People decide to create their own websites for a host of different reasons. They may be for a specific hobby or interest or even upcoming events. These days, practically every business is expected to have an online presence. Potential customers want more and more from such sites, and if they don’t find what they want they simply move on.
Whether it’s for a private individual or company, making a website is not an easy thing to do. Lots of research and learning has to be done upfront. Even when the site is up and running, it may need regular monitoring and amendment. This article has been written to help anyone who is starting on this exciting journey.
The Internet And External Companies Can Help
As with all things, people can receive help online when wanting to learn about website creation. There is lots of quality information available that is totally free. There may be text content, photos, and screenshots. Platforms such as Youtube provide a rich resource of video content on this very subject as well.
People frequently search online for companies that can help them with their websites. They may want to read customer reviews or see example sites before committing. The professionals at Something Design say people want to have telephone chats about their proposed sites and to receive help from professional designers. There is still lots of enthusiasm to have the support and guidance of professionals at key stages in the web development process, whether that’s a full one-stop-shop service or input to key decisions like brand identity and image choices.
Ask Yourself What You Want
There’s a big difference between hobby websites and those related to business. You need to be clear in your mind about what you are trying to achieve.
What are your strategic goals for the website? Do you ultimately want to increase sales of products or services? Or do you want to increase your profile and influence, so that potential customers think of you first when a job comes along? Or do you just want to manage the external image of your company so that when a potential customer checks you out you can control what they see? Alternatively, do you simply want to become an influencer or to post themed articles and pictures in order to build and cement relationships?
Get the Content Ready
The content on your website needs to be of good quality, relevant and engaging if it is to attract attention. The home page needs to leave the person in no doubt as to what the site is about. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about using words that people are searching for on web browsers. It’s no use just posting pictures on each page. For the site to be found by others there must be strategic content using key search words. It may be tempting to cut and paste certain paragraphs on each page of the site. Google doesn’t like this duplication, however, and reduces the ranking of such pages.
Video content is top of the tree for gaining peoples’ interest and attention. If a video is placed on the home page, it can pay dividends. People want to learn about the person who has created the site and what it’s there for. The public wants to see faces and hear stories rather than just reading sterile web pages.
The Value Of Blogging
Blogging is a great way to generate content for your website. It can help with the SEO process. People can be drawn to your site by your blog titles when searching on Google. If a loyal following begins to grow, it can lead to sales. This is because people begin to trust bloggers as specialists and experts and therefore buy their products and services.
Even if someone is not doing the website for business reasons, they can become an educator and connect to a larger community through their blogs.
Provide A Call To Action (CTA)
This is the logical next step in the process. You need to have a ‘learn more here’ link or provide the possibility to subscribe to the site.
It may be worth offering something free to tempt visitors, such as an ebook. In exchange for this free gift, they give you their email address and sign up for a newsletter or updates. This can be highly valuable for future email marketing campaigns. SMS (text) marketing is also rising in popularity, so it might be worth offering this option too.
Use Quality Pictures
It can be tempting to use your own photos, but they can be poor in quality. Make sure any pictures taken from the internet are either royalty-free or paid for. When peoples’ websites use generic photos, it can look very poor, so make sure they are highly relevant to each page.
If someone has created a website about cats or art, for example, they can use the site as an online portfolio for their work. Once again, it could be used when seeking a related job or trying to monetize the page by selling the photos.
Consider The Basic Layout
Usually, there are tabs at the top or sides that link to other places on the site. They may be for product pages, blogs, social media links, and so on.
There must be a ‘Contact Us’ facility clearly marked out. Decide whether to provide addresses and phone numbers. People also like to be able to send written queries across or speak to autobots or virtual assistants.
Think About The Page Appearance
Companies should research their rivals when thinking about logos, color, straplines, and design for their websites.
It’s no good if a business designs the layout it desires if it bears no comparison to the requirements of potential customers. It’s essential to ask what they want, be it FAQ sites, ‘how to’ videos, online catalogs, customer reviews, customer portals, or more.
Use A Good Domain And Reliable Host
It’s great if a website name matches its function or is easy to find online. Choose reliable site providers and think about the size of the site. It’s worth considering whether it will be for a modest number of pages or an expanding company. Most people install WordPress for their website management as it’s quite user-intuitive and regarded as the best platform for SEO results.
Pre-created themes and templates can be helpful for people with little web experience. Free templates are less secure from a hacking angle, however. It’s important that the end result will work on a variety of devices, be it computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Most visits to websites these days are from smartphones, so make sure that everything on the site is mobile-friendly.
When all these things come together, the resulting website should be fit for purpose. It may be that hundreds or even thousands of people will visit it. It is possible to build your own good-looking website these days, with template tools and YouTube tutorials. But if in doubt get expert support. You only get one chance to make a first impression, make it count.