There are so many tips and hints out there about what should and shouldn’t be on your website that it can be quite confusing. Something that works for one business may not be practical for another. With the ever changing search engine algorithms, it’s difficult to know where to start!
I’ve some basics to help you navigate the process of launching your first website. The list is a bit unusual, especially for me, as there are no links to premium plugin’s, infographics, or third party software. It’s just some general advice I’ve come to realize over the last number of years building websites for small businesses.
My first piece of advice is … start with simple. Having to plan out and write content for a huge website is daunting. Think about what you need as a minimum. Design, develop, get the content together and launch it. It doesn’t have to be perfect – no-one’s first attempt ever is, You need something to test, to see if it connects with your potential customers, and it’s easier to see what actually works rather than trying to guess.
Like with all things in business, and life to some degree, you need a goal. What do you want a visitor on your site to do? Send you a message, download a file (and give you their email address), or make a purchase? Have this goal in mind when designing your site to make sure the visitor is guided towards the desired action.
Not everyone that visits your site will be ready to take action. You need to give them the opportunity to keep in touch and return to your site when they’re ready to move forward. The easiest way is to have links to your social media profiles and a newsletter opt-in form positioned prominently on your site. If you want to take it a step further, design a pop-out message for those intending to exit your site asking if they’d like to connect with you on social media.
Keep things fresh. No-one likes to read blog posts that were published months ago (especially the search engine spiders). Set-up a schedule to post a new article at least once a month, but more frequently as you gain confidence. Review your website every month and see if you can update any of the static content. If site visitors see you regularly provide fresh information, they’re more likely to come back to see you again.
Lastly, and most importantly, is personality. A website is a great way for your potential customers to start getting to know you. When they know you, they are more likely to buy from you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality come through in the text, images and website as a whole.
So to summarise:
- Keep it simple
- Have a goal
- Links to social profiles
- Keep things fresh
- Show your personality
Keep these simple points in mind when building your site and don’t be afraid of imperfection. Remember, a website will evolve over time.
About the Author
I am passionate about simplicity and innovation! I love finding things to help me, and those around me, save time and effort in our daily lives. I’m always looking at new ways to do things and new technologies to use.