Starting an online store can be a great business. It also has its risks. In this article we discuss 5 tips for overcoming some of the hurdles that most online startups face. For business, it is crucial, in fact, to recognize potential challenges and establish a strategy to solve them before they arise. There are […]
Designing a website can be a daunting task, especially if you’re a beginner. But with the right approach and some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, you can create your own in no time. Here are some tips for designing that looks professional and works well.
Build a Website Step 1: Choose a Domain Name
Your domain name is the address, so it’s important to choose a name that is relevant to your business or organization. If you’re not sure what domain name to choose, think about your niche or services and use keywords that resonate with your business goals. Domains are paid for yearly.
Build a Website Step 2: Pick a Web Host
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, you’ll need to find a web host. There are many web hosting services available, so make sure you research each one before making a decision. The main differences between hosts come down to their services. You want to find hosting platforms that provide Secure SSL, backups, easy restore options, and have the resources to keep up with the traffic and workload of your website.
Hosting is another cost, this can either be paid at a monthly or a yearly level. Hosting is where your domain name points. Think of the domain name as an RV that you lease and the Hosting as a place to park it.
Build a Website Step 3: Select a Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS is a platform that allows you to easily manage the content of it. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are popular CMS options. These systems are open source and need to be updated regularly to keep your website and your clients safe and secure. Updates can sometimes cause issues. This is where quality backups come into play. If you have an easy restore point, you can safely update it without fear or hesitation.
Some content management systems and software are professional grade are billed for monthly or yearly. There are free versions of software our there. But, you get what you pay for.
Build a Website Step 4: Choose a Website Design
Once you’ve chosen a CMS, you’ll need to select a design template. You can find plenty of free and paid templates online. I prefer custom templates that are based on the needs of my individual business or website.
Custom designs also offer functionality to update add content with ease. This is the point at which the back end layout of the site becomes crucial. These CMS systems can become quite slow if you just cram in plugin after plugin to get the results that you are looking for.
If your website is more than just a basic business card, I would consider custom design not only for your templating but for the back end layout. Taking the time to lay it out correctly will pay off in the long run as you can add content with ease and enrich your SEO.
Build a Website Step 5: Create Content to Tell Your Story
Your website needs content to attract visitors, so you’ll need to create interesting and relevant content. Consider using storytelling techniques to engage your readers.
I refer to this as a story branding. Tell the story of how your products or services solve the intrinsic problems of your clients. What are the features provided? What are the problems that your services solves? How does it solve this niche issue? What do other customers say about your services?
The challenge on a landing page is to be brief while still providing the information needed to convey the usefulness of your products or services. We as browsers want to get the information quickly with as little friction as possible. You may want to create a simple video that introduces the solutions that you provide.
Build a Website Step 6: Incorporate Calls to Action
Calls to action are important for any website. They encourage visitors to take the desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter, getting a free quote, or buying a product. There should be CTA's (Calls to Action) throughout your website's landing pages. Make sure you include them in your header, hero section, and footer.
You may also want to include Calls to Action in every other section on your main landing pages. Users need to know where to go and what to click on to move forward. Be clear with your buttons and forms to help minimize confusion when people land on your pages.
Build a Website Step 7: Optimize for Search Engines
Once your website is up and running, you’ll need to optimize it for search engines. This includes creating meta tags, alt tags, and other keyword-rich content. Content is king in the work of the internet. I would recommend conducting keyword and topic research and using that knowledge to build your landing pages and blog content strategy.
Being that we don't want to clutter our landing pages, blogs give us the opportunity to create niche content that directs people back to our landing pages. Blog writing should be a continuous process in you business plan. I would aspire to create at least one blog per week. Once a month is a minimum.
Blogging can showcase client case studies, provide information to help people solve their problems, or just be entertaining. The key here is to write quality content as often as you can to provide Google and other search engines a reason to come back and rank your website.
Build a Website Step 8: Test and Launch:
Before you launch your website, make sure to thoroughly test it to ensure it works properly. This means every link, form, and notification. Take the time to get this right. There is nothing more frustrating to a potential client than filling out a form and it not working.
Testing should also encompass making sure your analytics and conversion tracking is working properly. You want to be able to quantify your website's performance to guide your future content and marketing strategies.
Once you’re satisfied with the results, launch your website and start promoting it.
Designing a Website Alone or With a Team
Designing a website can be a fun and rewarding experience. Just remember to keep these tips in mind to create a professional and successful website. If you want help creating websites, get on a call with us today or request a free quote.