Nowadays, it is difficult to design an effective corporate communication without going through the creation of a website. Indeed, consumers are increasingly connected and the Internet is a very important step in their purchasing cycle. However, it is often difficult to see clearly when embarking on such a process. Through this article, we suggest you go through 20 tips that could help you in creating your website.
Tip 1 – Clearly define the objectives of your website
Before rushing headlong into a website creation project, it is advisable to begin by answering an essential question: “What do you expect in return? ». Indeed, without a precise goal, or even quantified objectives such as the number of visitors or the turnover to be targeted, risks resulting in a loss of money and energy.
So what is the purpose of your website? Most of the time, this is used to:
- Ensure your presence on the web, through the creation of a showcase site
- Communicate better with your customers
- Promote your services or products
- Acquire new customers and even conquer other countries
- Selling online, e-commerce as they say
- Manage your supplier, customer or product list in a database
Tip 2 – Allow a reasonable amount of time
There are not really any rules about how long a website is created. A few weeks, a few months… The reasonable delay depends on the complexity of the functionalities of the site. You could set yourself a strategic deadline, for example: launching your online store for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
The worst thing would be to be in a hurry and then regret it. Take some time to think seriously about it and allow the developers to refine the future website, your virtual image, while you concoct its “official launch”, a marketing operation not to be missed.
Tip 3 – Find inspiration elsewhere
Like any good entrepreneur, be curious! There is well one type of Web site or two which attracted your attention by its aesthetic aspect, its headings or others. As for the competitors, what do they propose? Feel free to explore and criticize before creating your site. Observe the tools they use, what they put forward. As much as you might find ingenious ideas that you haven’t thought of, their shortcomings could well become your assets. After this small work, you will already have some concrete bases to present to the one to whom you will entrust your project of creation Web site.
Tip 4 – Don’t hesitate to call on an agency
With the DIY trend that promises to create a website in a few clicks and turnkey site offers fast and cheap, you might be tempted by the time saving and savings advertised. However, to create a personalized and effective website, it is strongly recommended to call upon a professional.
Thanks to its technical knowledge, a web design agency will bring you its expertise and the best way to reach your target. She can also advise you on more advanced tools and features that will make your future website even more efficient. It can teach you to be autonomous so that you can enrich the content yourself. Nowadays, the agency generally proposes a pack creation of Internet site with referencing Web, ineluctable to obtain a better return on investment.
Tip 5: Don’t neglect the choice of your hosting provider
In order for your website to be online, you will have no choice but to host your website. For example, the choice of your hosting provider is important for the performance of your website.
Tip 6: Adapt your webdesign to your target audience
The importance of design to your success is well established. Be careful not to fall into the trap of wanting to develop a website with a “beautiful” design: this notion is too subjective. Make sure that it is adapted to your target. Indeed, it is the only factor that will lead you towards success.
Here, the challenge is to create a website that takes into account the habits and expectations of your potential visitors. Even more so, you must try to put yourself in the users’ shoes and be as objective as possible.
The visual aspect, i.e. colours, fonts, images, layout of headings, etc. must be harmonious. Certainly, your website will reflect your image, but it must above all correspond to the aspiration of your target. Don’t discourage them from the first connection, make them want to stay and come back.
Tip 7 – Make navigation easy
From the Internet user’s point of view, a “labyrinth” site is prohibitive! So make sure that every user who arrives on your website does not spend hours to find what he is looking for. Making navigation easy means optimizing the Internet user’s journey. A well designed site is a well organized site, the one that easily puts within its reach what is likely to interest it, and this, in the right place, in the appropriate category or the appropriate section.
Tip 8: Write quality content
The content of your website is essential for your online success. This must be adapted to your target and will play a key role in your user experience as well as your natural SEO.
Your website is the first image the visitor will have of your company, your professionalism and your seriousness. Target your visitors or potential customers before you start writing content. Your texts and articles must be unique, sufficiently informative, relevant and interesting, in connection with your activity and your company, so that the visitor is won over. The quality is not limited to the content, but also to the form, spelling or grammar mistakes, an approximate syntax will make you not very credible in the eyes of demanding Internet users.
Moreover, the content actively participates in the natural referencing of your website. It is then important to satisfy the reader and search engines with the same texts. It would be a shame to have a design site, with a lot of content and good products, but which is invisible.
Tip 9 – Bring your site to life
You think that once online, you can finally blow and put aside your website? It is nothing of the sort! The challenge now is to bring it to life, to show that it is not a frozen site that no one is dealing with, to wonder if the company still exists.
Updating your content regularly, i.e. daily or weekly, is therefore essential. To make a site live, many create their own blog. It is used to retain prospects, to keep in touch with them, to create a link by exchanging comments, for example. The best would be to publish articles with a regular frequency, news related to your area of expertise, tips or advice. There is also the sharing function. Your visitors satisfied with their visit or experience with you can share your tips or products on social networks. It’s a boon from a marketing point of view, an opportunity to get the word out in the communities and eventually to your future customers.
Tip 10 – Use a CMS
A CMS (content management system) is designed to easily design and update a website and its multimedia applications. Designed to make a “ready to use site”, an online CMS allows you to save a lot of time and reduce your costs.
Thus, you can make a quick installation, manage your site in your administration interface as long as you have access to an internet connection, change the style of the site without modifying the content, etc. Moreover, with a CMS, you have the possibility to manage the administrators and visitors of your site or to include a search engine. Among the best known are WordPress. Its advantage is that you can easily find answers to your questions in case of obstacles. To test the capabilities and ergonomics of the CMS, take the time to visit the sites that used it.
