Getting your website right is a crucial part of running a business today. Whether it’s to support your business activities, attract new clients or comprise the core of your business itself, it’s incredibly important that your website functions well and stands out from the crowd on the Internet, which is the most crowded marketplace that has ever existed. Here are the most important steps you need to take to ace setting up your site.
- Your domain
Good domains don’t come cheap, but they’re worth paying for. There are a few rules that you should be aware of:
- Try to get a .com address. Region-specific addresses like .co.uk are also fine, but you will probably be given options to buy obscure addresses like .xyz or .space. You will want to instill trust in your brand, so only use recognizable
- Make it catchy! Try to make your domain name something that is nice to say out loud.
- Make it clear and relevant.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most important things any website needs to think about, and it should be a consideration at every point in your website design process and during regular maintenance. Technical SEO is quite specific nowadays, and everything from your site’s loading speed to the freshness of content needs to be done in a way that’s highly conscious of SEO best practices. The best way to do this is to use an experienced digital marketing agency. You can do it yourself, but be prepared to dedicate hours and hours of your time each week to learning about SEO, coding, writing content and staying up to date with the SEO landscape as it changes.
Here’s a tip that you don’t often hear – your eyes are probably better than those of most people who visit your website. Even if they aren’t, assume they are. Make sure every font you choose and every font size you use is crystal clear and legible. So many people who design their own sites, or oversee the design of a website, get drawn into illegible but exciting fonts, colors that make it too hard to understand messaging or even inappropriately long posts and complex vocabulary. Keep in mind that your website should create as little friction with the user as possible. If you use your website to make sales, this can be a make-or-break issue. There are readability testing tools you can use to help you.
Many people, especially smaller companies, don’t take cybersecurity very seriously at all. This is a grave mistake, as it makes them vulnerable to ransomware as well as plain-old data-theft. Cyberattacks now cost companies, on average, $200,000 for each attack. Some attacks completely obliterate companies and put them out of business. This is especially scary when you consider that more than half of all small businesses suffered an online security breach within the past year alone!
- Smartphone Design
Around 58% of Internet searches are done on mobile devices. More searches are now conducted on smartphones than on desktop or laptop computers combined but, though sites have finally caught up to the importance of phone-friendly web pages, not all of them do it properly. You should spend as much time on your mobile site as you do on your desktop site; it’s important to make sure that the user experience is excellent on both. You want it to be smooth, extremely easy to navigate, quick to set up an account, and, if you sell products on your site, a breeze to pay for things.
- Clear branding
Your site’s visitors should be able to get a good sense of your brand even if every word on your site is gibberish. Your site’s font, colors, ease of navigation, content and almost every other feature you can think of, should all ooze your brand. When you do write web copy, every word should be true to your brand too. This can be a problem for many people, so a good way of thinking about it is in terms of a character. Develop an archetype for your brand, create a three-dimensional character and then design the website from the perspective of that character. It’s what all the best companies do and it’ll help sales, customer acquisition and much more.
There are so many aspects that a site needs to get right, and if you don’t nail these points, you seriously run a risk of alienating your visitors and even threatening your business. Before you even launch your site, test these aspects with expert help, otherwise you could flop at launch or not achieve the momentum you’re looking for.