It could be the most important decision you’ve had to make in a long time. You’re in the process of setting up and launching a new business venture, possibly, or perhaps advertising your freelance wares to a wider (potentially global) audience. It’s 2018 remember, so it’s imperative that you reach out and connect with the world and his wife, via that omnipresent sign of our collective times; namely the World Wide Web. The world is a much smaller place nowadays, courtesy of the net and its ability to reach out and put us in touch with fellow earth-dwellers near and far. Www’s are where it’s at, and if you see yourself/your talents/brilliant business model being projected far as well as near, then there’s no two ways about it; you’ll need to forge an impressive online presence.
Your website is your shop window for the world at large, which allows browsers/interested parties to see for themselves exactly what it is that you do. To learn about the services or products you offer. And remember, first impressions – like in real time – count for a lot. Perhaps even more so in an online environment, because while in person you can sweet talk people around after a potentially unimpressive start, in the virtual world what you see is pretty much what you get in the eyes of many. Ergo making a statement from the outset is priceless if you’re to forge working relationships and subsequently generate business opportunities and start to make your way in the e-world.
So, just where do you start when considering having a new website made?
Well, the answer to that is a lot simpler than you might have otherwise thought. Below we look at 5 hugely important steps which need to be taken for your fledgling website to stand any chance of success. Ok, words like ‘strategy, customer journey’ and ‘analytics’ are exactly what you might refer to as ‘sexy’, but they are necessary evils to understand and get to grips with when you’re thrashing out the rudiments of a sound website which will get you noticed and hopefully ensure you remain in the public eye. Or at least, those members of the public you wish to capture the attentions of.
- Strategy – Here it is, but like it or not strategy is vital if you’re going to win the internet. Think about who you are and what you do (in terms of the website ambience), and moreover the core values of your business. Clarity, direction and knowledge of your marketplace will ensure that potential customers take you seriously.
- The Customer Journey – Not the walk in the park it may sound, the customer journey’s objective is to make potential client’s time on your website both a fun and enlightening experience, and not a head-scratching chore. Think long and hard about the customer’s you’re looking to appeal to, and then think what makes them tick in a virtual environ. Interactivity via videos and social media links will often seek to engage website visitors too, but whatever angle you come from remember to make site navigation as easy as ABC.
- Content – Is king, as annoying and clichéd as it sounds. From getting your site traction and ranking in the search engines to proving to viewers that you’re constantly refreshing content and therefore going about your business here and now, creating content (be it written or image-led, but preferably both) is a priceless tool you have at your disposal.
- Design – Like content, your website need to visually arrest visitors and leave a memory with which they can then later reconnect with. As long as the design is consistent – and not at odds with – your product or service, then using a little creative license will go a long way in client engagement.
- SEO friendly – You’ll want the website to be easily found within search engines, for example, if you were a web designer in reading, you’d want to appear within these local search terms. Thus, the site should have clean coding, good meta tags, keywords, content and attract quality links.
- Analytics – Zzzzzzz, we know, but c’mon, analytics can provide you with priceless information about your potential customers. You can tell a lot about people by which pages they consistently look at, where most of your site traffic comes from and various other key elements which can then help you shape and further mould your website to attract increasing online footfall.