What are the steps necessary to build a successful website? Most professional business owners today know the answer to this question. It begins with personal branding. It is about establishing yourself in the marketplace of ideas and it is about building credibility with your followers. It is also about building a website which is an authority on your expertise. Years ago when we were first introduced to what a website was all about we were excited for our first launch. We were thinking the money would just flow in without any work on our part.
No longer is that thinking a realistic theory. We all know that today, the competition between similar websites is huge. We are seeing more and more money spent on developing beautiful and functional websites. We are also becoming more familiar with how to promote our sites and how social media plays a role. We are seeing amazing visual presentations and today, even video is a normal medium to see on the newer websites. Building an authority business website takes smart technology, multi-media skills, diligence and commitment to following the steps below:
The first step: Logo design / Establishing your brand
Brand new entrepreneurs should first establish their brand before diving into a large website project. Start with having a professional graphic artist design your logo. After all, your logo is the first representation of your brand and will become the symbol of your business. Everything you promote will feature your logo, from social media to promotional material such as your business card, brochures and more. Showcase your logo as you research any and all marketing projects. By first developing a business logo, you will be establishing your identity within your own specific industry. You will get noticed as a “real player” in your field of expertise, and consumers will feel comfortable purchasing goods and services from you.
Once you begin showcasing your brand to your target audience, they will begin to feel comfortable doing business with you and referring others your way as well. They want to buy from a vendor with the most knowledge about the product they are shopping for. Starting with the logo development makes complete sense. Building your brand will assure that you will be attracting your perfect target audience rather than followers who have no need for your services.
Step 2: Having a professional website built
If you have no website at all it is important to research and locate a few local designers and request quotes. Avoid sending money online without getting a professional quote first and meeting with each designer. Once you get the quotes you can compare them and make a better decision on who is the best fit for your brand. If you have a website already you should have it re-designed if it has been online longer than two years. Plugins and content gets old and should have a refresh to keep you in high regard with search engines.
If your current website looks amateurish and unprofessional you can’t expect to attract the right consumers. Your website is the voice of your brand just as the logo is the symbol of your brand. Today, consumers are searching online before they make a purchase decision. They are looking at your website to determine your credibility, your expertise and how long you have been in business.
Is a landing page enough for a first webpage?
Our answer to this is a resounding “no.” A one page website (a landing page alone) is not enough to provide the target audience enough information to make a qualified decision to hire you. Ask for a quote for a basic website which might include the home page, contact page, services page and a company page. There should also be a few “call to action buttons” throughout the site to guide visitors to the page they are searching for such as “buy now” or “learn more.”
Step 3: Set up a blog on the website:
Having a blog on the website is one of the most important steps that can be taken. This is an opportunity to have articles related to your industry showcased regularly. This is a top content marketing strategy and experience teaches us that those businesses not having a blog on their site are not as successful as those who have one and blog consistently. Blogging is not a secretarial task. Unless you have a journalism background and enjoy writing, it is not a great idea for a site owner to take this on.
If a client can afford to promote the site, there is no better promotion than to hire a professional to blog for the site. He or she will understand search engine optimization and what is required to keep the site fresh with organic content. The search engines are looking for constant, “real time” news and views regarding your industry. This take time and commitment. It takes researching trending news items that are related to your expertise. We have a list of professionals available upon request.
Step 4: Using social media to reach your audience:
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to social media and how to use it to promote business sites. We offer a method in which we link the most current blog post with a company FaceBook page which works well for many of our clients. But to implement this technique, you do have to have a “company page” on Facebook since Google does not allow “personal” info from personal pages to be shared now on Google. Other social media platforms are also useful today for promoting the website. Instagram is beginning to play a role for connecting followers.
Step 5: Link to valuable sites of interest:
Making connections with your peers and those in your industry who are successful and are great resources for your visitors is crucial to build an authority website. If these websites link back to you it is called a “reciprocal” link and this is the type of link which is valued highly by search engines.
Step 6: Technical requirements for a functional website:
A programmer’s task is to lead the website visitors to the point where they feel confident to contact the company for information or to make a purchase. This is done both visually and through textual links. All links and contact forms must work properly every time. Broken links and broken forms are the kiss of death for a website design.
Hosting a website on a secure server is a necessary requirement today. Building client trust is achieved in many ways and having Google and other major browsers declare your site as secure is a major component of trust.
Contact our team of professionals at Inside Design Orlando to learn more about website development and SEO techniques. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the last days of summer.