If you’re starting a new business, or already have a business but still haven’t launched a website to support it, there’s no time to waste. From branding and marketing your business, and teaching customers about what you do, to selling directly online and even measuring exactly where your customers come from, there are plenty of reasons why it’s vital to have a website in this day and age.
However, if you’re new to the task, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start and what to do–you’ll probably have more questions than answers. For example, should you choose free web hosting, or a paid product? What should the site look like, and what features should be included?
There’s so much to decide, and if you need some help, read on for some tips on how to build a website that really gets results.
Know Your Goals
Your first step should be understanding your goals for creating a website. To build a site that gets results, you need to know what you want to accomplish. This information is also something that you will need to let a designer or other contractor who’s helping you with your site know.
When thinking about your goals, make sure that the results are measurable. Some suggestions might be to increase conversion rates, generate more leads, find new customers in a new target market or demographic area, increase sales in general, build brand awareness, or reduce your business overheads.
No two websites will ever be the same, not just because of their design, but because every site serves a different purpose. The type of site you create needs to reflect its purpose and be completely built around it.
For example, if your main goal is to generate leads and entice new clients to enter the sales funnel (whether by signing up for a newsletter or making initial contact), your website should be designed around providing relevant information. If, on the other hand, your goal is to sell as many products online as possible, then you need to create a more strategically conversion-based website.
Have a Plan
Once you’ve worked out some clear-cut goals for the new site, put a plan in place. Determine your preferred launch date, and then work backwards from there to create a timeline showing deadlines of when steps need to be completed in order for everything to be done in time. Communicate your launch date to any designers you work with, and understand what your role in the process will be at every stage so that deadlines are met and work can be completed without any hold ups.
In addition, it helps to put together a specific business plan for the site once it’s up and running. Ideally, create a plan that covers the next three, six, and twelve months, as well as the next five years. Be clear on where you want the site to be at each of those milestones so that you constantly stay on track.
If you can, plan in advance the strategies you’ll be trying in order to achieve your goals, from email marketing and social media, to Google AdWords, search engine optimization, video and text content, and the like.
Choosing the Design Carefully
Obviously one of the most important parts of any website is the design. This doesn’t just cover the colors used, but also the layout.