In a number of guides dedicated to building a website, the reader is told to ask themselves if their company needs a website which seems to be a redundant question. Simply put, if you have any serious intention of increasing sales and expanding your brand, an online presence is imperative and there is no better way of achieving this than with a website. Building a website is a marketing, promotion and sales aid; it is a 24/7 window into your organization and ensures you are never closed for business. Fortunately, creating a website is no longer a technically demanding experience thanks to the advent of website builders such as Wix, Moonfruit and Weebly which allow you to either use pre-existing templates or build your website from scratch. Below, we quickly go through the website creation process.
• Domain Name: This is one of the first steps you need to take as it is the name of your website. If possible, use your company name but if that’s already been taken, make sure that the name relates to your industry and is easy to remember. The.com domain is the most commonly used but don’t ignore.net or.org either.
• Decide on Your Goals: Your website needs a broad objective. For example, is the website being built to sell directly to customers online, attract new customers, offer post-sales support or provide information to your customers? Each objective is completely different and will dictate the direction your website takes. An informative website will likely have quotes and statistics while a website looking for direct sales will have snappy copywriting.
• Create a Site Map: Before building a website, you need to decide the pages you need and how they fit together. While this will differ depending on the industry and company objective, you will need to include the following pages: Home, contact us, about us, product information, help and support. It’s up to you to decide whether you want blog posts and other pages.
• Construction: Those with HTML knowledge can build a website from scratch. Alternatively, you can hire web design experts and they will get the job done. This could be expensive however so perhaps you could try one of the aforementioned DIY website builders. If you have no coding or programming knowledge, you can just choose a template and build a site in minutes.
• Adding Content: When writing content, be sure to write for the readers and not just the search engines. Google and other search engines are now putting visitor experience first so if you are not seen to provide value, your site will languish in Internet purgatory. Quick tips include attention grabbing headlines and posts of less than 400-500 words to account for the short attention span of the Internet generation. Add videos and pictures to brighten up the pages and add links to relevant websites to improve your search ranking.
• Online Selling: You will need an eCommerce page and have to offer secure payment methods. Your online shop will need to be well designed to avoid shopping cart abandonment. Ensure that the customer has to take as few steps as possible once they are on the checkout screen.
Follow the simple tips outlined above and you will find that building a website is an easy and rewarding experience. When looking to rank for SEO, bear in mind that it could take weeks or even months for your website to climb the rankings ladder. Once it does, it is your goal to keep it on top and reap the rewards of vastly improved sales.
by Jason Kay