Your website is often the first impression potential customers get of your business. This is why it is so important to create a great website. To help you achieve this we have listed these must-dos for creating a great website.
When it comes to creating a successful website there are set pages that are a must-have for all small business websites. Here they are:
Every website needs to have a homepage in which you introduce your business with a brief description with an explanation of the services and products you offer. Let your potential customer know how you can help them.
Another very useful page is the About page.
On that page, you can let your visitors know what makes you different from the competition. Maybe you manage a family business or your services are more accessible. Use this space to let them know what makes your business special.
Next, you need a Contact page - The contact page allows your potential new customers to reach you if they have questions.
Make sure that you add a link to your social media, your email address, phone number, email, and business hours. If you want you can also add a contact form.
Have a page not found page - If your visitors can’t reach a specific page for any reason it would be best to have a customized page waiting for them with a link to your homepage. It’s a good way to not lose your visitors.
Have a Service page - Have a summary of the services you offer, add some bullet points of the services with short explanations, some links to learn more about specialized services, the advantages of using your services, and how they differ from the services offered by your competition.
Have a Product page - Have a description of your products available, an additional short description of each product, links to product pages with more information, what the customer can expect by purchasing those products, and why customers should choose you, and not your competition.
Once you have created your pages you can link them together in order to promote engagement with your website. A visitor could pass from your homepage to an article and from that article to a product or service you provide.
Have a website in which each page has its unique URL so you can also use it in your Google Ads campaigns to redirect new customers directly to the pages where you offer what they are looking for. Here's some more info on Google Ads.
When you create your website you need to have a clear initial overview of what its structure is going to look like. If you use a template to create it, be sure to choose one and stick to it. If the layout of your site changes from page to page the general appeal of your website will drop. Many CMS offer free templates that can help you with this.
Another good thing to remember is that visitors have short attention spans—they are going to decide whether your site has the information they need or not in seconds. This is why it’s always best to keep all the important information at the top of the page and to grab the attention of visitors with engaging titles. As with Newspapers, keep these titles short. The more complex explanation can come later when you have their attention.
Before creating new content, ask yourself these questions: Who is your primary audience? Have you thought about a secondary audience who might discover your website indirectly?
When people enter your website they need to see right away what you can do for them. start with that. Your homepage needs to convey right away the message:
Here’s what I can do for you.
Often your primary audience is typically existing clients you might have while the secondary audience is much broader and can include people that could need your services or products in the future. You need to make your content easy to understand and interesting to all of these audiences. What are the questions they might ask about a particular topic? Where are they most active online? What kind of information do they need?
Remember that your audience might find your website via different paths: social media sharing, links from other websites, email sharing, and search engine results. The last method is especially important when you write for the web. The text also needs to be optimized for search engines, so people can find it. Think of your audience: what keywords would they type into Google? Make sure to include those keywords in the headlines on your website.
Original content matters to Google and your visitors. Copying other people’s content will result in a punishment from Google, which can hurt your ranking online. Original means original: Your ideas should not be rehashing the same concepts over and over again. If your content is repetitive, no website will link to it.
There’s a lot of content online and it’s guaranteed that there will be some overlap at times, but you still never want to put out something that feels like it’s been done a million times before. To help create website content that feels original, use your competitor’s website for inspiration. Look for missing information on their website, or try to imagine other questions that users might ask that their site hasn’t answered. Examine the content as a visitor, and create the content that you want to see, but haven’t been able to find.
A final tip is to use content to be personal, show what makes you different from many other businesses in your industry.
When someone reads your website content, it should be easy and enjoyable to read, or readers are going to leave the page quickly. Your content should be:
well-written - no grammar mistakes easy to read quickly - use short sentences. Most readers will only consume content if it’s below a tenth-grade reading level
easy to scan - Use headlines, bullet lists, and short paragraphs to make it easier for users to understand right away what your content’s about
broken up into sections - Visually, break up the big chunks of text. Use headlines, but also add plenty of images as well
Don’t write long sentences, the short attention span of today’s reader demands sentences of 35 words or fewer. Easy to read content will naturally reach a wider audience.
Focus on using nouns and verbs. Use adverbs and adjectives sparingly. Don’t use complex words to explain your topics when simple and more common words can do the job.
Write content as though you’re speaking directly to the visitor. Pretend you’re having a one-on-one conversation.
Use second-person words like “you” and “we.” A friendly, informal tone is better than stiff, corporate-speak. Contractions like “you’ll” and “we’re” are fine.
What is SEO?
When we mention SEO we are referring to a set of practices you apply to your website to ensure search engines index and rank your website appropriately and then show it to search engine users. When your website is being “crawled” by search engines, it’s competing with websites that have similar content. Your ranking online will depend on the quality of your website’s design and content. SEO is an ongoing process that makes the difference between your site showing up on the first page of search engine results pages or not showing up at all. Check our article on SEO here.
