A website is often one of the first things you set up when you are setting up a new business. You stress over it for weeks, and most likely even months, trying to make it as perfect as possible. Some entrepreneurs and businesses will spend tons of resources in perfecting their website.
But, before you waste time and energy making a website, do some research to make sure you are doing it the right way. As there are more than 1.5 billion websites out there, your site can quickly fade into the crowd if you aren’t doing everything correct. Get every piece of your website in place with our top hints.
Find a Reliable Website Host
The first step to take, before you can begin designing your website, is to find a reliable and trustworthy hosting company. A hosting provider will make sure your site is up and accessible at all times to your clientele.
There are different levels for hosting, with various pricing models. Usually, with hosting services you get what you pay for, so if you are going cheap, expect to get less than stellar customer support and a slower website that might occasionally go down. If you are starting and don’t get that much traffic, you probably can afford to go cheaper. You want to ensure that you aren’t underspending on hosting providers, especially if you rely on your business to make money or bring in business. A site that consistently goes down is not going to do you any favors!
Remember, speed and reliability matter. Roughly half of all web users will bounce off a site that doesn’t load in two seconds, so if your site isn’t loading quickly enough, you could be losing customers!
Easy to Navigate
Nothing is worse than a website that has no clear direction. By including a sitemap, it will help your visitors move efficiently and smoothly from one digital area to the next. Navigability also plays an essential role in boosting your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engine spiders can search and rank your website higher if you include a sitemap.
There are three different types of sitemaps that you can include:
- Indexed sitemap – An alphabetic directory or listing of your pages.
- Complete Categorical sitemap – The most popular form, because it gives you a full list with classified links to different categories. It allows you to move from category to category efficiently.
- Restricted Categorical – A sitemap that places all links in specific categories, which may be limited to simplify the viewing.
A Homepage With a Clear Message
Your homepage is where you can create your first impression, so you want it to be a good one! If you are trying to sell yourself or a product, you don’t want to confuse your visitors straightway.
You should be answering the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What are you offering?
Don’t lose your visitors quickly because of a lack of a clear message. You can have the most beautiful site in the world, but it doesn’t matter if the content isn’t there and easily digestible.
It might seem obvious, but don’t forget to include your contact info and links to any active social media pages you have.
Maintain an Active Blog
Writing blogs once or twice a week is a great way to drive traffic to your site. Blogs are currently one of the most popular methods of communicating online, so don’t skip over the blog. Businesses that blog sixteen or more blog posts a month get 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published less than four blogs a month. Not only can a blog help send traffic to your site, but it can also have SEO benefits as well. Make sure your content is good, compelling content that adds value to the visitor.
A blog brings your business to life because it can make it more personable. It also creates a connection and makes you accessible to the public. For small businesses, a blog can lead to a 126% increase in leads generation.
If you use WordPress as your content management system (CMS), it is easy to add a blog to your site. If you are worried that you don’t have the necessary skills, WordPress makes it easy and is simple enough that even complete beginners can handle it.
The design of your website is essential to making a strong first impression. A good website designer who builds you a site from scratch can sometimes cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to do it right. Luckily, nowadays, there is a cheaper way, and you don’t have to know even a single line of code. Thanks to website builders and templates, you can create a beautiful site with almost no effort. When you are choosing a web host, check out their free templates to make sure that they are easy to use and attractive.
According to recent studies, about 40% of consumers will leave a site if they don’t think it is well-done. A site that is stuck in the 20th century is no excuse anymore. Website builders can produce a beautiful website with almost no effort on your part.
We have already talked about SEO but it is so important, we need to mention it again. SEO should always be on your mind, and in order to achieve great SEO rankings, your site must be mobile-friendly. Beginning in 2015, Google announced that sites optimized for mobile devices would be ranked higher in the searches. This change shows that Google will reward sites which better serve digital consumers.
A mobile-friendly site is essential for more than just the ratings. Statista found that mobile traffic accounts for 52.64% of the global online traffic. Mobile traffic grows year after year, and if your site isn’t mobile-responsive, you could be losing a significant portion of your audience. In fact, 57% of Internet users wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
No matter what type of site you want, the key elements of a successful website don’t change. A beautiful website can create a lasting positive impression on your visitors, and will hopefully lead to an increase in lead generations and sales.