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Cake Business: Web Design and Online Strategy

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 19 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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The internet holds the perfect opportunity for cake baking businesses. Your brand and products can be communicated to a worldwide audience, awareness can be increased and potential customers can be reached. Your online strategy, however, should be approached with care. Designing a simple, useful and eye-catching website, Building Your Web Presence and boosting traffic to your site all require knowledge and expertise.

Creating Your Cake Website

If you're not technically minded you'd be better to employ a specialist web design company to create your site. Before you choose a company you'll need to have a clear idea of how you want to portray your brand, how you think the site should look and what facilities you need to include on the site. Here are some pointers that will help you take your cake business online.

When designing and creating a website, particularly for a small business, simplicity is key.

Ensure that your site reflects your brand’s identity

This involves choosing and sticking to a house font, using a logo, selecting a colour palate and keeping the tone of written text consistent. It has been proven that many people visit websites of small businesses with the intent of finding a contact telephone number, so be sure to make this clearly visible. Other contact and location details, too, should be easily accessible and should ideally appear on your website’s homepage.

Visitors are likely to be put off by a site that loads slowly. Boost the loading speed of your site by keeping images to a minimum and investing in quality hosting provision. It is also worth avoiding the use of Flash as it often proves sluggish to load and is not universally supported.

Your cake baking business's website should be attractive, interactive and engaging. Think about what visitors will be looking for when visiting your site. Include a few professional photographs of your star products, a sample menu and perhaps a page of reviews. You might also like to share one of your favourite recipes or some decorating tips with customers. You should include a Sign Up Facility, too, and email those on your database with details of new products and offers. For some businesses, building an online store will also be a priority.

Building Your Web Presence

Creating a website is the first step to building your web presence. Social media should also be a key tool in your online strategy. Set up profiles for your business on the main social media sites. This will allow you to reach consumers in a more informal way, reflecting current marketing trends. Try to give surfers a reason to visit your pages. You might, for example, choose to post entertaining updates about your business’s progress, share the odd recipe, discuss the latest confectionary craze or give out baking advice.

Optimising Your Website

There is, of course, no point in having a website if customers and surfers are unable to access it. First of all, you should choose a relevant domain name. It should be catchy but also try and include the keywords relevant to your business. 'KatiesCupcakes' or 'KatiesLincolnCupcakes' stand more chance of getting found on Google for someone typing in 'cupcakes' or 'cupcakes in Lincoln' than a domain name such as KatieBakes.

Be sure to research search engine optimisation (SEO).The key to increasing your website’s traffic is to ensure that it ranks highly in popular search engines. This involves (amongst many other things) pinpointing the key search terms for cake baking businesses and deploying them strategically throughout your site. You may wish to seek professional assistance from an SEO advisor to ensure the success of your site. Remember, too, that creating an entertaining, vibrant site will encourage bloggers, online magazines and other businesses to post links to your website from theirs.

Links are King

Google uses links as a key part of its ranking strategy. So if you can get friends, colleagues, suppliers or anyone in a relevant field to link to your site for sure you will be getting a leg up in the search rankings.

Advertising

You might also consider investing in Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). These are the adverts you see highlighted in bold at the top of a search engine results page. You will be billed a given amount each time someone clicks on your advert and visits your page. Such advertisements can prove expensive but it is possible to impose a daily, weekly or monthly spending cap.

Directories

It's worth taking out listings in directories, so that people looking for a business local to them will find you via searches. Specialised directories like the one on this site are great because you have a good choice of categories under which to list and more scope with your company descriptions.

The tips and tricks outlined here are vital for the online success of your baking venture. Once the basics are in place, you needn’t stop there. For example, you may choose to make a foray into the world of innovative social media marketing in order to create a buzz about your brand. When it comes to online strategy, remember to be bold and brave. Conduct the appropriate research and seek professional help if necessary.

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