Building a website can be a daunting task, even for the tech-savvy. It’s one of those things that businesses may put off because they either don’t have the time, don’t know where to begin or both. If the mere thought of constructing a website causes you enough anxiety to keep postponing it, rest assured that you’re not alone.
But before you give up on the idea altogether, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you know marketing but are up to your eyeballs in work and don’t have time to do it all?
- Are you unhappy with a website designer that left you high and dry with an unfinished and bland website?
- Do you know your website is passable, but you see your competitors’ websites and realize you might be losing business because your website isn’t up to snuff?
The bottom line is that having a bad website is worse than having no website at all. So, it’s high time you prioritize building a killer website for your business. To learn more about why it is important to allocate time for your website, read our previous blog post, “Empower Your Marketing Strategy by Giving Your Website the Priority it Deserves.”
You may have a vision for your website, but let’s face it, you’ll need some help bringing it to life. While there are online tools that simplify the process with pre-made templates and user-friendly design features, there’s still a lot of knowledge and time required to make a website work well, from navigation and coding to security. With a seemingly endless daily task list to tackle, most business owners don’t have the luxury of time to spare building a website from scratch or making over an existing one.
So, where do you begin? Fear not! This blog post will guide you through the first steps you need to take to create a website for your business that dazzles and brings in more clients.
Developing a website step-by-step
Start with strategy.
When it comes to building a website that truly represents your brand and connects with your target audience, it’s essential to start with a solid marketing foundation and strategy. This includes having a deep understanding of what your business stands for, who your ideal customers are and what sets you apart from the competition. If you haven’t already developed a marketing strategy, we recommend starting with our Power of a Brand blog series to help you get started.
Once you clearly understand your brand and target audience, you’ll be better equipped to create a website that speaks directly to their needs and interests. Your marketing strategy should influence your website’s overall look and feel and the specific features and functionality you include.
By having a marketing strategy in place before you begin building your website, you can stay focused and on track throughout the development process. This will also help you create a website that is visually appealing and effective at achieving your business goals.
What is the purpose?
What is the main objective of your website? Do you want it to establish credibility, educate potential customers about your products or services, or sell products directly from the website? Or maybe you want to encourage visitors to contact you or schedule a consultation?
Answering these questions will help you determine what kind of content to create, how to structure your website and what features and functionality to include. For example, if your main goal is to sell products, you’ll need to include an online store and payment processing functionality. If you’re looking to establish credibility, you might want to showcase customer testimonials, industry awards or case studies.
Bottom of Form
Consider the following when determining your website’s purpose:
- What is the primary action a user should take on your website?
- Product sales? Info? Educational? B2B? Consultation/Contact?
- What information do your clients need to have to make the purchase?
- Content – what do you want to say
- A plan for the future – what will you use it for when it is live?
- Events? Blogs? Products? Webinars? Education?
After tying in your marketing strategy and developing your website purpose, you can put together some details that will help you build a website or hire a professional to do it for you.
Items you need to have ready to build or redesign a website are:
- Written content – If you don’t have content, consider hiring a content writer.
- Contact information – How do you want a potential client to contact you? Do you want them to pick up the phone? Send an email? Or have them fill out an online form? When a potential client is ready to contact you, be sure you have updated the correct contact information to post on the new website.
- Images – Have your logo, photography and graphics ready for your designer. Don’t have any? Consider hiring a graphic designer.
- URL – The URL is the business website address browsers use to find your published website, i.e., www.mycompanyame.com. Consider the ease of an end user finding your URL. Think about saying your URL out loud as you tell customers about your company. Is your company name easy to spell? Is your company name extremely long? Will it be easy to remember? If any of these answers gives you pause, consider a fun, memorable URL for your company. Get a secure URL by purchasing one from any reputable hosting company—there are many to choose from, so try choosing one you know or have been referred to. Many hosting companies offer your URL free for at least a year when you purchase hosting from them. Finally, consider purchasing your hosting and URL at the same time and from the same company.
- Hosting Company – There are many things to consider when purchasing hosting, such as: How many daily visitors can you expect at your site? Will you have a shopping cart? What will the consequences to your bottom line be if your site “goes down” for even a brief time? We will explore this more in a future blog post.
- Content Management Systems – What tool do you want to use to manage and update your website content? Depending on what you need your website to do, there are tons of options out there with varying degrees of user-friendliness.
Building a website may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping the above key factors in mind, you can stay on track and save valuable time during the development process. However, it’s important to note that creating a website still requires a significant investment of time and effort.
Fortunately, Uptimize Marketing offers web design and can help take the stress out of the process for you. With our website development expertise, we can do it for you, or partner with you through the entire process, from strategy to implementation and reporting metrics, while you bring your business knowledge to the table.
Our Uptimize Marketing team is dedicated to delivering affordable and effective websites that meet the unique needs of your business. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure your website is tailored to your specific goals and objectives and show you how to leverage your website to drive growth and success.
So why wait? Take the first step toward building a successful online presence by booking a free website or marketing consultation with Uptimize Marketing. Our team is eager to help you get started on a successful path.