A website is your brand's online identity. It doesn't matter if you are developing a single page website or 10-15 pages one, make sure you put the time in to create a site that enhances your brand reputation and speaks about your business. Your website is your personal property - make it the best it possibly can be. Moreover, for it to be best, you need to plan. As it wisely said, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Having a plan for your website will ensure you won't end up in a wrong place and haven't overlooked any features. It will provide less scope for miscommunications among the team.
Why is a website important?
If you want to grow your business, you need a website. A website is cost-effective to reach your customers online and market your products or services. Living in the digital world, having a website is not an option - it's a necessity. With 93% of business purchase decisions starting on search engines, it is imperative to have a website for your business. If you have a company and don't have a website, it's most likely that you are losing your business to your competition who has one. Believe it or not, many people will not even consider you as an option if you don't have a website. When people are deciding on investing in a product or service, they go on the internet to check the credibility first. Your customers just assume that you have a website. Develop a website that informs your customers about your brand and reassures that you know what you can deliver what they need.
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What’s the purpose of your website?
Even before you start to plan your website, you need to understand the end goal of why you want to create one. As a business owner, sure, your business goal is to drive sales. Essentially, it means, your website should tell your audience about your business, engage them and encourage them to invest in your store. Do your company provide services or sell products? If you want to generate sales from your website, it is imperative to plan the website design accordingly. People can buy products online but not necessarily avail a service. Your website architecture should be planned accordingly. Don't forget the reason you're building a site in the first place. Additionally, your website will change as your business grows - plan for the change as well.
Why is it important to have a plan for your website?
You may be having many free and straightforward professional website builders online content management systems, such as RedTim, but without a plan, you may land in a bowl of soup. Planning your website is essential, and without it, there is often failure. Sure, you are caught up in your ever-busy, dynamic and never-ending operational demands. However, you got to understand that planning for your website is as important as planning for any other marketing activities. If you want to run a successful business online, that brings you revenue you can't just slap together a website and expect success. Planning a website is like creating a web presence that will help you reach your business goals.
Usually, business owners start hammering nails without taking the time to strategize a proper plan. They fail to understand that to build a successful website; they need to spend two-thirds of their time planning and one-third of it in the execution of the plan. Unfortunately, if not for anything else, just to "save time" people often skip the planning phase and end-up redoing most of their work a couple of times. Take time to think through; it will save your time and money in the long run.
Why is website navigation so important?
Your website's navigation is one of the factors that will decide the user engagement and bounce rate of your website. If people coming to your website are taking too much time to find what they need or are not able to understand your site's navigation - they will exit immediately. It will directly impact your user engagement by increasing your bounce rate. It is crucial to design a website that is easy for a visitor to use to find what they want. Put time to think through your website navigation. Decide the web pages you want and then plan each page's architecture like what should be on each page, which page would it links to and links back. Be sure not to link to many pages to the same page - people may get confused.
How to plan a successful business website?
Set Your Goals for Your Website
As we have already discussed, it is essential to accomplish the objective of your website to generate new leads. It helps to revisit periodically after the site is live and manage your return-on-investment. Look at it this way, if you haven't set your goals, how will you measure your success? In fact, you will end up building a site that has either too little or possibly even the wrong information on it or too much information. Either way, you will lose customers. So, also before you plan your website, determine how many visitors you expect each month? How many of them will subscribe to your newsletter? How many leads do you expect to convert into sales? Set measurable goals for your website. You can even use tools like Google Analytics to monitor your website’s performance over time.
Determine Your Target Audience
Once you have decided the objective of your website, analyze who would be your website's target audience. It will help you to determine what kind of content you should have on your website. Identify the needs of your visitors. Who are you creating your site for? Do they like to read the content? What are their choices for reviewing information? How do they want to receive content? Would they prefer to watch videos rather? Based on these question create a buyer persona and determine what shape your website will take. Most of the time business owners plan their website by solely focusing on what they want on the website, without considering things from the perspective of their customers. Understanding your audience is essential as it can help you to tailor your website content to jive with their preferences. Creating a persona will help you to look at things from a user's perspective and ensuring your website is useful for your customers. If your site is addressing the needs of your user, it will be on their favourite list of websites to go when they need information on your topic. Meaning, your target audience will keep coming to your site, and probably, share it with their friends too.
That’s what it’s all about, right?
Do Your Keyword Research
Okay, now since you know your target audience, it is essential that you attract quality website traffic. Make a list of keywords that you think your visitors are using to look for your business. Choose keywords that will help you to accomplish your goal - attract your target audience. Many different tools can help you determine what keywords to use that are relevant to your business. Not only select keywords that make the most sense to your business but also choose the ones that aren't being 100% used by your competitor. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to carefully select the right keyword that can drive quality traffic to your website. You just have to enter the search terms or phrases relevant to your business. The Google Keyword Planner tool will give you a list of the most relevant keywords and how many other websites are using them.
Create an SEO Strategy
Search Engine Optimization is crucial in attracting quality traffic to your website. SEO strategy is critical from the very beginning of your planning process. Based on your keyword research, create a well-targeted sitemap for your website. Give your developers a website brief written from an SEO perspective to ensure that they build your new site in a Google-friendly way. Create a structure for your website. Include keywords in your URLs. Create an easy navigational path which is both SEO-friendly and URL-friendly. Naturally, include your keywords in your website, don't go overboard. You don't want to sound like a robot when someone gets to your site. Include semantic keywords that will help you to create a content that would vary and helps you to rank for many keywords that are relevant to your business.
