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Not sure how to build a website? This guide will help
So you have an amazing business idea but when it comes to building a website for it you're completely confused.
What type of platform do you need? How do you optimise your design for conversions? How do you write website copy?
In this post we'll take you by the hand and meticulously guide you through all of the necessary steps to building a sensational website your customers will love.
We'll show you how to get a logo done, how to build the website, how to design the website, how to write web copy and even how to set up a customer acquisition engine.
You might want to bookmark this page, it will be your source of truth whenever you feel the flame of new inspiration ignite within you.
Before building your website
Before you rush in and start navigating the design controls, it's important to take a step back and make sure all of the important prerequisites are met.
Lets run through them.
1. Polish up your logo and branding
You might already have your logo and branding complete, but are you really happy with it? Does it accurately reflect the passion of your business?
If you answered no, you should consider revamping your personal branding. But don't worry, it's a simple process and we'll walk you through it.
The first thing you'll need to create is your business logo. A great business logo represents the unique character of a business and it's specific solutions. It should be clean but memorable, distinct but not too ostentatious.
Your brand identity is more than just your logo, it's the complete graphical representation of your business. This includes your logo, your color scheme, your topography and even the overall attitude of your business.
While we're on the subject of marketing, it's important to discuss one of the most effective strategies for getting traffic to your website, SEO.
SEO is a methodology of writing website content in a manner that is most accommodating to Google's search algorithm. When you understand the SEO process you can strategically target specific keywords in your content you want to rank for.
There are two primary objectives of an SEO optimization process:
Strategic placement of keywords.
You should place your target keywords in the following sections of your webpage:
The title tag (the title that is displayed in google).
Your H2 tag (the title on your web page).
In 2 or 3 of your H3 tags (the sub headings in the body of your text).
Naturally throughout the body of your content
Create content that meets specific user intent.
The Google algorithm has evolved dramatically over the last few years. Now content that best meets searcher intent is favoured over content that's just stuffed with keywords.
So be intentional with your content and always aim to provide visitors with the best possible answer to their search queries. Use your primary keywords and related keywords as a framework for your content creation.
In order to build your website you need to set up a foundation to build upon. If you've never built a website before and your completely confused by all the jargon, here is a bite sized masterclass for you:
Web hosting is the space you rent to house your website on the internet.
Think of a website host as a giant bookshelf, and each individual shelf as the individual location of the websites that host supports. Each shelf has a unique location (or IP address).
The reason why you need a shelf is because you need room to store all of your website data (pictures, files etc).
Some web hosts let you share your space with other websites. (think of multiple websites on the one shelf all sharing the same space to store data). This is not ideal and is, in fact, a major security risk because you don't want any of your storage shared with any questionable characters.
These shared IP solutions are easy to identify because they are usually dirt cheap. When choosing a web host you should always ensure that you're choosing a dedicated IP option (so you get an IP address all to yourself).
Your domain name is your website address, or the name of your website.
A website platform is the environment you'll be using to build your website. Some platforms are drag and drop designers, which are great options for complete beginners. Others are more robust and capable of building wonderfully complex websites
While we're on the topic of security, you need to make sure your website is well armed against malicious attacks. This includes setting up a firewall and also a back up solution in case you need to recall all of your website data.
SEO is more than just strategic content creation, there are various technical aspects to it to such as minification, removing unused website plugins etc. Many of these tweaks are simple wins that may dramatically boost your website rankings.
If your website ever goes down, you'll lose all of your traffic and customer revenue. You, therefore need to set up a means of being notified if your website does go offline so that you can take immediate action.
10. Test your website on mobile and tablet devices
Your website investment is completely nullified if your website looks terrible on mobile and tablet devices. To prevent this from happening, your website should be designed to be mobile responsive from day 1.
12. Test all your links, forms and payments gateways
A positive user experience goes beyond just having a pretty website, your website needs to actually work. To prevent user frustration, and the resulting SEO penalty, make sure every function on your website operates flawlessly.
Some amazing website plugins have been developed to help you with quality control.
13. Make sure all of your website software is licensed and legal
Choosing a secure business structure will keep all of your assets safe from a failed lawsuit, but that doesn't mean you can afford to be reckless in your operations. Using illegal software or unlicensed software is a sure way to get your business wiped off the map.
A social login gives visitors the luxury of logging onto a new website using their social credentials (Google, Facebook or Apple). Social logins are great because they free visitors from having to complete an arduous sign up process.
After your website is built you will most likely need to tinker with it at some point to modify the design or add a new features.
To prevent any issues from distributing the availability of your website, you should always perform these modifications in a staging environment. Then, when you've confirmed everything is working, you can push the staging site live.
Knowing how your visitors behave on your website is highly potent information. It helps you understand whether your website design is beneficial or detrimental to the user experience, and it also helps you optimize your design to maximize conversions.
You can install a heat map on your website which will show you where all of your users are clicking, how far they scroll down the page and more.
SEO is a complicated beast, the process occurs both on your website and off your webste. Offsite SEO involved building a healthy back link profile to drive customers to your website. Backlinks are primary ranking metric so you cannot overlook them.
Some fantastic SEO solutions have been developed to help you track your SEO efforts. They allow you to monitor the ranking of all of your web pages. You can also monitor the progress of your competitors and track whether or not you're overtaking them.
With every new piece of content your post on your website, you should analyze its load speed. It's easy to forget to compress your images, and site speed software will indicate whether you have overlooked any media files.
Website speed software also highlights any technical reasons behind slow loading pages.