Build a Website
With the availability of the tools online, there’s no reason you can’t build a website for your business. This is especially true if you got something worth selling.
Whether you’re looking for an extra income or a real source of abundant money, having your own website is a good way to provide your business with a competitive advantage. It’s true that there are plenty of places where you can easily sell your stuff. However, an e-commerce site can give you more control and flexibility in your business. It may allow you to avoid transaction and listing fees. It will let you easily move to another web host without considering others. Most importantly, you can present your business in your own desired ways. In order to get the most out of your website, you just need to regularly update important elements such as your shopping cart scripts and quickly apply website bug fixes when necessary to avoid security vulnerabilities.
Building a website nowadays is quite easy most especially for some people who are really into computers. This is due to the fact that there are already a couple of tutorials available online. However, there are still some who think of it as a daunting task. While this is true in the sense that it needs critical thinking and familiarity to programming languages, the job can be fun and exciting in the long run.
At first, you may get confused on how you can correctly use the codes or find the appropriate e-commerce builder for your business. The good thing is these are all normal. If others are able to do it, then you can also make it. Much more, there are several types of e-commerce software today that you can learn quickly even if you’re not a computer geek. All you have to do is choose the appropriate website for your business, choose your domain name and your web host, and set-up your website.
1) Create a detailed branding strategy
Before you even start working on the codes, it’s important that you formulate an idea of the site’s purpose, the tone of voice, intended audience, guiding visual philosophy, and much more. In addition, you should be able to do all these:
Identify your target market. Self-answering some questions often gives you an idea of what you’d need to do and avoid. Why have a website? Who are your prospective clients and in which demographic groups do they belong? What do they love doing and how will your website influence their lifestyle?
Do your own research of your competitors. Know what your competitors are doing and determine what they are good and are not good at. That way, you can be a better version of your competitors.
Get a clear definition of your brand. If someone would ask you to describe your brand in three or five words, you should be able to quickly answer. This means you should know what your brand’s personality is and what exactly is motivating it.
Prepare the materials that will be featured on your site. Here, you should already have a logo, images, slogans, textual content, videos, and much more. They should all serve your branding strategy and coincide to your brand’s identity.
2) Think about your preferred design and customizations
Choose a template. Website templates can provide you with a robust foundation for designing your very own website. The template you’ll choose should already include the layout you want and should be styled according to your branding strategy. The good thing is there are already a couple of website builders that offer excellent designs. WordPress, Adobe Muse and Wix.com., for example, give a wide range of beautiful website templates for a variety of themes, styles, and purposes. This means you’ll just have to take your time in choosing the one that best suits your brand and vision.
Customize the template you’ve chosen. Now that you’ve chosen your template, it’s time to transform it into something you can call your own. Here, you’ll add your own content such as texts, images, videos, links, and audios. You’ll also choose your preferred color, shapes, font choice, and more. Moreover, you can also add various features that will enhance the design of your website. You can add background videos to feature dynamic motion or put some wide strips to highlight your site’s page layout.
Enhance the look of your site design by adding various features. To make your website spectacular and eye-catching, you must add some features that will turn visitors into customers. You can do this by making your search bar more visible to your customers or by adding background videos that inject dynamic motion.
3) Make your website user-friendly and more responsive to visitors.
Navigation flow. The most common reason why people leave e-commerce sites without making purchases is that they find it hard to search what they are looking for. Make sure you have a visible search bar on your site and that there are suggestions provided on where visitors can type their queries. With this, visitors can easily explore your site using the main menu or internal link.
Content hierarchy. A logical content hierarchy guides visitors to navigate and search your site content in the order that best serves your interest. Just be sure to be very clear about the prices of your products or services. For example, adding a calculator at the right side of your page will help customers calculate the final price before adding products to their carts.
Call to Action (CTA). CTA tells visitors what you want them to do and it is one of the keys to having a successful website. A good CTA can boost online business as it can attract users to visit and buy products from your site. It is, therefore, important to know what it is that you want from your visitors online. That way, you can make an irresistible CTA from it.
