Most people will tell you that a website should contain a home page, an about page and a contact page. They might add that you can create different pages for different services that your business offers. But what they don’t always tell you is HOW to create an amazing website that will stand out and create an everlasting first impression.
Having a website doesn’t mean you’ll have an overflow of visitors overnight. When a new restaurant opens, it takes some time before they are the talk of the town. They may have opening specials to draw customers initially, but at the end, it’s word-of-mouth and good reviews that bring people in.
So here are ten tips for you to create an amazing website:
Table of Contents
1. Set goals for your website
First of all, what do you want your website to do? Do you want your clients to make a purchase online or have them sign up for your newsletter? Is your site going to act as a contact page for your business or as your creative portfolio? Every small business website will have a different goal as not all businesses are run the same way. A photographer will need a lot of visuals (for obvious reasons), but do people really want to see photos of teeth on a dentist’s site? On a wedding website, you’ll expect to read more about the bride and groom, how they met and their engagement story. But when it comes to an e-commerce site, will people really care about the owners of the site?
Setting goals will help you in deciding where to use your time, energy and money efficiently, as well as what the website designer should focus on: increasing conversion rates, sales, improving your brand awareness or generating more leads.
2. Look for ideas
Have a look at your competitors’ websites. We would say any website, but remember that not all small businesses have the same goals. What works for them might not work for you. Your competitors, on the other hand, will most probably have the same target market that you need to reach. Have a look at what they do well and how clients can get in touch with them. How do you feel when visiting their sites? What information are you looking for but can’t find? Draw inspiration from these sites and put your own stamp on it. Feel free to use others’ ideas without copying them in style or writing.
3. Use an open-source CMS
A content management system (CMS) is a software application or program your website is built on that enables you to create and manage digital content on a webpage. WordPress.org and Joomla! are some of the well-known open-source CMSs. Open-source means that the systems, their templates, and add-ons are created collaboratively by an online community instead of one that is hosted and maintained by a single company. It’s also easier to transfer your site to a new host or give it a makeover when necessary when you’re using an open-source CMS.
4. Write proper content
People tend to skim online copy, so your website needs to give the basic information and offerings that they want quickly and clearly, but also supply enough detail for those who want to know more. When you plan your content for your website, think local but write global. Even if you are catering your services to your local community, websites are internationally available for viewing. So make sure your website copy lasts the length of time so it never seems outdated. Also keep currencies, measurements, dates and times clear, especially if you’re focused on growth in the future.
Remember to focus on link building, as well as your spelling and grammar. This may seem like a simple tip, but it still tends to take a backseat in the finalization of a website. Grammar mistakes and “broken” links are indicators of service quality for many prospective clients, which may turn them away from your business, plus give you a bad SEO (search engine optimization) rating. If it seems like the owners of a website don’t care about it, will they have the same attitude towards clients?
Speaking of SEO, this is another important element to keep in mind when creating content for your website. Try to educate yourself with the basics, because if you do this right, it will leave you to focus on your business. If people can find you when they Google “dentists close to me open today” or “lawyers that always win divorce settlements”, your marketing will always be on autopilot.
5. Call them to action
When you want your website visitors to do something, ask yourself the following question: why? Why should they click on a button that says “click here”? Why would they want to sign up for your newsletter? Why do they not click on a banner that says “sale”? Because you do not tell them. Explain to the visitor what will happen or where they’ll go when they do something.
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6. Be visual
People are visual beings and interesting photos go a long way to attract visitors to your website. Use photos of you and your team or examples of your work as applicable. Stock photos are also an option, but be careful of overusing free stock images that many other websites already use. It may give the impression that you are not willing to invest in your business or spend time in creating something. Also, think of the website loading time when using images for your website.
7. Think mobile
With smartphones acting more like computers as a means of communication, it would be a shame to have a website that is not mobile friendly. This is often an unappreciated tip from web developers and then business owners why they’re not receiving the traffic they want. All your pages contain data, text, and images, and all of this information has to download. If your prospects are not connected to wi-fi, they will not be keen to use their data on a slow loading page. This, in turn, will result in a lower SEO rating, as search engines will pick up that too many people are leaving your site too quickly.
Make sure that navigating between your web pages are clear and easy. Are there ways for your visitors to get around without clicking the back button the whole time? Are there extra buttons or visible tabs for them to browse? Are the loading times fast enough?
9. Make easy contact
Your contact information, whether they are email addresses, phone numbers or social media accounts, should be included on your website and easily attainable. The more ways there are for customers to contact you, the more comfortable they’ll feel about reaching out. Remember, some people do not like making phone calls… If they can’t find a way to contact you, they won’t, and you’ll probably never see them visiting again.
10. Trust your web designer
When you need a photographer to shoot an event, do you just go for any photographer? It’s unlikely that you’ll contact a photographer that specializes in wedding and maternity shoots to capture an evening corporate event. Finding a web designer should be similar. Sure, you can try to create a website yourself, but if you are not tech savvy or have never worked with CMSs before, you will most likely spend a few days trying to figure it out rather than designing your website.
There are reasons why you do what you do. You have the ideas and experience to run your business. And that’s why you need to trust your web designer. They have been doing this for a while and although they will try their best to give you the results you want, they also know what they’re doing and they can do it much faster for you. They know what designs and colors will work best together and how to create that feeling you’re looking for when someone visits your site for the first time. When you are looking for a photographer, you look at their portfolio to find a style you like.
Your website is the first space where clients experience your brand. Contact ADSpirine to find out more how they can create a website you can be proud of.