How to: Building a website
There are 4.57 billion internet users in the world, having a website puts your business in a position to reach as many of these as possible, creating the opportunity to capture more revenue. Having a website makes your SME available to a vast array of consumers, whom otherwise you may not be accessible to, meaning your website is an invaluable asset.
Buy a business domain name
A good domain name is the foundation of your website, creating a first impression to your audience. Google’s current algorithm means your domain doesn’t need to exactly match your business name, but it should include keywords to boost your SEO. You then need to chose an extension. Research shows that ‘.com’ is the most successful, closely followed by ‘.co.uk’ for UK based businesses.
Our top tip is to think long-term as changing your domain can cost money and SEO ranking, so make sure any keywords will be relevant to your products/services going forward. If you are considering expanding your offering in the future or know that diversifying is a possibility, then don’t chose a domain name that is specific to what you do currently.
Choose a website builder
There are a wide range of website builders available, but its important to chose one that is right for your needs. These mean that anybody can build a website, regardless of experience, letting you focus on design and content. In choosing the right builder for you, consider the purpose of your website and what features it needs to have.
Top tip: most website builders offer free trials, so try a few in order to see which one you get on best with before subscribing.
Once you’ve chosen your website builder, it’s all about the fun part! Choosing a template to work from or theme to work with is where you can get creative and add features that are personal. We recommend trying a few different ideas before settling for one, as website builders have hundreds of templates you can try.
Things to consider here are whether you’ll need an e-commerce feature and what you want your audience to use your website for. Having a good plan of what you want your website to include and provide will help this process.
Our MOB blogs often mention the importance of good content, and this is where that comes into practise! You’ll want your website to contain high quality content that will attract your audience and serve the purpose you need it to. Image selection is also really important, blurry images are a no go. Ensure the images you chose are of high quality and professional standards, make sure products are shown against plain backgrounds for example.
If you are using stock images these need to be sourced from free image banks to avoid royalty and image rights issues. Similarly; any photos featuring clients should have permission from them to be used. This will ensure that all images on your website are authorised to be shared, preventing any hiccups later down the line and having to remove imagery.
Having your website perform well on search engine results pages (SERPs) is the most important part of website building. Now that you have spent time creating a fantastic website, you want your audience to be able to find it. Ensuring you add buttons for quick links to social media and including keywords will help to boost your SEO performance. Focusing on long-tail keywords can be a good place to start for a new website as this will build an organic presence on SERPs, by dominating niche searches.
For more advice on how to do this download MOB’s ‘How to guide’ on SEO here.
Test it to make sure it works
After all your hard work testing your website before it is launched to your audience will allow you to fix any glitches or design issues. We recommend testing each feature of your website including ‘contact us’ forms, purchasing processes, social media links and any other functions you have included.
Asking your employees, friends and even customers you know well to test your website can be a valuable source of information. Having other people test your website can throw up issues you may not find yourself, especially as everyone navigates the page with different intentions.
Some other questions you will want to consider whilst reviewing your website are:
- Is all the spelling and grammar correct?
- Is the formatting consistent?
- Does the site load quickly?
- Do all of the buttons on the menu work?
- Range of devices
The final step before taking your website live is to ensure it works and presents correctly in all formats. Launch your website on a range of different browsers, including on both Mac and Windows devices as the display can alter slightly between these. Having a mobile friendly version of your website is essential, as it is estimated half of all web traffic is now from mobile devices. Correct display on a range of devices and browsers will ensure that the traffic that reaches your website is able to use it, helping to drive those all-important conversion rates.
Most website builders will allow you to preview your website in editor mode, allowing you to see what it looks like from a user perspective, meaning you can make changes as you find them.
Finished? Great! You can now publish your website, meaning anyone can see it and access it. Make sure you have linked your new website to any social media pages to encourage web traffic, and advertise to your audience that the new website is now available to them.
Your chosen website builder will allow you to make changes in the future, meaning you can adapt to Google updates, post new content and release new products for sale.
Having a good website can open up a range of opportunities to your business, giving you a chance to showcase your business and attract new customers. Our team of experts at MOB can help you with a range of elements in website building, contact us today with your queries to find out how we can help.