How many websites do you visit on an average day? We’re willing to bet it’s more than you can easily remember! With each of those websites, there will be things you like about them and things you don’t care for as much. While the sites of large companies are often slick, sleek and well designed, the websites of smaller companies may prove less easy to navigate, or less attractive to look at. So when you are looking to create the optimal website for your business, you do not want to encounter the same pitfalls as the sites you don’t love.
But where do you even start? Here, we look into how you can create the best website for your business, and make sure that it stays that way. With so much great advice to absorb, let’s get down to it — and help you to create the perfect website for you.
Find the “why” behind your website
What is your website for? The first thing that you need to think about is why your website needs to exist in the first place. Finding the “why” is key! It’s true that most businesses nowadays need a great website to help them attract and retain customers, but what is your unique reason? Are you in ecommerce and want a platform to sell your goods and services, or are you a content creator who wants a “home base” where your fans and followers can find you?
Perhaps you are an author or musician looking to make sure that people can get in touch with you easily and find out everything they need to know, or you are providing information such as current news. Is your website somewhere people will come to learn, somewhere they will book appointments, or a place to buy goods? There are as many reasons for a website as there are types of work in the world, so think carefully. This will help you with every other step we are going to discuss.
Get a great name
You don’t want to go with any old name when it comes to your domain. Some of the platforms where you can purchase domains will tell you the relative value of the domain you have chosen, showing you whether it is high value or not. However, this should not be the leading reason for choosing a certain name. If you have a business name, you want the domain name to be as close as possible to the name of your business — if your website is for a more personal sort of creative business, choose the name you wish to be known by, or something strongly associated with your brand. This level of identifiability is important when it comes to driving traffic to your site, and can help with SEO, too. Certain words and phrases can be more favoured when it comes to SEO, but choosing a name that suits your business and brand should be your primary concern.
Hosting is not just for parties. Your website needs to be hosted, too, and this means that you must select a web host. You may wish to host your site yourself, in which case this is something that you will need to figure out for yourself. However, if you are new to the world of websites or you just don’t want to worry about learning all about web hosting, using a website builder can help you out. Website builders usually include web hosting in your subscription, so you can just concentrate on web design and creating excellent content.
Keep messaging clear
Speaking of content creation, this is a huge part of any well-received and high functioning website. You should ensure that your website is well-written, with clear messaging throughout. The description of your business should be displayed in a prominent and easily found location so that potential clients and customers have a clear understanding of your services. Beyond this, every piece of content should be written in a way that is both relaying information and providing a non-technical explanation to customers. Many businesses branch out and employ content writers to do this, and if you don’t feel confident in your writing style, this could be a good idea for you, too.
Use a website builder
We’re going to be honest with you — building a website from scratch can be tough! That’s why easy to use website builders are a great idea. Look out for platforms that are not necessarily designed for technically minded people, and find the ones that speak your language, not technical jargon. By choosing a more simple to use website builder, not only are a lot of the more confusing elements of web design and building dealt with for you, but you will easily be able to change and update the site yourself, helping you to save time and money in the long run. This will also allow you to get your website up and running more quickly than if you went with a more complicated platform and perhaps needed to hire a developer to get the job done for you.
Focus on design
Designing your website is absolutely about more than just how it looks — but we will say that the look is one of the most important parts! An eye-catching, cohesive and attractive design goes a long way to ensuring that consumers feel that your site is professional, giving them more trust in your services. This might sound like a big ask if you have never thought about web design before, but website builders have themes and templates that you can choose from. This can help you to make your web design different and engaging for visitors, while also gelling with your company look. The right design will be memorable and stand out from the crowd — but make sure that you do this without clashing colours or a lot of different fonts. Keeping the design clean and fairly simple can be very striking when done well.
Not everyone is browsing websites on their computers nowadays. In fact, it is much more likely that your potential consumers will be browsing on their mobile devices, such as a phone or tablet. Make sure that your website is optimised for these as well as for desktop use, and that visitors get the same level of usability no matter what device they are on. This will increase traffic and provide a seamless experience.
Search engines are something you need to think about for your business, whether you are in ecommerce or any other area. Many consumers will find you through results generated by a search engine, so you want to be one of the top names they see! It’s a competitive environment online, so check to see whether your web design platform has SEO (search engine optimisation) features. Often, even the best platforms lack this kind of functionality, so building your own awareness of which words and phrases have strong SEO is a good idea. You can even optimise your images, so check that they are the correct scale and quality for your site, as low quality images can be damaging to your overall brand.
This is an especially good piece of advice for those with ecommerce sites, but it can work for anyone building a business website. Think about the internal and external links that you are using on your site. For example, if you have a product for sale, linking to another product on your site that is relevant to it could help to drive more sales. Or if you work with affiliates or creative partners, linking easily to their sites will help to drive traffic to them. This is a good way of keeping consumers on your site, or directing them to a site joined to yours in some way, increasing engagement. Whether internal or external, check that your links are always working and that they make logical sense.
Are you a social butterfly? Of course, we’re talking about social media. While you may be familiar with using it for your personal life, you might not be aware that social media is one of the best ways to build a brand and make connections with potential consumers and clients. If you have built up a dedicated following on some of the popular social media platforms, or even if you’re just starting out, now is the time to utilise these forums to your advantage.
Start advertising your website on social media before it launches, then you can do a “grand opening” post (or a few posts) when launch day comes. Don’t forget to cross-post updates to your website on your social media to drive engagement. While you may not want to saturate your socials, this is the perfect place to get your website out there, with your already-loyal following.
Test, test, and test more
So your website is looking great, you’ve got engaging and interesting content galore, and now you just want to make sure that it works as well as possible, right? You need to test your website! Do checks for broken links, and see how fast your website is to load. Remember all the sites you love? A slow pace would spoil that! So ensure your site doesn’t lag behind. Once you have checked your website over and ensured it is up to speed, it’s finally time to publish!
So sit back and relax, the hard work is done, right?
Wrong! There is still plenty to work on.
Keep your content up
While building your website, you created the best content possible before hitting publish. But updating your content should be something you do on an ongoing basis, both written and visual. Creating and publishing content that is of the highest quality will only build on the great reputation of your website, and show that you are not just another sleek looking site — you have something a little extra to offer.
Make sure that your content is relevant and engaging, and keep your eyes open for current trends that you can hop on while still staying true to your core messaging. And while you’re at it, check for broken links and pages regularly, so that your consumers are pulled in rather than pushed away.
Install webmaster tools
Webmaster tools might sound like something way too tech-y to understand, but they will be a lifesaver for you! Webmaster tools such as Google Search Console can help you to monitor your site’s performance when it comes to SEO, perform analysis on links, and see how your site is interacting with search engines. This is invaluable if you want to improve your performance, because as we all know — knowledge is power.
Maintenance is everything
Finally, you really can sit back and relax…. Kind of. Having a plan in place for your website maintenance is a must. This will keep your site up-to-date and with a good level of functionality. If you choose to go with a website builder, then the security aspect and the technology side of your website will be handled for you, without much input on your side. However, if you host your website yourself, this will be a little more tricky and in depth. At the very least, you should be regularly checking and maintaining your website, both in looks and function, to keep it current and accessible to those who need it.
Are you feeling more equipped to make the most of your website? It might seem like a lot of work, but there are plenty of resources out there who can help you. Limecube is the perfect website design builder, whether you are new to the world of website building or you just need the best to make your vision a reality. A Limecube subscription could be your first step in having the kind of website that turns all your business dreams into a reality — so check out everything we have to offer and make your website as good as it can be.