Tip 11 – Optimize the user experience
Going on a website, navigating on it, is a bit like a trip for the Internet user. For this user experience to be successful, you must ensure that every feature, every content, the webdesign, the ergonomics of the site bring it a real satisfaction, a sense of privilege. Don’t make him want to click somewhere else! This satisfaction will naturally lead to conversion, i.e. the purchase of a product, the call to your services or loyalty.
Tip 12 – Draw up a site map
A sitemap of the site exists in 2 versions. One for human reading and one for search engines. As a summary or table of contents, the site map lists, usually hierarchically, all the web pages that are on your website. It reflects the logical organisation of your content: category, subcategory, etc. In general, the site map is placed in the footer and this helps to find a topic more easily. The sitemap also allows to have a better indexing in search engines.
Tip 13: Create a responsive website
A “responsive” site is a site that automatically adapts to the device used by your visitors. For example, if your visitor visits you via his mobile phone, your design will have to adapt so that it is pleasant to use and read for it. Given the significant growth of mobile, make sure your site is adapted.
Tip 14: Think of a conversion funnel
When starting to create your website it is essential to think upstream about your conversion funnel.
You will first define what you expect from the user when visiting your website: contact, sending a form, subscription to a newsletter, downloading a file or purchase, the conversion funnel corresponds to the sequence of pages he must browse before reaching this goal.
It needs to be optimized to guide the visitor towards the final goal without any trouble and to avoid losing potential customers on the way (abandonment of order, renunciation of registration, etc.).
Tip 15 – Optimize SEO
Here we go! If there is one crucial step in creating a website, it is this one. Optimizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means attracting visitors to your site through search engine optimization. Improving visibility is a long-term task. This involves identifying the keywords that can be entered by Internet users so that the site appears on the first page, among the first results, creating quality content, faithful to the keywords and regularly updated, etc.. An effective website is first and foremost a visible website!
Tip 16 – Identify Call To Action
An Internet user is not only a reader, he is also an actor. When he visits your website, you hope that he does something, that he goes further. Passive navigation is a thing of the past, CTAs (Call To Action) or call to action buttons are there to wake the visitor up and encourage them to move forward in their experience on the site.
You can use a Call To Action for these few examples:
- See the creations (or realizations)
- Buy or place an order
- Download a file, an extract, etc.
- Subscribe to the newsletter
- Participate in a game
- Get a promotional code
CTA is always associated with a group of incentive words that bring your visitor to interact with your website.
Tip 17 – Place extras
The extras are these modules that enrich the effectiveness of your website. There are in particular:
- The blog which, periodically updated with publications, invites visitors to come more regularly to the site and creates content at the same time. In addition, feedback is ideal for communicating and learning more about your targets’ needs.
- RSS, also known as Rich Site Summary. This corresponds to the notifications used to keep your visitors and subscribers informed when you have updates on your site.
- The chat solution not only allows users to leave short messages and without protocols (very appreciated) to get information, but it gives you the possibility to approach them automatically.
- Share buttons, which allow your subscribers to share their successful or pleasant experience on your site on social networks
- The landing pages combined with a CTA are these tailor-made web pages designed to acquire a maximum number of visitors and conquer good targets.
- The analysis tools thanks to which you will be able to keep an eye on the accessibility, the frequentation, the possible technical problems of your Internet site.
Tip 18: Don’t forget to think about maintenance
If there is one thing that is regularly neglected, it is the maintenance of a website. Your site lives with your business and must constantly reflect it.
Many companies make their website the only advertising tool, the only means of communication with users. Without going so far, it is nevertheless more than necessary that the site is constantly able to reflect the image of the company and give up-to-date and authentic information. Add new content, modify the design, check that all pages of the website are accessible, etc…. These operations are quite technical. So if you don’t have the chance to offer yourself an internal web team, call on a web specialist agency. She will take care of the regular maintenance of your site is an alternative to consider.
Don’t be discouraged by the expense of maintenance, as the cost/benefit ratio will obviously be beneficial.
Don’t underestimate maintenance costs and consider them early in your creative project.
Tip 19: Traffic is essential to your success
Creating your website is a good start but if no one visits it, it is useless. Generating quality traffic must be your goal and it is important to invest in its success.
Every entrepreneur hopes to see hundreds, even thousands of visitors flock to his site. However, it is not enough to publish it, it must be made known. Plan time and invest to generate quality traffic.
Ensure that your content is relevant to users’ queries (keywords) and needs. This is the famous winning combination: SEO and content strategy.
One obviously very effective trend is to maintain your presence on social networks. Whether LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., publish regularly. The goal is to get you noticed and get a maximum of contacts, fans or followers.
You can also join a paid advertising program like Google Adwords.
Tip 20: Set up Google Analytics
Measuring your performance online is critical to your success. Free tools like Google Analytics can help you in this task and help guide your online efforts and strategy.
This high-performance tool shows you, for example, the number of daily visitors, the average number of pages visited, the time spent on each section, the origin of your traffic, and much more. Google Analytics provides you with actual data based on visits to your website. You can for example visualize the impact of a new publication, locate a page on which most users leave your site, etc..
In short, it helps you to precisely recognize your strengths and focus on them, then identify blockages and problems that may exist to implement solutions.