When you are first starting out, having a website is something you might spend days, weeks, even months perfecting. Many entrepreneurs and businesses pour tons of resources into making their site the best possible and then more resources into marketing and advertising strategies.
But, before you waste tons of time and energy making a website, make sure you are doing it the right way the first time! There are more than 1.5 billion websites out there so it can be easy for yours to get lost in the crowd if you aren’t doing everything right. To make sure that you have every piece you need for a good website, we have put together our top hints.
Find A Reliable Host
Before you can even start making a website, you need to find a hosting company that you can trust. A hosting provider is the one who can help you achieve a professional look to your site.
There are times where saving a few bucks a month on a cheaper service is a good idea, but usually, with hosting services, you get what you pay for. You want to make sure you aren't underspending on hosting providers if you rely on your website to bring in business or make money. A site that is consistently going down or is slow to load won't do you any favors!
Speed and reliability matter. According to research, roughly half of web users want a site to load in 2 seconds or less. If your site hasn’t loaded within three seconds, those visitors are going to abandon your site, causing you to lose a new customer potentially.
If you are unsatisfied with your current hosting provider, check to see if your new hosting provider will migrate your site for free. It will save you time and energy moving it on your own or could save you a couple of hundreds of dollars paying someone else to move it!
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Having a sitemap on your website is 100% necessary. It helps your users move efficiently and smoothly from one area to the next. It also plays a quintessential role in SEO. Search engine spiders will be able to search and rank your website higher if you have a sitemap.
There are three different types of sitemaps that you can include:
Indexed sitemap - An alphabetic listing or directory of your pages.
Complete Categorical Sitemap - The most popular form because it gives you a full list with classified links to various categories. It allows you to bounce from category to category easily.
Restricted Categorical - It places all links in specific categories, which may be limited to help simplify the viewing.
Create a Homepage With a Clear Message
The "home" page is the first thing visitors will see when they land on your page is your homepage.
You should be answering the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What benefit do you offer?
If your visitors can’t clearly understand what your website is, then you are going to lose them quickly. It doesn’t matter how great your site looks if the content isn’t there. The homepage is your first impression and your first chance to connect with your audience.
It should go without saying but make sure your contact info is displayed so your visitors can reach you with no problems.
Include A Blog
Adding a blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website. It is currently one of the most popular methods of communicating online. Businesses that blog sixteen or more blog posts a month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published four or fewer blogs a month. Having a blog can have great SEO benefits if you are putting out good, compelling content that adds value to your visitor.
It can make your business or brand more personal and allow people to connect with you. If you are a small business, having a blog can lead to a 126% increase in leads generation.
If you use WordPress as your content management system (CMS), it is easy to add a blog to your site. WordPress is very easy to use and is great for new beginners.
The Importance of Good Design
Good design could make or break your website. Even if you don’t know even one line of code, it is possible to make a gorgeous site without breaking the bank. Almost every hosting provider will offer website builders which as so easy to use that even a complete beginner can figure it out!
Studies have shown that about 40% of consumers will leave a site if that don’t think it is well-done. A site that is stuck in the 90’s is no excuse anymore. Website builders can make better-looking sites with little to no effort on your part. With a click drag and drop setup, you can have a beautiful site in minutes.
SEO should be on every site owner’s mind, and having mobile-friendly sites is a big part of that. Starting in 2015, Google announced that rankings for sites optimized for mobile devices would be ranked lower in the searches. This change shows that Google will reward sites which better serve digital consumers.
Having a mobile-friendly site doesn’t matter just for the rankings. Statista found that mobile traffic accounts for 52.64% of the global online traffic. Mobile traffic has been growing year after year, and if your site isn’t mobile-responsive, you will lose a significant portion of your audience. In fact, 57% of internet users wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
If your hosting provider can’t help you make your website more mobile-responsive, it might be time to change hosts if you can’t afford to hire a designer yourself.
No matter what type of site you want, the essential elements of a successful website doesn’t change. Having a reliable host is imperative because having a slow or inconsistent host can drive away visitors, leave you with a clunky site and mobile design, and ultimately ruin your SEO ranking.
An Outstanding Website Requires an Outstanding Web Hosting Service