A successful website requires much planning and decision-making. Your site will be an ongoing project. Sure you won’t have to keep creating it, but you will need to continuously reinvent your overall theme, look, and pages.
Before you begin, ask yourself what’s driving your website? This can be a difficult question to answer, but you need to clearly understand its purpose and function if you expect your visitors to get it.
So where do you begin? Ask yourself why you are creating the site. What do you want your visitors to take away? What information is vital enough to make them want to take action? Knowing these answers is what will help you plan your pages.
Yes you want your site to look pretty and you want all the links and various elements to work, but your visitors need to see something that will really grab their attention. This means including content that is compelling in nature, photos that clearly illustrate that content and who you are, and a clear path to wherever it is you want them to go to take the desired action.
How your website is built isn’t as important as what’s on it. It should, of course, be easy to use and look great, but the specific languages and tools used for its creation don’t matter nearly as much as what visitors will read on each page. The theme used isn’t what will bring visitors to a particular page via search engines and turn them into paying customers. The content, however, will.
Your specific business goals are what should drive your website. Again, know where you want to go and create your content from there.
The end result is crucial. What do you want your customers to do upon visiting your site? What information do you want them to remember or keep coming back to read? What would make them tell others about your business? Your specific goals deserve a great deal of attention. Other than that, you should choose a design that looks great and is very functional, but your main focus should remain your business goals.
Keep your website modern. This means it should look up-to-date as well as perform that way. For example, a site without any links to social media pages would probably not attract customers from the younger generation or social media lovers who get a lot of their information from Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. Create your social media profiles and link them to your official website. Likewise, link your site to your social media profiles.
Take an interactive approach. Visitors love to interact and you should too. Ask questions and provide feedback. Give them short videos to watch instead of just content to read. Allowing them to share thoughts and opinions with you can lead to the building of long-lasting customer relationships.
Focus on customer conversions. Sure it’s great people are visiting your website, but if they aren’t being converted to customers, the site isn’t doing you much good. Know your target market and find out what your potential customers want. Reach out to them by providing information that will interest them.
Nurture your leads. This will help them become customers. This is extremely important. While some leads will make decisions on their own, others may benefit greatly from the answers you will provide to their questions and feedback to comments they make. Be there to explain your business to them and how they will benefit from becoming a customer.
Find out how effective you really are. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to track the traffic on your site. You will be able to view how many visitors you have, what they did while on your pages, and which ones they visited. You can also see what actions they took while there. This shows you who becomes a customer and who doesn’t. You can also track your effectiveness by listening to what your customers are saying.
Your website should be very structured. You will need to set aside time periodically for the site development and maintenance itself, then time regularly to write and edit content. Find graphics and photos that depict what the content is saying to your customers. Graphics and photos are very important because sometimes that’s what visitors see first. In fact, the graphics may actually be what initially attracts a visitor to your site in the first place.
Include a blog on your website. This gives you an opportunity to write about business-related topics and for your customers to comment on what they read. You may even write posts that answer questions asked by viewers and customers. Blogs are a great way to engage potential customers and convert them into paying ones.
So what’s driving your website? Before creating it, ask yourself what you would want to see when visiting a site similar to yours. What would you look for and what would convert you into a paying customer?