Gone are the days when business owners relied simply on the word-of-mouth in order for people to learn about their business and get engaged in their brand. Nowadays, traditional marketing is not nearly enough when raising awareness about a brand and building a strong reputation.
Living in the digital era calls for a completely different approach when it comes to reaching out to customers and prospects for the goal of promoting a business and securing its high place on the market. In order to showcase the products or services you offer to a great number of people and make sure you grow your business, you need to have a website.
However, you cannot simply develop a website, place a few images on it, put some information about what you do and call it a day. You may have heard the saying “Build it and they will come”, but it’s definitely not as simple as that. You need to put a lot of effort into making an effective website that will help you attract quality leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Your website is like your business card, so it needs to show that you are a professional and that you care about satisfying the needs of your customers. A professional presentation speaks volumes about a business and, if you do it properly, it can help you get instant credibility and prove your reliability.
What’s absolutely essential about developing a website for your business is to make sure it differentiates from thousands of others out there, since that will help you stand out from your competition and get on the right track to success.
Creating a website is not nearly as difficult as you may think and the following steps will assure you that it is actually quite simple, so take a look at what those steps are. Bear in mind that after taking all of these steps, there are a number of them yet to be taken in order for your website to become truly effective and help you extend your reach.
Purchase a Domain Name
Purchasing a domain name for your website is an essential first step before you actually start building your digital business card. A domain name is your website’s digital address and you must register it so that you can actually use it legally, which is quite similar to registering the name of your business.
When choosing a domain name for your website, you need to make sure you keep it short and simple, as well as avoid any hyphens and abbreviations. It needs to be unique, catchy and pretty easy to remember. It needs to really stand out in order for people to be able to recognize your brand instantly.
The best domain name to go with is certainly the very name of your business but, if that domain name happens to be unavailable, you should go with something similar to your business name or come up with another catchy name that has something to do with your business.
Many web hosting providers include a free domain name in their hosting packages, but you can always purchase it separately if you want to.
Find a Good Web Hosting Provider
Finding a web hosting provider is another vital step before actually developing your website. You need a web host because your website needs to be uploaded on a web server in order for it to be accessible on the Web. If you merely create a website and do not get a web hosting package for it, no one will actually be able to see, let alone access your website.
However, you need to pay attention to a lot of factors when choosing a web hosting provider, so that you can be sure that the company you choose can provide you with the best possible services for your business. Some of the crucial factors you need to look out for include bandwidth, web space, backup services, uptime, access speed, website security and customer support, just to name a few.
Another important factor to be considered is reliability so, before you choose a particular web host, make sure you check out the online reviews of their previous clients to learn about the quality of the services they offer.
Last, but not the least, you should pay attention to the price, but it should definitely not be of your primary concern, since, after all, you get what you pay for. Nevertheless, many web hosting providers offer excellent services at a very reasonable price, so thorough research before making a final decision is definitely vital.
Choose an Approach to Building Your Website
There are two approaches you can take when building your website. Namely, you can use a content management system (CMS) or a website builder, both of which can have your website up and running in no time. No matter what approach you choose, you can create your website quickly and easily and, more importantly, both can help you maintain your site and upload every type of content you need.
The most popular CMSs are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, but the dominating platform for creating websites is, without a question, WordPress, and it is the best choice for newbies. It is completely free of charge, with the exception of some themes and plugins, and it offers thousands of themes that can help you make your website look professional and sophisticated.
When it comes to the most popular website builders, the ones you can choose from are Wix, Weebly and Squarespace, to name just a few, and they offer very easy-to-use tools for both building and maintaining a website. If you opt for a website builder, make sure you choose the one that will best suit your business needs.
Design Your Website
The design of your website is what will grab the attention of your website visitors and make them form first impressions about your business, which, more often than not, turn out to even be lasting impressions. Therefore, you need to make sure your website is visually-appealing and easy to navigate through.
Ease of use is very important, because you certainly don’t want your visitors to have to jump through hoops in order to find what they are looking for. This is why it is vital to avoid cluttering your web pages, because less is more and removing the visual noise will make your website stand out.
There are quite a lot of web design elements to take into account so, if you are not tech-savvy and have no idea where to start, you can always hire a professional to help you out and make sure you have a website that attracts an infinite number of customers.
What’s important is to try and keep up with the latest web design trends, so that your website can stand out from the crowd, since not every website owner realizes the importance of following trends in the digital world and the extent to which it can improve their business.
The need for a responsive web design – Since mobile use keeps increasing with each coming day and it far exceeds desktop use, it is certain that the majority of your website visitors will use their mobile devices to check out your products or services. Therefore, you must make sure you provide them with the best possible user experience by optimizing your website for mobile devices.
When building a website, many business owners opt for a mobile-first approach nowadays and proceed with designing for desktop afterwards. However, you can also create a regular website and implement a responsive web design, which will make your website resize and reconfigure its layout when a user is using a mobile device to access your website.
This will result in great user experiences and your customers will come back for more time and time again. With a better user experience, you will get higher SEO ranking and, thus, receive higher website traffic and have better chances of converting your leads into customers, which will ultimately help you increase your sales and generate more revenue.
That is when your website will become truly effective and a responsive web design is one of the first steps towards accomplishing that, especially since Google started penalizing websites that are not mobile-friendly, thus making the need for website responsiveness more paramount.
If you want to hire a professional to develop your website for you, make sure you conduct thorough research and choose one of the best website development agencies that can provide you with the best quality service for your needs.
Once you get your website up and running, it will become your most effective digital marketing tool for promoting your business. It goes without saying that you will need to implement a lot of marketing strategies and tactics for reaching an extensive range of your target customers on various marketing channels in order to be able to actually grow your business and build strong relationship with your customers.