When you start a business you need a great website. This is a line that you hear all the time and it makes sense.
In this digital age, it is important for you to take the time to look carefully at online presence. Becoming an entrepreneur and leaving behind that 9-5 grind is a big ask, and if you are to succeed in a sea of other entrepreneurs looking to do the same, you need to be smart and savvy.
When building a successful online brand it is important to have a website, and building a website for the first time can be somewhat daunting, but it is easier than you may think.
Today let’s go through some of the essential steps you need to take to build a website from the ground up which is easy to manage and one that people want to come back to again and again.
Here are the simple steps you need to undertake to create a brilliant website for your business this year.
Start with an idea
The first step to creating a website for your business is to come up with an idea. Different businesses need different things and depending on the type of business you are running, you might need something simple or something more complex. For example if you are a legal business looking for leads to contact about a mortgage claim: you may only need a simple landing page with a contact form. However if you are an e-commerce website looking to sell a range of products you might need a more complex website with pages and categories. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down your requirements for a website and sketch it out. Sketching out a rough design will allow you to move onto the next stage of choosing a platform to host it on.
Choose A Platform For Your Great Website
There are many amazing CMS platforms out there for use, and each of them have their own merits. Wix is brilliant for those of you who have a creative eye and want to create something unique, WordPress has many beautiful and professional templates, and there are many other providers out there to choose from. Depending on your skill with HTML; you can either choose to use WordPress.com or WordPress.org – the latter having more of an emphasis on coding. Research features and prices and consider what it is that you need for your business.
Find Your Domain
A domain is the most important part of website creation because it forms your online identity. When coming up with a name for your brand, you have to research domain names too because you run the risk of someone else already having the same name. A domain is a wonderful way to get creative and gain some recognition online, and will become the name people know you for. Make sure to choose a name which is unique; easy to remember; and one which suits your brand. You wouldn’t create a hardware store and call it Purple Unicorn!
Design A Simple Homepage
Once you have a domain name on hand and you’ve chosen your platform, the fun part begins. Now is the time to take your ideas and sketches and start building a homepage for your website. You can browse through templates online and play it safe with those, or you can start with a blank canvas and add your own elements to it. Creating a homepage can take quite a long time and the more effort you put into it, the better your results will be.
Use Imagery In Your Great Website
When creating the homepage for your website, you need to add some images and perhaps even some videos. Imagery is a huge factor in keeping your clients interested, and the images you use will impact the way people view you and your business. When starting out it is a good idea to invest in some stock images from a site such as Shutterstock to add a professional air to your content, because this will bring an element of trust to your brand.
Create A Simple Menu
One of the most crucial elements of every website is its menu, and the size of your website will impact the complexity of your menu. If you only have a landing page; good news! You don’t need a menu. However if you have pages with information, products, and contact information you need to create an easy to navigate menu that fits on your top bar. Before you go gung-ho and create your menu within the CMS, take some time to sit down and write down exactly what pages you need to be covered. This will prevent any confusion and stop you from making any stupid mistakes with the heirarchy of the menu once installed.
A Great Website Invests In Good SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is about more than just keywords; it is about optimising your website from the coding upwards to ensure that search engine algorithms rank it highly. When dealing with SEO as a new business owner; it may be smarter to use an outsourced agency to complete the work for you. It will avoid you making mistakes but will also ensure maximum visibility once your website goes live.
A Great Website Has Links To Social Channels
Social media is an important part of marketing for your business, and your website and social media channels should be linked. Add a small widget at the bottom of your homepage that links to your social channels, allowing people to find out more about you and follow you if they please.
When creating a website; one of the most important steps is Usability testing. User experience is an important part of building a website that is successful, because you need to ensure that people can navigate it easily and will want to keep coming back. Go through the process of testing your website with a professional company to ensure that it runs smoothly, there are no broken links, and that loading time doesn’t hinder your ability to gain visitors.
Take on board these steps this winter to build a website that works well and is easy to navigate. A good website can make the world of difference to your business so make sure to invest in this year!