Once you’ve decided to launch a business, one of the cornerstones of your business will be your website. Regardless of whether you’re setting up an e-commerce platform or developing a service, you’ll need to have an online presence. That’s where website development comes in.
Creating your business website takes a comprehensive approach that covers everything from what purpose you want your website to serve to what kind of SEO practices you need to incorporate. It can be hard to undertake such a major project without help, which is why it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. So before you jump into this major project, here’s what you need to know about how to create a business website.
Identify the Function For Your Business Website
Before you start deciding on color schemes and logo placement, you need to ask yourself a simple question: What do you want this website to actually do?
It seems straightforward, but it’s actually a complicated question. This site will completely define your business and you need to have a logical set of goals for every page and the user journey through the site in order for it to deliver the results that you need.
Your website might be strictly used for conveying information about your products and services to your potential clients. You might be selling products online. You might have a powerful company story that you want to highlight on the site to help differentiate you from your competitors. Or you might be more into the human aspect of business and your site is meant to convert and funnel real people into your location. In every case, the design of your website is going to be completely different. Before you start looking into developers, write out a few concise goals for your site so that you know exactly what you want the end product to do, even if you aren’t sure what it will look like quite yet.
Decide on a Platform
There are several different website platform options that could perfectly meet your company’s needs. You’ll want to base your platform selection on the purpose that you decided on for your site, as well as cost. Some website platforms will bundle the cost of creating your site and hosting it such as Wix or Squarespace. In that case, you’ll have the freedom to create and edit your website yourself.
Those types of sites can be great to start out! However, they do lack the more customizable aspects of web development that come from a custom job. In that case, you’ll want to look into the cost of hosting your website and what kind of monthly or annual costs that will come with as well as how editable you want the site to be. WordPress is generally the most popular website development platform for this purpose, and they do have a hosting service, Bluehost, that you can use, or you can opt for a different hosting service such as GoDaddy.
Find the Right Developer Team
If you’re opting for a professionally designed, you’ll want to find a developer who gets you and everyone involved with your project. Whether you’re already working with a technical co-founder, trying to find a co-founder, or handling it all yourself, you’ll want to look at a portfolio of work and see if their style works with your brand. If possible, you’ll also want to get references. Whether you’re looking at Hacker News, a Hacker News alternative, or an ex-Apple employee, their resume is no guarantee that they’re the right fit. People with Apple careers might seem like the ultimate source for all things tech-related, but in reality, they might just be a person who had one of those Apple jobs. Don’t dive into a project and invest time and money without knowing what kind of credentials your developer has.
Strategize Your Website Content
Here’s where the magic happens- once you have a website set up, it’s time for you to actually say what you need to say! You should carefully craft your website content to engage your audience and give them the full context of your company product and services, your brand message, and everything about why they should work with you.
You can also create valuable content to solve problems for them which is fantastic for SEO (which we’ll get into a little more in a different section). If there’s a major industry pain point or a common problem that your company solves shout it from the rooftops! Make sure your entire site is a reflection of exactly how great your company is.
Consider the User Experience/ User Interface
Commonly known as UX/UI, this combination of terms refers to the following definitions:
- User Experience- this refers to what the user sees on your site
- User Interface- this refers to how users navigate your website
This is a major aspect of making sure your site does what you want it to do. If your website is set up to convert users but the site loading time is too slow, people are likely not going to stick around. If your site works perfectly but doesn’t have a great aesthetic, you won’t be “wow-ing” your potential customers. It’s a delicate balance of functionality and fun! So make sure you aren’t going too far in one direction or the other.
Think About SEO Marketing
This part of your website design is all about the devil in the details. If you want people to be able to actually find your website, you’re going to need to use Search Engine Optimization tactics to let Google know that you’re here to help your target audience. Of course, you can find out a lot about what you need to be doing for SEO marketing online, but the application for these principles is nuanced and often complicated. Whether you’re looking at link-building campaigns to build backlinks or free SEO tools for inspiration, you’ll definitely want to investigate professional SEO services.
Professional SEO services will combine their expertise in analyzing your content for SEO and looking at how your website functions as a whole. Both of these aspects of your business’s site play a huge role in how well you’ll be ranking. Based on their analysis, you’ll be able to determine if you want to combine regular content creation with backlink campaigns and social media marketing or if your site needs more functionality development combined with a cleanup of your current content.
Your business website is the window to your company’s soul. Everything about it should be carefully considered before you send it out into cyberspace. There’s a lot to think about, which is why picking the right people to work on it with you is such a major part of it. But if you keep your end goals in mind, find the right developers, and combine UX/UI and SEO, your website will be the perfect introduction from you to your potential customers.