A website is usually the first impression your customer or client will have with your brand. It is more important, now than ever before, that your website is mobile-friendly, optimized for search and showcases your company in the best possible way.
A website today has multiple functions – a way to promote your products and services, highlight your leadership and executive team, enhance brand loyalty and a tool to improve customer relations. In other words, it is a valuable marketing and sales tool that no business can do without. According to HostingFacts, 40% of global internet users, or more than 1 billion people, have bought products or goods online.
Below are six expert tips to building a great website:
- Select a domain name – Choose a domain name that makes sense and aligns with your company. Sometimes the domain name of your first choice may not be available so you might have to be creative. The domain name can emulate your business name so it is easier for customers to memorize if necessary. A website address is usually ends in .com but you can consider other business-related domain extensions like .biz or .net, if you can’t find a good .com domain.
- What is the purpose of the website? Websites today can do a lot more than they could a decade ago, so it is important to have a strategy guiding your website design. Some companies have built in sophisticated databases to help customers search products, vendors and services. Others have developed smart e-commerce applications to allow customers to buy online but also get the help they need in choosing a product. Many websites are informational in nature. These sites are to make browsers aware of the company, products and services and any special offers.
- What is the structure of the website? Before assigning a website design and development company to build your site, think about the site structure and how you would like to organize the site. For instance, many websites typically have this information: Home Page, About Page, Products/Services Page, News Page, Help/Support Page. There are many different ways to organize a Website, you may want to look at competitors’ websites for ideas. You may want to include links to vendors and expert blogs, biographies of your leadership team, press releases, an online media kit, and more.
- Who will write the text for your website? When writing the copy for your site, remember to keep it concise and interesting. A website designer can help you develop SEO-friendly copy to ensure your site gets picked up in internet searches. Also, make sure to periodically update your existing site with new copy, photos and videos to keep it fresh and search-engine friendly. A blog is a great way to update your website with new, interesting information.
- Who will design your website? Today there are many do-it-yourself website developer platforms that allow you to build your own site. However, like most do-it-yourself solutions, it can take a lot of time (and can be very frustrating) if you are unfamiliar with the process. A website design and development company should be able to deliver an attractive, professionally-designed mobile-friendly website at a very competitive price.
- Hosting and Security – Whether you are designing the site yourself or having it done for you, make sure you aware of the various hosting opportunities. Often times the web developer or agency might be able to host and maintain your site for you. Companies like GoDaddy and Hostgator also offer affordable hosting solutions. Also, it is important to remember to think about site security. An estimated 37,000 websites are hacked every day. An SSL certificate is a helpful tool to protect online transactions and there are a variety of plugins and security tools that can reduce the risk of malware or other attacks against your website.