Whether you’re starting a brand-new business on your own, or you’d like to set up a solid online presence for your existing company, a website is a must. Of course, if you’re not a dedicated web developer, you likely aren’t certain what the process entails, and you’re mostly focused on developing a marketing strategy or a social media presence independently of your site. This chaotic approach, however, can harm your digital reputation, because you need to make sure that your site is optimized, functioning perfectly, and that you have the know-how to maintain it for the future.
So, before you start focusing on social platforms, you need to take a moment to devise a strategy that will enable you to create a stellar website. Among many technical things that your chosen web developers will focus on, there are a few core things you should know and be mindful of when making your decisions.
Here are a few to keep in mind when it’s time to set up your site!
Branding is everything
Before you get started, take some time to create a brand identity that can be translated into an appealing, visually compelling website with a unique voice. If you know exactly who your target audience is and how you can approach them with your product or service, weave that knowledge into your brand identity.
- Choose a color palette that matches your brand values and the emotion you wish to inspire in visitors.
- Every detail matters: the font you use, the imagery that will represent your brand, the tone of voice, it all combines into a unified presence.
- Define your mission, vision, and purpose, but also take a moment to define what your core values are and what you want to achieve with your brand.
Choose good hosting and an appealing domain
Now that you have spent some time creating a strong, authentic brand identity for your business and your website, your online presence needs to reflect that identity from start to finish. Your domain name, especially for someone setting up a personal business online should stand out – make sure you can use your brand name as part of your domain name, too.
Another way to personalize your digital presence is to use a reliable personal domain combined with a .me extension that will further give that authentic look and feel to your website. You can use your own name if you’re a recognized expert in your field, which will further elicit trust when you have a domain name that reflects your core brand identity and has a trustworthy extension.
Make sure your site is secure
Considering how quickly tech is advancing in this day and age, you can be sure that people visiting your site are aware of potential malware issues that lurk around every corner – and they’ll want to know that your site is safe. As a business trying to protect its reputation, you need to invest in ongoing cybersecurity measures and regular website updates that allow you to keep the platform healthy and impenetrable.
Cybersecurity is a vital component of your website strategy, so communicate your needs and concerns to your developers. They can help you choose the most optimal preventative measures depending on the purpose of your site, your location, and the data you need to collect to engage with customers.
Optimization at the forefront
Having a website is merely one part of the digital equation for your business to succeed. You also need to set it up properly from a technical perspective so that people can find you and so that Google and other search engines won’t penalize you for poor website performance. However, there’s plenty you can do from a content perspective in order to avoid SEO issues and to boost your site’s ranking over time.
If your site is doing well from that technical perspective, create a content strategy that will include keyword optimization as well as quality images that are quick to lead, proper meta descriptions, and of course, quality links. Keeping your site optimized and highly engaging means that your users will be much more likely to visit and share your content, which will also boost your ranking.
Technical details that matter to the user
When you see some of the most successful websites today, you know that they have earned that top spot in Google because they consistently put ample effort into maintaining their websites clean, easy to navigate, and user-friendly. They are the ones that implement the latest innovations in tech and digital, so they enable voice search optimization, introduce AI-driven chatbots, and similarly advanced opportunities that set them apart from the crowd.
- Talk to your developers to see if there are new features available that your visitors might benefit from. There are all kinds of add-ons and plugins you can introduce to increase the functionality of your site and make it more user-centric.
- Make sure to track and monitor the analytics and performance metrics of your site. It will help you learn what you can do differently and how you can make your customers happy.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, quick to lead, and superbly easy to navigate.
Although you might not be in charge of the actual development process, knowing some of the core steps in designing and launching a good site will help you position your brand much better. With a strong website, you’ll be able to appeal to your target audience, but also establish a trustworthy reputation among your peers in your industry, and hopefully earn the spotlight for many years to come.