Things You Should Know Before Building a Website
For most businesses to survive in the competitive, modern market, an excellent website is needed to gain the attention of new and prospective customers. If you are new to the business world, the idea of building a website may seem like a simple notion. However, a great deal of planning will be needed to make you become a real threat to competitors.
Today, website users are demanding more functionality and design, which means businesses need to out-do one another to secure those all-important sales. While this is often easier said than done, there are a few tactics you may use to score the best chance of success when it comes to building a website.
What should you know before building your website?
1. Look to a cost-effective hosting platform
If you have little cash to spare as a new business owner, you can create a website on a free hosting platform. Doing so will get you online in a matter of minutes without having to spend a vast amount on a professional web designer. Currently, there are over 110 million users in 190 countries using a platform named ‘Wix,’ in which users can create their own website from the comfort of their own home.
While a free platform has its benefits, there are also a few cons. If you don’t pay for the service, you won’t have the opportunity to create your very own domain name, for example. Likewise, you should expect a large selection of adverts to appear on your site.
Although there are limitations to free hosting platforms, Wix gives you the option of paying for exactly what you need by selecting your own upgrade plan. If you read more here, you will discover the free option and upgrade plans in further detail.
2. Understand what you want from your website
Too many businesses jump into creating a website with little understanding of the types of goals they should be achieving for an effective and successful site. In a sense, every single business has the same set of goals to generate sales. These include:
However, all these points are determined by the type of business you own. Although you may not know yet precisely how you will draw in prospective customers, you can always gain inspiration from large-scale competitors in terms of their website design, content and the techniques they use to grab the attention of potential consumers.
3. Use text wisely
It is crucial that you make use of the text on your website; you should think of it as the spine of your web presence. The average human attention span lasts just eight seconds at maximum; therefore if your text isn’t attracting users almost straight away, you haven’t got much hope in making a sale.
Text should be presented in the right format with the correct use of language to suit your target customer base. It may be worth seeking the assistance of a copywriter to create the text for you to ensure it is written professionally and without those dreaded typos.
Text should be short, concise and give a substantial overview of your product or service. It is far too easy for customers to click off your website and search for competitors if they believe they are not getting what they want with immediate effect. With this being said, how your text is presented could have a dramatic impact on the overall online success of your business.
If your business is highly complex and you believe a great deal of detail is needed for a clear explanation, it would be a good idea to create a selection of web pages for the potential customer to browse through. For example, a home page, about page, portfolio or products and services. This way, customers won’t feel bombarded as soon as they click onto your website page and can navigate their way through the pages at a leisurely pace.
By using text efficiently, your website may achieve higher results in the search engine ranking dependent on the type of wording used; known as SEO.
You should also use as many calls to actions as possible without appearing too pushy. Call to actions are a great way of reminding a user of the steps they should take on a specific page with the intention of generating sales or further interest.
4. Create a logo
While you may never have considered adding a branded logo to your website, it is an ideal way of conveying your business values to the customers, so they can clearly identify your brand. If you haven’t yet considered what your brand entails, ask yourself a few questions about what makes your business unique. Are your products and service innovative? Can you offer an unbeatable price? Are you proud to provide a confidential service?
Likewise, you also need to contemplate your target market. If you are looking to steer your product or service towards a younger audience, it would be best to use eye-catching, bright and colorful graphics, whereas a law or accountancy firm may opt for a logo that is slightly more sophisticated and muted in tone.
5. Creating a domain
As mentioned, if you choose to upgrade from a free web hosting platform, you have the option to create your very own domain name. If you are new to the website world, you may not understand its importance. Quite simply, a domain name is how people find you online. Most importantly, it’s also how they remember you.
Most businesses select a simple domain that matches the name of their company, so it is easy to find by customers and is instantly recognizable.
However, what do you do if another business has already taken the domain you were hoping for? Don’t worry too much! There will be plenty of similar domains suffixes available. Clear, short names are more effective, as they are catchy, memorable and much simpler to look up on a search engine.
Why not make a list of domain names you are keen on and run them past your friends and family to see if they can help you decide on the most suitable?
6. Use media
All good websites have a decent media selection, so potential customers can get a good feel of what the business offers. Media content may be the very last idea on your agenda. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Good photos give a clearer insight into your brand, while grainy, poor quality snaps are likely to portray an unprofessional impression of your business. It is best to include media content that is of high resolution.
High-quality stock images can be purchased online, but original photos that are representative of your brand will always serve you better than general photographs which are free to use by absolutely anyone.
Before creating your website, take the time to photograph or film products or aspects of your service that will encourage users to purchase from your business. It would be a good idea to balance the right amount of text with media and try not to go too crazy with stimulation. Media is used to enhance text or give a better explanation of the product or service, rather than becoming the focal point.
7. A clear navigation
One of the critical aspects of website design is simplicity. Therefore, you should never over-complicate things when it comes to the style of layout. As mentioned, people have a shorter attention span than ever before and require information to be handed to them almost immediately before they choose to browse elsewhere. While it is essential to have a selection of pages within your website, it is best to avoid complex page names and too many sub-navigations.
8. Make social media your best friend
You could really make the most of social media if you make your content shareable. All members of society widely use social media, so securing a good network would be an ideal tool for getting your business recognized. To stand a good chance of achieving a worldwide customer base, you will need to set up a selection of social platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for example, before attaching these icons onto your website so content can be shared with ease.
Building a social media presence isn’t always easy, especially when first starting out, so you may need to invest a small amount of cash into this marketing technique for optimum results.
9. Keep on top of maintenance and improvements
As technology is always changing, you need to be sure you stay ahead of the game by making the necessary updates to your website. To remain successful in your business field, you need to pay attention to competitors and how they are adapting their website to match growing trends. You may need to re-analyze your website’s productivity in convincing customers to perform a specific action and bear in mind whether the characterization of your customer has changed. If so, how you will attempt to adjust your content strategies?