Create a Content Strategy
So, now since you have your SEO strategy ready, you can plan what kind of content you want on your website. Plan your content strategy and stick to it. Decide how many blogs, videos, Pictures (such as in a gallery) etc. you want to publish on a monthly basis. As a project manager, it will help you track your marketing efforts. Your website content should tell your customers your story in a way that's both engaging and useful to them. Write for humans and search engines. Structure your content in a way that your users can easily understand the information you are trying to convey. Provide call-to-action on each page that encourages readers to click and know more about your site. When optimizing your content, be sure to:
- Use the keywords throughout your web pages
- Don't go overboard with keywords
- If you want your users to continue reading on another page, instead of using "click here" or any other CTA, link with keywords within your content.
Create a Sitemap
You have your user persona ready. You have your SEO and content strategy ready. What next? Now it's time to take all that engaging, valuable information and shape your sitemap.
By now, you must be having a fair idea what are the pages you need on your website and how would you want to categorize them. Use a spreadsheet and create your sitemap. You can even use tools like Slickplan - a website planning system that effortlessly helps you to focus what your business and your clients need. While you are working on your sitemap, do some user testing - may be a Tree test - to ensure that your sitemap is making sense. It will help you to exhibit the user with many different task in a simple text-based version of your sitemap. It will help you to find out if your users can find what they are looking for quickly or not.
What next once your website is ready?
Well, your work isn't over yet. Instead, the launching of your website is just the beginning of your online marketing. Maintaining your website is essential - it is an ongoing entity that represents your company continuously. Keep a track on your analytics software to get the insights on your site. Monitor the metrics like your number of unique visitors every month, pages from which people are bouncing back, and which pages are most popular on your website. Over a period, you will understand which parameter is more important for your site.
Have a plan to maintain your website as it is an ongoing process. Take inputs from your users as feedback to understand the loopholes in your site layout.
Creating a maintenance plan for your website is as crucial as planning anything else in business, yet this step often gets overlooked. Here are a few things that you can do once your site is ready that would help you to drive more traffic to your website.
Register Your Company on Various Business Listings
Business listing is like another business opportunity to attract local customers to your business. Register your company on listings like Google My Business, Bing Places and more to get easily found on search engines. By providing your business details like Name, Address and Phone number it would get comfortable for a customer to visit your to visit your brick-and-mortar store. He can use his phone's navigation system and can quickly come to your location. Ensure you update your business information accurately and consistently. You can even use tools like BigLee to get registered on many listing at the same time.
Off-page SEO can Improve Your Site Visibility
People often use off-page SEO techniques to make their website famous and gain more visibility on the internet. Off-page SEO techniques for useful link building purpose that will help improve your site position in Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Creating your link juice is the new web currency. However, Off-page SEO is not just about link building. Off-page SEO is a blend of many factors that combine:
- User Engagement (What people are talking about you)
- Social Media Metrics (Retweets on Twitter, Likes on Facebook, and more)
- Posting on Forums like Quora and Medium
- Guest Blogging on a complimentary website and more such factors.
Off-page SEO can help you to drive quality traffic to your website.
Your Social media can Support Your SEO
Social Media is the New SEO. It is a great platform to build trust and improve the domain authority of your website. Facebook in 2012 mentioned it gets 1 billion search queries per day. According to a study conducted by < a href=https://searchengineland.com/twitter-does-19-billion-searches-per-month-39988 target=”_blank”>comScore in 2010, Twitter handles 19 billion search queries a month. These numbers make it evident enough that people are searching for businesses like your on social media channels. To improve your site’s overall Off-page SEO, know your target audience by engaging people and by sharing your content on multi-social media platforms. Contribute regularly to discussions related to your niche. Google likes social signals; it considers it to rank your website.
Email marketing is one of the most compelling marketing strategies that help you stay in touch with your audience on a regular basis. Permission-based emails that include a newsletter, daily deals emails, special email promotions, and more keep you top of mind of your customers. They are relatively straightforward, quick to get started, and inexpensive. Benefits of email marketing can’t be tossed aside:
Integrate Organic Marketing with Inorganic
Inorganic marketing is the paid marketing techniques like Pay Per Click, Cost Per Click, Cost Per Acquisition, banner ads, and many more. Though it is an expensive strategy, putting Organic and Inorganic marketing together can give your website higher visibility on the SERP. If you are looking for immediate results, you can go for inorganic marketing as it gets a more effective result in concise time. When people search on Google using the keywords you focused on, you’ll see your pages rank higher. Meaning, more traffic that may lead to more conversions and profits. However, you shouldn't ignore that 94% of online users prefer organic results to paid SEO ads. So it is always a good idea to have a blend of both paid and organic marketing to establish an online reputation.
How can RedTim help?
RedTim primary aim is to help businesses like yours to gain visibility on search engines. RedTim websites are plug and play solutions built on Automatic SEO technology. Basically, the website eliminates your dependencies on a designer, a developer and an SEO expert.