Readability. Content style and structure are important as they help to effectively communicate with your visitors online. Since a majority of web users love to scan and only a few take the time to read visual texts, it is necessary that you optimize the readability of your web content. Here are some of the things that you need to consider to improve the readability of your content online:
Choose your fonts wisely. Since headlines and actual content are different in terms of the number of text, it is good if you go for a more creative font for the headlines. As for longer texts, you can use clear Sans-Serif fronts for better readability.
Font size and line spacing. For better readability, you can go for less than the suggested 16-pixel font size. Just keep in mind that people are usually farther from their screen than if they’re reading a book. Moreover, make sure to make more space with the standard line for more clarity.
Effective use of high contrast. Be sure to use the high contrast between background and text. When working with background images, you should place your text on extremely blurry areas.
Avoid lengthy lines. Always keep your lines short. Long lines might bore or scare your online visitors off.
Get straight to the point. Since a majority of readers don’t care too much about language, it is important to make your writing brief and concise. Short and simple sentences are much easier to scan than long texts.
Avoid using jargons. Too technical or unfamiliar words may give customers the impression that you don’t want any personal contact. Mind you, personal contact is important if you want to become successful online.
Use highlights, list and images. Highlighting relevant keywords gives a better view of what your business is all about. Also, using a list in structuring your content is a great way to show how different items relate to each other. Last, but not the least, using an image to support your content will likely attract people to read the text that goes with it.
Footer. Found underneath your main content and at the bottom of your page, the footer is considered as one of the most important locations on your website. This is because visitors will look at it for essential information. It is, therefore, important that you don’t neglect this area when planning a web design project. You can enhance its usability by adding content information and including buttons that will connect you to social media channels.
4) Incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in your design
One of the primary reasons you’re creatively designing your website is for people to like and visit it more often. Who would ever want to go to a website that doesn’t have exciting and lively contents? Do note also that it’s not just all about the looks. It’s about making your site highly visible online. That’s how important SEO is. If we talk about SEO, there are also several key elements that you’d need to consider like:
Keyword research. Think about the possible keywords that people might be using to lead them to your site. These keywords will serve as your guide in your SEO strategy.
Text. Whether it’s a blog or an FAQ section, your textual content should be search engine optimized. You should naturally include keywords in your site’s textual contents without compromising quality. Nowadays, search engine crawlers are capable of determining if you’re simply spamming your web contents with unnecessary keywords. If you’re site is flagged, then it’s likely to go down at the bottom of the ranking.
Meta tags. These are read by search engines such as Google and Yahoo to check the relativity of your keywords to your site’s niche and textual contents.
Alt Text. At least for now, images still can’t be read by search engines. However, images are still important for SEO. You simply have to upload an image with an Alt Text in it so search engines would know what they depict. Alt Text is a short description of what the image represents.
Link Building. One way of improving your search results ranking is by having your site linked to other websites. It’s a huge help if you can encourage your site visitors to share your content. You may also point your social media profiles to your site.
5) Make your site look professional
The look of your website may make a huge difference in your professional success. As the face of your business online, your website should look more appealing to the target market. One of the things you can do is add some features that will enhance the experience of your online visitors.
Here are some examples:
Wix Booking. This is a great platform for booking appointments as this can help you manage effectively your schedule and charge bookings.
Wix Music. If you’re in the music industry, this tool can be used to sell music directly on your website. The good thing here is that you’ll get a 100% of your profits. Moreover, this will allow you to distribute music to over 100 digital stores.
Wix Stores. This platform was mainly designed to easily manage your online store. Using its built-in features, your products will be presented to target customers in the best way possible. A couple of online stores that have used Wix Stores have enjoyed huge success.
Other Essential Apps. There are some other apps you can include on your website to make your online visitors enjoy their experience. Take time looking for an app that your customers can use to shop for products, pay their items, look for driving directions, and a lot more.
6) Go get a mobile version of your website
Market research has found out that people nowadays are spending more of their time surfing the Internet using their smartphones and tablets. This has prompted search engine companies such as Google to focus on algorithms that prioritize mobile-friendly sites on search results. Bottom line, the mobile version of websites is a must and should never be ignored to stay on top of the competition.
One software that can be used to create a mobile version of your current site is the Wix Mobile Editor. Using the platform, you can simply enable mobile viewing, adjust the layout, or customize the design for your mobile screen size. As long as you focus on the readability, image sizing, and navigation, your site’s mobile version should work fine.
