So you’ve opened your own business, and now comes the decision to create your website. A website is a critical step in business development- it’s the first impression for a customer searching for your product or service online. First impressions are everything- 75% of consumers will judge a business based on website design alone.
So you want to make sure your website does more than just give the basic information of who, what, where, and when. Instead, your website should answer the all-important “Why?” of your business and products. The goal is to create a website with brilliant copy, colors, graphics, logos, and information that potential customers are drawn to and want to buy. But where do you start? How do you start?
Here’s some information to get you on your way to creating your website.
- Pick a Platform: A website has to be on a structure that acts as its digital home. Content Management Systems (CMS) platforms like GoDaddy, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress, make website creation easy, so you don’t have to know HTML or other coding languages. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms owning 44% of the CMS platform market share.
- What’s in a Name: Your domain name, that is. Your domain name identifies your business and its place on the web. Keeping your domain name simple, brandable, catchy, and logical makes it easier for your future customers to search and find your business. Depending on your type of business, your address usually ends in .com, but it can also end in .net, .info, or .org for non-profits. Once you’ve identified your domain name, you must register it with the domain name registrar. Several of the CMS platforms will register your domain name for you.
- Who’s the Host with the Most: A web host connects your website to the internet. A web hosting service has the technology you pay for your website and its files on the web. Pricing varies depending on what type of host you need for your website. Host services companies include Bluehost, Dreamhost, GoDaddy, and Hostpapa.
- Visualize to Realize: You’ve figured out the technical start-up in building your website, but what do you want it to look like? What do you need it to say and do? Before you start designing, take a look at what your competitors are doing on their websites. What colors, graphics, and fonts are they using?
These seemingly simple details can make or break your website. 66% of consumers prefer to peruse a beautifully designed and constructed website, so details and subtle touches matter. Many CRM platforms provide pre-made designer themes and templates that just need your images and content to make the designing process a little easier.
Before you start designing, take a look at what your competitors are doing on their websites.
- Quality over Quantity Content: In the case of written and visual content, less is more. Consider how many pages you want to create, and remember to start with the basics: the Homepage, the About Page, and the Contact Page. You can add other pages after, but ask yourself do you need 20 additional pages? Keep in mind that the more content you add can slow your website down. Websites that load slowly lose customers and $2.6 billion per year because customers don’t want to wait for information.
In 2020, 49.2% of consumers made purchases on their mobile devices versus desktops. In fiscal Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2021, it was 53.9%. Plus, 74% of users are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site.
- Your Website IS Your Library: A library is an organizational system based on letters and numbers, and so is your website. A library is thoughtfully designed and coordinated so patrons can find their materials and information quickly and easily. Though the Dewey Decimal System doesn’t apply to your website, prioritize content that would receive the most attention and where it should be on the page. Use memorable category names and be consistent in organizing. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for quickly and instantly, they’ll go somewhere else.
Websites that load slowly lose customers and $2.6 billion per year because customers don’t want to wait for information.
- Optimize to Strategize: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in leading traffic to your website. You should consider SEO from the minute you start thinking about building your website–your domain name, for starters, can be a keyword and an exact match in search engine results. Likewise, all your content should be searchable by keywords and exact match as well. Again, many of the CRMs mentioned embed SEO into your website as you create it.
- Customers “HEART” Mobile: As people rely on smartphones more and more, making your website from the start just makes sense. In 2020, 49.2% of consumers made purchases on their mobile devices versus desktops. In fiscal Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2021, it was 53.9%. Plus, 74% of users are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site.
- SECURITY!: Whether your website sells items or not, customers and users want to feel secure about the information they’re giving you. Add a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certification to your website, and you’re providing an extra layer of security between your website and your customer, preventing cyber criminals from gaining personal information. SSL adds security to your website and increases trustworthiness and credibility, plus boosts your SEO.
There are two different layers out there: Transportation Layer Security (TLS) with three different encryption types (ECC, RSA, DSA) and HyperText Transfer P rotocol Secure (HTTPS). Without SSL certification on your website, potential customers may not trust you with their data and information.
Now that you’ve created and launched your new website, check these things to make sure it’s running correctly. Part of the building process is testing! Next, make sure your website is user-friendly- 89% of customers will gladly shop at a competitor if they have a horrible experience. Next, check your SEO metrics, see what keywords are working and what’s not. Last but not least, make sure your mobile site is working by having trusted family/friends test the site and taking their feedback to implement vital changes before launching.
75% of consumers will judge a business based on website design alone.
Creating a website for your business is no small task. Even CRMs with templates and built-ins, you have to take your time to craft unique content that shows the personality of your business and what you’re selling and doing. In addition, they have to have as good a customer experience as they would if they were shopping with you personally. To keep your personal touch on your site means working step-by-step in building your website to maintain the customer connection. Cutting corners and rushing through the process of building your website means missing personal connections and potential sales.
Too busy to build a beautiful website? Call Digital Blue Beagle, we’re happy to help you!