Building a great website is the corner stone of every successful business or a self starting individual. But building a site from scratch might be unfamiliar territory. Do not let this scare you away. Building a website is easy, as long as you take a minute to make a plan first. There are a few things you should know about this venture in order to build the best website most suitable for your needs. Choosing a domain name, choosing your website look, and optimization are points to consider. Here are the essential steps for creating your own website.
1. Make a Plan
Just like any other project, the process of building a website starts with the all-important planning stage. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself and answer with as many details as possible before you start:
• What is your website’s business goal?
• Who is your website’s target audience?
• What kind of content are you planning to offer to your website’s visitors?
• How will you measure your website’s success?
2. Choose a Domain Name
Any SEO specialist will tell you: having your own domain name is of utmost importance if you want to build a performing website and attract traffic organically. This is not only your address in the virtual world, but also a key factor search engines take into consideration when ranking your website. Your domain name should be something that your users associate with your business, and is easy to search for and remember.
3. Decide on Your Website’s Look
With such a wide range of website design templates at your disposal, deciding which one to use can be overwhelming. However, if you did your homework during the planning stage, you know by now how your target users think, what they need, and what they’ll expect to find when accessing your website.
For instance, if you are building an online store to sell your products, you will want to adopt a simple website design, with a light colored (preferably white) background, so your products’ images and buy buttons stand out. Then, you have to think about the various widgets you can use to improve user experience. Going in the same direction of an e-commerce website, you might add a sidebar widget displaying related products that other users often bought together with the one that they are viewing.
Another aspect to consider when choosing your website’s look refers to customization options. The templates represent a good basis for a website’s design, saving you a lot of time, effort and money. However, if you cannot customize them to suit your needs and style, you might end up having the same design as hundreds of other websites out there.
4. Optimize Your Website for SEO
Although important, having your own domain is not enough for your website to rank well in search results pages. If you want to have a performing blog, website or online shop, you will have to invest some effort and money optimizing it for the search engines. This includes updating the content on a regular basis, checking your website for broken links, writing SEO-friendly meta titles and descriptions, and promoting the content though various social media channels.
Professional website builders are valuable tools worth investing in for both design and SEO purposes. You don’t need to edit the HTML and go through a complicated implementation process in order to have your website designed and optimized. You just type in the keywords, meta titles and descriptions, and click save. The system will do all the optimization for you. If you plan on monetizing your website by inserting ads, check if your website builder offers Google ads customized templates. They might be available in premium packages only, but the price is often worth the while since it makes it easy for you to insert your ad code.
5. Measure Your Website’s Success!
Have you established your website’s key performance indicators? How do you measure your website’s success? How often do you do it?
Without becoming overly obsessed with it, you should use measuring tools like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Moz, SEMRush, or AWR to check where you stand. Depending on your website’s goal, you might want to look into performance indicators like your organic and paid traffic, your rankings with major search engines, your conversion rate, bounce rate, and click through rate (CTR). Once you have the data, try to understand your visitors’ behavior in order to improve your website’s performance.
If you are new to this world, all of the above might seem a bit confusing, but building a good-looking and performing website is, actually, less difficult than it seems at first sight. Nowadays, there are various website builders and professional tools you can use for design and optimization purposes, which can make your life a lot easier, and your business more profitable.