7) Look for some effective ways to engage with visitors
Two things that you’d need to work on after launching your site are attracting and keeping online visitors. People’s preferences change from time to time, thus it only makes sense to also keep your online content dynamic. You may try adding some more features that most visitors can relate to such as a forum or a new social media link if there’s something available.
Often, here are the most common things you can add:
Blog. People often want to write about their experience and share it with others. In return, they also frequently read about other people’s experiences. This makes a blog effective as you can easily communicate your ideas or messages to your visitors in a more personal way. Since blogs offer textual content, they can be optimized with relevant keywords to improve your website’s search results ranking.
Email Newsletter. In our present time, the newsletter is one of the best ways to keep your visitors or clients updated with your business. It’s also an effective way of promoting your latest products and services. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier now to create and send newsletters with the help of online platforms such as Wix ShoutOut.
Social Feed. Without a doubt, millions of people around the world are really into social media. Take advantage of this by encouraging your online visitors to connect using their preferred social media platforms. You can make use of some available online resources to easily link your site with your social media accounts. For more apps, you can go to the Wix App Market and see which one can help you connect your site to your social activities.
Metrics That Could Influence the Success of Your Website
As discussed, building a website is not all about making an attractive graphic design. Remember, you’re building a website to increase the chances of success of your business and to remain competitive. If you’re enjoying the fruits of your website’s success months after launching it, expect things to change a bit later on. This is because of variable factors such as customer preferences, technological innovations, updates in social media, and more.
The important thing though is you focus on some metrics that matter most to your customers. They include:
Content. Online visitors should immediately see what your products and services are. Otherwise, they’ll skip your website and move on to the next one. If you’re not sure whether or not your web contents are fine, you can perform a content audit. This works by checking all of the contents on your website and then compiling them into a single list. By performing a content audit, you may find duplications, spot things you didn’t know existed on your website, identify all the types of relationships in your web contents, and much more. Once you’re done, you’ll see it’s going to be a lot easier to work on contents that need to be changed or updated.
Customer-driven web design. While content is essential, an attractive web design is important too. This is because design can quickly influence people’s perception of your credibility and your business. If your website looks plain and boring, visitors are likely to think that you’re not a serious company. On the other hand, a creatively-designed website may tell visitors that your business is a big one and that you’re focused on enhancing your customers’ experience online or on any other ways you can.
By using heat maps and tools like Crazy Egg, you’ll easily get some knowledge on how your online visitors are interacting with your website. The findings you get are important, because they will guide you to the extent of the redesign that you may need to make. That way, your chances of getting higher conversions would be higher.
Responsiveness. As much as possible, your website should be optimized for all types of platforms. This means it should work and open perfectly on a tablet, smartphone, or a computer. Online visitors may only have a few chances to open your website, so make sure they have a good experience the first time. Also, it’s not just your visitors who’ll reap the benefits of a responsive website. You’ll soon find out that managing content would be a lot easier and quicker. So how do you start creating a responsive website? You can build a fluid grid that’s based on percentages, utilize media queries to establish breakpoints, eliminate unnecessary content on smaller screen sizes, and ensure media scales depending on the screen resolution.
Social media integration. By incorporating social media into your website, you’ll easily reach potential customers. This will likewise allow you to quickly and consistently provide consumers with some fresh and relevant updates. A common way of connecting to various social media platforms is by including social Share and Like buttons on your website’s landing pages, product or service pages, and blog posts. You can also install the plug-ins for some of the biggest social platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and more. Moreover, allow social logins on your website so visitors can quickly login using their preferred choice of social media account whenever they like to. Aggregating your social network feeds onto a single page will also be a plus.
Speed and performance. When it comes to building a website, speed is no longer considered an advantage. Rather, it’s thought of as a feature that you should never take for granted. A website that loads extremely slow could easily annoy online visitors, thus it can impact your business. On the other hand, a good programmer always builds websites with an emphasis on performance. This can be accomplished by using optimized cascading style sheets or CSS and by focusing on codes that can be turned to another purpose. Repurposable codes often result in smaller HTML and CSS files which require minimal load time.