The Insider's Guide to Setting Up a Great Website
Do you want to know what all web designers, digital agencies or website builders don't want you to know? Well, that's not entirely true, most of this is common knowledge but we decided to dedicate this article to help you set up a great website for your business. While researching we found that the main issue in creating a great and relevant website is it can be achieved in many different ways, so let's look at the process step by step.
What are website basic fundamentals?
For a website to be on the internet there is a need for a few fundamental things to initially get it up and running. These basic fundamentals will affect the success of your online marketing so, discussing it with a web designer with years of experience or a digital agency should be your first step.
That is not to say you can't do all the research online and DIY, however too many times business owners make a lot of small mistakes that affect how search engines and social media interact with their online brand. This can all be avoided by just spending a few minutes with an experienced expert.
By talking to an expert and getting the fundamental structure right first you can then proceed to build on your platform. Below is a list of the fundamentals each website needs:
- Buy a domain name that is relevant to your brand
- Find a web hosting services that provides quality
- Get an email that has your domain name, not Gmail or Yahoo
- Install software like WordPress, Drupal or other software provided by the hosting company
- A reasonable level of support (Can you contact someone, if you get stuck?)
- There are platforms like Wix but they come with limitations.
Is web design branding important?
Websites branding is very important and is the next step you will need to address to achieve online success. This is often overlooked by a business. One way to explain the importance of this subject is think about how we use our personal choice in everyday life.
Imagine, as a business owner looking for a new supplier you have an option of two different suppliers. One has a shop that is average with no branding and the other is well branded, who do you choose?
This theory applies to a website as well and there are ways to do this with a small budget. But if you don't have an eye for design don't destroy your brand and don't do it yourself below are some ways to create a brand on a small budget if needed.
- Buy or download a templated theme for your website
- Take your time and replace images and text that enhance your brand
- If you need something customised, get a web designer
- Think about your brand before you make design changes
How to find out who is coming to your website
One thing everyone needs to know is who is coming to their website, how long are they staying and where did they come from. This is the power of the internet, knowing these crucial facts help you with a marketing strategy. Also important is finding out how your market segment is interacting with your brand, understanding where they are coming from and why they are there.
This makes your marketing budget go further. Some tools that can be used to work out how others are interacting with your website include:
What does a website brand need?
It needs you!! Time is limited but the more a small business owner invests up front with the goal to achieve a higher ranking in search engines, the better. The effects on the long term results on your business's identity and the way the brand is displayed to potential customers is a direct consequence of the effort put in.
So once your website design and branding is complete the next thing to think about is how can you use this to promote your brand. Not sure where to start? The solution is simple, have aplan on what you want to display to a potential user. This can be done in different ways images, video, audio, and text. Yes, content will help search engines and a user to find you.
Is website content really important?
Yes, yes, yes. Did I answer yes, to the question? Does that mean you need to add content to your website every day? No, not really it depends on what you are trying to achieve. For example, say you are a small business in a geographical area and every month you post a testimonial on Facebook to all your followers. Instead of just posting the information there, copy and paste it to your blog. Why?, because it teaches the search engines more about you, your business will benefit in the following ways:
- You will show up in search more often on multiple subjects, creating a bigger reach.
- The need to pay for advertising will become less over time.
- People will see you as an authority.
- People will link to your content.
- Your ranking will increase because of the authority you have gained.
How do I get images for my blog?
Using images on a blog or news article when creating content can be a very powerful tool. It is not always needed depending on the website and what you are trying to achieve, however, to convey an idea or explain a concept, imagery can be very powerful.
The are some things to consider when adding an image. The main one is don't steal it, there are plenty of ways to get great images that will enhance the point you are conveying to your audience.
Yes, images are great here are some tips on where to get them:
- Pixabay , open stock photography and splitshire.com all have images for free commercial images.
- For a small cost to enhance your content, sites like Istockphoto and Shutterstock are useful.
- Websites like Websiteplanet, Optimizilla and Kraken.io will take your image and optimise it for the internet.
Please add a Call to Action!!!!
A call to action is an image or text link that has one purpose and that is to get someone to do something. In the virtual world, it is usually to get someone to contact you via email, social media, or the phone. Whatever the call to action (CTA) is, it should be clear and easy to understand.
What things could you say in your call to action? They need to be simple and to the point, Sign up, Get started, Try free for a month, Find out more, are all examples of CTA's. See more here
Do you have a budget for your website?
A newly branded website will increase its exposure and website traffic by adding content and/or paying for marketing. Another consideration is if your website over time will need to extend its functionality, this can take a developer some time to implement these changes.
Taking all this into consideration here are some useful ideas to make your budget go further:
- Talk to someone about your brand and goals early on.
- Make a Digital Marketing plan.
- Have a budget that might be used.
- Reinvest a percentage of your profit into marketing.
- Write content about your brand.
- Share your content online.
Should I use Social Media, yes or no?
Using social media as a part of a marketing plan is paramount. It produces user engagement and helps search engines get some context about what your brand is and how it can benefit the reader. We have produced these great articles called Should Small Business use Social Media as a Marketing Tool? and Social Media Explained that explores why small business should use these tools.
Will listening to a digital agency or SEO expert really help?
In the old days, anyone could be an SEO expert search engines have found ways to reward who is doing the right thing. All experts will encourage you to use content, content and more content to enhance your profile online. The different skills a SEO expert needs to be proficient in include:
- Technical SEO - the ability to understand the HTML structure of a page.
- Social media marketing and what works best for your situation.
- Link building that creates authority on the topic of your website.
- Web design that is useful to the customer (usability).
- Information architecture - how best to display the content.
- Content that is relevant to the person you're trying to attract.
Setting up a great website initially can take time but with all these amazing tools and with a little planning your website will be able to rank number one with little cost to you. The benefits will enhance your business and create a marketing platform that will increase your brands' awareness across different topics relevant to you.
It's your turn now, email us and tell us how you want to set up a great website!