Creating a new website for your business? If that’s the case, you’re probably struggling to find out where to start. Getting to grips with something new takes patience, time, and lots of planning.
When creating a website, there are a few things you need to consider. Besides boosting traffic and generating leads, your website’s design, navigation, and content need to engage customers and inspire further interaction with your brand.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 7 things you need before you start building a website that will make the process much easier and save you a lot of trouble.
1. Determine the Objective
This might sound like a no-brainer but you do need to know what the goal of your website is. Is it to create an online presence for your business? Will you use it to sell products or services? Or maybe to showcase your work? Is it a place for customers to get in touch with you? Without a clear goal, it’s impossible to get started.
2. Do Some Research
Your competition can provide you with valuable information. Just think about it – they have already been through the process of planning and building a website and have probably managed to identify effective ways to run their website.
Competitors’ websites can help you determine which design layouts work, what usability features you need to focus on, as well as what types of content are effective when it comes to engaging your audience.
3. Identify Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is crucial when it comes to choosing the right design elements, such as navigation, typography, layout, and colour scheme.
Besides knowing your audience’s demographics – gender, age, location, etc. – you also need to figure out stuff like what their values and beliefs are, what drives them, what products they use, and which other companies they’re buying from.
The more you know about your audience, the better you can design a site that meets their needs.
4. Choose a Great Domain Name
Your domain name is the key element of your website for several reasons:
- It’s the first thing visitors will see. Good domains can leave a positive and lasting impression.
- It defines your brand. The right domain name can increase brand recognition.
- It affects SEO. The use of keywords in your domain can help your SEO ranking.
Your website name should be a reflection of either your company name or what your organization does. Choose a domain that is short, easy to remember, and reflects the nature of your website.
However, you should keep in mind that searching for a domain manually is not easy, as most good domains are already taken. That’s why you should consider using a domain name provider. Domain name providers like NameSilo provide thousands of domains, as well as cheap domain registration, to help you find the right match for your brand in no time.
5. Plan and Develop Your Content
Planning and creating your site’s content is not an easy task. Whether you have 5 pages or 105, deciding what content to place on your website is vital to its overall success. Besides written copy, website content also includes images, videos, charts, downloadable files, and infographics.
When it comes to written content, whether you create it yourself or have someone do it for you, make sure to avoid long, rambling paragraphs. Keep your copy concise and relevant to hold your visitors’ attention.
What about visual content? Images are an absolute must because when was the last time you saw a site without any images? Images of your products, your office, your employees, anything relevant to your company and website work. Avoid using stock images and focus on images that make your site unique and specific to your company.
6. Don’t Forget About SEO
The best time to start thinking about SEO for your website is when you are just starting out. SEO plays a huge part when it comes to attracting traffic to your site. Here are the fundamental steps to SEO success in a nutshell:
- Figure out what your customers are searching for
- Optimize your pages for your target keywords
- Ensure that your site is accessible to both humans and search engines
- Get other sites to link to your website
7. Focus on Branding
Without branding, your website has no identity. A branded website will instantly build your credibility. Customers will be more likely to trust you and choose you when your site reflects your best self.
For starters, invest in a good logo. Your logo is one of the first things people notice when they land on your site and a key part of your brand identity. It’s a good idea to have a logo with a tagline on your site so that visitors know what your business is about at a glance.
Next, pay attention to the colours. There are many studies claiming that colours can elicit certain emotions and behaviours from viewers. So, before you go for the colours you personally prefer, think about your company values and brand identity.
Finally, be consistent. Cohesion inspires greater familiarity and defines a style that makes your brand instantly recognizable.
From appearance to functionality, a lot goes into creating a visually-appealing, user-friendly site. Web designers and developers need to work together to produce a site that will engage customers, rank well in the search engines, and stimulate conversions. It’s a lot of work but these 7 tips should provide you with a good starting point and set the stage for an exquisite final product.