If you are building a brand, it is impossible to do so without a website in this technology driven world. However, building a website isn’t quite as simple as most people think. It requires a lot of planning before it can deliver exactly what we want from it. Here are a few things that are essential to consider before building a website for your business.
Steps you need to take building a website
1. Choosing a domain and host for your website
The domain (the name of your website) is a very important tool to set the tone of your business. Keep the domain name very simple, and make it so that it’s hard to misspell, this way you don’t drive any customers away or frustrate them while looking for your website. When considering a domain name, make it so that it encompasses what you want your business to incorporate.
Spend some time choosing the right host server as it plays a huge role on how your website works. You will need a faster host if your website is media rich and has a lot of picture and video content. Also think about the technical support you might require in the future. If you have prior knowledge about websites and how to fix bugs, then you can choose a host service that does not have much customer support. However, if you have to rely on the host to help you out of some tricky situations, you will need one that is great in 24-hour support and help documentation. It is always a better idea to do some research about a hosting server before signing up, because if you don’t, you will end up having to move everything from one host to the other, costing you more time, money and effort.
2. Backend services
Having a great looking website doesn’t help you if the user experience isn’t very good. You need a competent content management system in order to provide a good experience. Try to think of this as a cellphone; we don’t only see what it looks like from the outside. We look at what the camera is like, how long the battery life lasts, if it works smoothly or not. You want to make sure that the user chooses your website instead of your competitions; so you need to provide a smoother user experience. This will not happen unless you have a strong backend service.
3. The Content
Before you have your website planned out, you should think about all the content your website will have. Most people think that content can come later, after the website has been made, but it should really be the other way around. If you know all the content you will have on your website, it will be easy to make a site-map, optimize the website and make it simple for people to use.
It is also vital that you have ideas for original content for your website. If you are copying things from the web and everything on your website is recycled, there is little value consumers will get, and thus won’t engage with it much, which isn’t what you want.
4. Design and Branding of the Website
One of the best ways to design a page is to make a flow chart of how you want things to work. Just label them generically and see what part of the plan you have is essential and what can be cut out. It is always a better idea to have a clean design that doesn’t leave the pages looking cluttered. This will generate more clicks and interactions on your website and people will come back to it more as it won’t take a long time to load either.
It’s important to remember that the longer a page takes to load, the higher the changes are of people closing the browser window and looking for another website that offers similar content and services.
5. Call to action/ lead generation
Another thing that you need to think of is what kinds of actions you want people to take in your website. If you are creating an e-commerce website, then you would want people to view as many products as possible, therefore, you probably want to capture their emails so that you can send them email about the deals. This is called creating call to action or capturing leads. These take the form of pop-up box in the website, a section urging them to enter their personal details and many more. Think about what you could communicate to your website visitors so that they give you their information.
6. Ease of use
Some of the best websites in the world are ridiculously easy to use. This is one of the most important aspect of website creation. You do not want people to be perplexed and confused while using your website. If your website is too hard to use, then it is guaranteed that you will lose your visitors. The best way to make an easy to use website it to do some competitor analysis. Look at what they are doing well and what leaves you confused as a potential customer. Once you get in the mindset of your customers, it’s easy to create a great website.
7. Mobile/ browser compatibility
In 2016, mobile and other devices took over desktop as a popular source of internet usage. This trend is only going to be rising as more smart devices become available to consumers. Therefore, it’s crucial that your browser is compatible across various devices not just a desktop. While an incompatible browser is still accessible through a smartphone, it becomes very hard to use, hence chasing away potential customers. You do not want to be compete with a handicap in an already competitive business world.
8. Offsite reviews
When you have a website, you can’t expect traffic to just start pouring based on the keywords you have used you will need to make sure you do everything you can in order to let the public know about it. One of the best things to do is to leave reviews about the website on other sites. Reviews on Google and Yelp make your service stand out among other local businesses, resulting in higher placement on google pages. Nobody scrolls past the first few page, so it is crucial to appear on top.
However, you shouldn’t only rely on offsite reviews. Have customer testimonials on your webpage as well. They are proof that people have used and liked your services and taken the time out to write a positive comment, which will lead to new users trusting you and your skills. This in turn leads them to engage with your website.
The last but not the least is your website analytics. Depending on the kind of service you use to create and host your website, you will see a section called Analytics. This section will provide you with all the relevant statistics about people using your website. You can see whether people search for you and then find your, or they come from your social media. You can see how many pages on average people view, the average amount of time and so on. These are some great statistics, as you can make tweaks in your website, and track how it is doing through analytics.
While some services are good at providing detailed analytics, some are not. Therefore, an industry standard is linking your website to a free Google service called ‘Google Analytics’. This service will give you more data than you could ever need about your website usage.
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