When creating content for your website always Focus On Creating Strong Headlines. Remember of your visitors:
This is the reason why your headlines are so important.
Take time with your headlines. Research them and write down the ones that sound best. Don’t skim over them. The headlines are the first thing any visitor will read when they enter your website, and they are the defining factor people will use to decide if to stay or leave your website.
We mentioned keywords earlier. What are keywords?
Keywords are the ideas and topics that define what your content is all about. In terms of SEO, they're the words and phrases that users enter into search engines, also called "search queries."
Make sure the keywords on your page are relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results.
Work on your meta tags – Meta tags provide information about the webpage in the HTML (source code) of the document. Meta tags are also known as "metadata" are not displayed on the page itself, but they can be read by search engines and web crawlers.
Search engines like Google, use metadata from meta tags to understand additional information about the webpage. They use this information for ranking purposes, to display snippets in search results, and sometimes they can ignore meta tags.
Meta Title – The meta title tag doesn’t really start with "meta," but it's in the header and contains information that's very important for SEO. Remember to always have a unique meta title on every page on your website.
Meta description – On the other hand the meta description tag is used frequently to describe the page to visitors of the website so they know what the page is going to be about even while they’re still on the SERP. It shouldn’t be more than 160 characters long, and it should be written with the intent to catch the user's attention.
When you write your website’s content, give users tips on applying what you are offering them. Often just writing well about a topic will spark some ideas for readers.
A good way to promote engagement in your website is via the call to action (CTA).
What is a CTA? - Call to actions (CTA) are marketing messages that directly encourage a customer to complete a specific action. They could be the ‘buy’ text box in a website allowing you to buy a product you’re interested in or the ‘sign in’ button allowing you to register on social media.
Direct CTAs - Direct CTAs are the most common type you've probably already seen very often online. They show up at the end of the customer’s journey. For instance 'Buy Now' or 'Sign Up Today'. We call them direct CTAs because they go straight to the point: They bring customers closer to making a sale in a clear way.
Transitional CTAs - Transitional CTAs occur earlier along the consumer journey. A good example would be, a CTA encouraging customers to ‘Sign up to our mailing list’, ‘Join our workshop’ or 'See more'. These actions don’t necessarily have something to do with sales, but they build a relationship with potential customers at a crucial moment such as when they are still deciding if they can trust a brand, or they can help to create a connection to make sure customers have your business in mind when they are ready to buy.
CTAs in the top right - The top right corner of a website is a perfect location for your CTAs. Research on consumer eye-tracking has discovered that desktop visitors read websites in a Z-shaped pattern. Good websites tend to have appealing images and product descriptions on the left so that by the time visitors get to the right of the page they have more reasons to click on the CTA. This is also why, after looking through a product’s details and when you scroll back up to the top of the page, the ‘Buy now’ and ‘Add to basket’ CTAs slide up to fit perfectly into the top right-hand side of the site.
CTAs at the bottom - Another very good position for your CTAs is on the bottom center of the website's page. The reason why is that nearly half of all consumers are using the internet on their smartphones. Usually, they look at the top and then scroll down to the bottom of a page. The eye-tracking research on consumer habits called it the T-Shaped browsing pattern. This section is the closest place to the user's thumb, which makes it a tempting place to click and an excellent location for CTA's.
Visual aids help to engage the reader and hold their interest. You can use pictures, videos, or diagrams, to help illustrate your point. Whatever you’re writing about, add pictures. No one will be interested in paragraphs of text unless it’s for a book. But the images you add need to have a purpose they need to add value to the user experience.
The optimization of images is divided into 3 steps:
1) The images should look good
2) They should load quickly
3) They should be easy for search engines to index.
When it comes to image SEO, it's important to name your images using relevant keywords to help your web page rank on search engines. Having a keyword-rich file name is very important for image optimization. That’s because search engines don’t just crawl the text on your webpage, they also crawl your image file names.
The name of your images is the Alt-text. Alt-text is the text alternative to images that when a browser can't properly render them it shows to the user. The priority when working on your image optimization should be to work on the alt attribute for each product image on your site.
Don't just place a big image on your webpage and then shrink it via the source code. This will just increase the loading time of your page because of the larger file size associated with the image.
Reduce the file size of your images, optimize your thumbnails and make images the same size and style.
Put the image near relevant text -Have in your website images related to what the text is saying, rather than something completely random. An image followed by relevant information (having also the right keywords) will rank better.
As you can tell from our article, creating a great small business website is not as simple as you might have thought initially. But if you follow the steps we mentioned in this article, your business will surely succeed online.
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