confusing issues were worldwide around operating and setting up websites.

It came back with the following, edited for brevity:

Technical Skills: One of the biggest points of confusion is the technical skills required to build a website. Many people think that they need to have a lot of coding knowledge to create a website from scratch.

Design: Another point of confusion is website design. Even if you can create a website, it can be challenging to design a website that looks good and functions well.

Hosting: Many people are confused about website hosting. Once you have created a website, you need to host it somewhere so that others can access it online.

Content Creation: Creating compelling content is essential for any website, but it can be challenging to create content that engages visitors and encourages them to return.

SEO: Finally, many people are confused about search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves many different factors, such as keyword research, on-page optimization, backlinking, and more.

First, can we marvel at the very accessible natural language writing ability of the AI overlord! Second, recognise that we can work alongside these powerful tools to market our businesses, using them in creative ways to prompt our own activity.

ChatGPT makes some great points. If you are considering setting up your own website or launching a company with the knowledge that to operate in the modern era means you will need an online presence, you may well have come unstuck on a couple of these points already.

Let’s take a look at each point and see how we can help you out.

  1. Technical Skills – Let’s differentiate between technical skills and computer literacy. It would be fair to say that in today’s environment, the maintenance of a website would be akin to the technical ability required to register your own Facebook account. There is definitely no coding required for processing orders in your online store, or writing blog posts. Setup of a website is a little different, and we’re in business because the demand on technical implementation is higher if you’re starting from scratch.
  2. Design – Do you have an artistic disposition? Do you friends come to you for advice in decorating their homes or gardens? Designing a website requires the same affinity for colour, layout and weighting that more traditional design practices require. A couple of popular packages (WordPress, Wix, Squarespace) will give you access to templates to get you going, which can be a huge help. If you need something more tailored to your brand, we’re here to help.
  3. Hosting – If you’re asking about website hosting you’ve clearly done your reading. It’s the big question you inevitably run into when investigating your own website. Check out our blog about Domains and Hosting for more information.
  4. Content creation – Writing good content is a lot of work. It’s easy to knock out a few posts in month 1, but developing a regular publishing routine is hard and can pull you away from your core business. We can help you refine your message and develop a content plan. We also have access to content writers who can write targeted content for your market, using topics curated by your team if your schedule doesn’t allow for it.
  5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – You have a website but now you’re wondering about how to get into the top 10 search results on Google? SEO is about understanding how your website content satisfies potential customer queries on search engines, and refining the wording and structure in such a way that search engines recognise that you are a good place to send people. It is a collection of adjustments to your website, which collectively lead to higher levels of engagement. Our team can audit your website, and effect the changes you need to make to perform better in search results. There are no silver bullets, but there are good practices to put your best foot forward.

Marketing your business online is a learning curve, like any new area of expertise. It takes time and effort, and a bit of experimentation to succeed online. Get in touch if you need a hand, or want to take your existing DIY-website to the next level and put your best foot forward online.