One of the most challenging aspects of building websites is planning the design and developing the content. Here are a few steps to help you decide what to put on your site.
The first step you should take when creating a custom website is to determine the goal of your site. Ask yourself what you would like to accomplish with your website.
Will you sell and display products? Will you have downloadable or interactive elements? Or will you simply need a static information page that describes you or your business?
Also, ask yourself who your target audience will be and what information will you need to provide to reach that audience. Your ultimate goals will help you decide about the look and feel of your site
Organizing your content will help you determine not only what text and images you want to use, but also will give you a good idea of how many pages you will need. Breaking the information down into categories is a good way to establish how the site will be navigated and maintained. Creating a hierarchy will ensure a smooth transaction of creating web pages from your content.
Probably one of the hardest and most import aspects of planning your website will be to write the textual content that describes your organization, product, or service. Using a business plan can be useful in determining what you want to say about your company.
Content has a MAJOR impact on how your website will perform in search engine results and with users of your website. You should always try to write content that is useful and informative for your users. But you also need to be mindful of using proper keywords, particularly ones with high search volume. Keyword research is paramount before taking on the task of writing content.
For those who struggle to find the right words, consider hiring a professional copywriter or online marketer to develop your text.
Branding Your Website
In addition to the content and images that you will need to provide, think about how you want your site to ‘look’ and ‘feel’. Keep in mind who your target audience is when deciding. You may already have items, such as a logo or slogans, in existing promotional material that you would like to use.
Perhaps your company has a color scheme or particular fonts it uses when advertising. Finding examples or other websites to model yours after may also be helpful. Remember that your website may be the first impression of your business or organization that potential clients will experience.
Establish a Domain Name
One of the first steps in branding your custom website will be establishing a domain name (i.e. www.sadlerwebdesign.com). Choose a domain name the best reflects or describes your organization. The best domain names are short and easy to remember.
Keep in mind that domain names play a definitive role in how search engines rank your site so it’s best to use descriptive keywords in your domain name. It’s also recommended to register close or misspellings of your domain name to help direct traffic to your site.
If your business is going to rely heavily on the website to generate business, establishing descriptive keywords to include in your content is a must, especially if you plan on incorporating a search engine optimization campaign. Strategically placing keywords and phrases throughout your site will help search engines decide what your website is all about and help improve your site rankings. There are many keyword research tools available such as Google AdWords or Wordtracker that provide a wealth of information on keyword research.
Hire a Web Designer or DIY Website Builder?
Well, hire Sadler Web Design of course!
Alright, I'll admit there are a lot of decent DIY site builders out there such as Wix or GoDaddy Website Builder. However, we all know time is money and with any website builder, there will be a learning curve. It's just not designing a site either. There are plenty of aspects when building a site that will help it rank well in search engines. These aspects might be a little harder to discover with DIY builders. In the end, it's about how much time you have to dedicate to the project. There will be ongoing updates as well so it's important to maintain the site to keep it functioning properly.