Several new websites go live every day and if you are serious about your business, you should launch one as well. Your website is the international face of your brand. It cuts through time zones and language barriers making you accessible 24/7 to potential customers all over the world.
There are numerous website builders which make setting up the online face of your company easy. Though website builders with beautiful templates are a dime a dozen, the research and work you put into the quality of content on your page will determine its success.
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12 Things to do before creating a website
You probably already have ideas of what you want your website to look like and that is great. Having a game plan and a timeline is what will set you apart from sites existing without any traffic or purpose.
To ensure you do not fall into that trap, here’s a list of best practices to guide you before creating your website.
1. Establish the purpose of your website
Ask yourself why you are creating a website. What is your goal? Do you want a website just to inform persons that your business exists? Do you want an e-commerce site that allows you to sell products online? Is it just a catalog of your work? Knowing what your goal is makes it easier for both you and the visitors on your site.
2. Do your Research
Now that you know exactly what the purpose of your website is, be realistic about your expectations and do your research. While a website is an awesome tool, it only gives you the best result when you do all the groundwork.
Do your market research by checking out sites in the same marketplace. Look at their layout and see what works and what does not. This will help you to create an engaging, responsive and successful site.
Remember, there is no magical fairy dust, which will automatically transform your website into an asset to your business. Much like everything else, the success of your website and its impact on your brand and revenue will need some effort, research and a clear vision.
3. Identify your target audience
Your website revolves around who your customers are and what they want. From your research, identify who those persons are.
This will help you to choose the design, content, Call To Action (CTA) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which will attract your target audience. This will also allow you to create targeted content.
4. Choose a domain name that reflects your brand
The rule of thumb is to keep your domain name short, original and easy to remember. But it is more than just that, it must also reflect your brand clearly. Your domain name is your first introduction to potential customers. Use this first impression to wow and intrigue them.
This is something you want to get right from the beginning. Brainstorm, create a list of possible names and ask colleague, friends and family to help you choose the most impactful one. Check to see if that domain is available and choose the extension that represents your brands.
5. Select a fast Web Hosting platform
No longer do persons wait for a site to load. After a few seconds, it is on to the next. Design and optimize your site to load quickly for users on all devices.
The speed of website loading matters a lot! When your pages load quickly there will be increased engagement and better user experience. This later converts into higher turnover and return users.
A site that loads slowly will result in decrease user satisfaction and will affect your search engine ranking. Before creating a website, do some research and select the best building and hosting website.
6. Become an SEO expert
Everyone who has a website should make it a priority to learn, and utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive organic traffic to their site. The more visitors your site gets the greater the potential revenue.
Integrate search terms and keywords that your target audience may be searching for online. Also, have specific definitions about what exactly is on your website.
7. Prepare your content
You already know the objective of your website and your target audience. To top it off you have a dope domain name. What now? Well it is time to work on the content for your site. From the images to the blog post, wow and excite visitors.
Images should be vivid and of high resolution. Posts should be exciting, relevant, informative and to the point. Grab the attention of your audience and then leave them wanting more. If you will be posting products, ensure they are well photographed.
8. Pick a Design that complements your brand
The layout of your site is important. While you want your website to be attention-grabbing it should not be crowded and confusing.
Ensure your homepage is clutter free with minimal texts and complementing photos. Choose a user friendly, responsive design to increase customer engagement.
Everything on your site should add value. If it is cute but does not serve a purpose, omit it from the site.
9. Be consistent in your branding
You want a customer to be able to recognize your brand anywhere. That is why it is important to be consistent in your design and content so that it represents your overall brand.
From your website’s homepage through to all the other pages, you should keep the branding cohesive. This means that you use only colors, logos and language specific to your website’s brand on all the pages. This includes the design, images, videos and iconography.
When a website is not consistently branded, it can become confusing for persons who visit your page. Potential customers may leave and probably never return.
10. Be Mobile Friendly
It is important to optimize your website for all devices, especially smartphones. You want your site not only clutter free but also functional and navigable on all devices.
Without mobile optimization, your site will be cluttered and difficult to navigate, causing you to lose customers.
In a 2018 study, Wearesocial.com reported that 7.6 billion people had mobile devices and over 200 million got a smart mobile devices for the first time in 2017. Most persons use their smartphones to access the internet, so your goal is to ensure it’s a good experience.
11. Add your Social Media Handles
Never miss a free marketing opportunity. Link you social media handles to your website to cross promote your brand.
When customers can switch between your social media and website, it expands your reach and visibility thus boosting traffic.
This way customers can also work as advertising agents as it’s easier for them to share your product and/or service with their followers.
12. Select a Website Builder and start your masterpiece
You have done the groundwork and it is now time to put all you have learned and prepared to the test. Choose a website builder that is user friendly and optimized for all devices and start designing your site.
Why not start now? We will help you create a stunning and professional site in no time. If you happen to feel stuck, we offer 24/7 expert support.