Every business wants to have a really successful website today because this is the perfect way to cater to the millions strong virtual audience. However, business owners often don’t have a clear idea of what exactly they mean by a ‘successful’ website? Are you one such business owner? Then you should start by asking yourself the question ‘what do I expect my website to do?’. The answers may vary dramatically, depending on the kind of business and target audience. Take a look at a few possible answers:
- I want more people to know about my product
- I want to attract new customers
- I want to inform my audience about the business/ service/ product
- I want a platform to interact with and communicate with my customers
- I want to educate my customer to use the product/ service in the best possible way
No matter what purpose you want to achieve through your website, outlining it clearly and starting the website design process with this game plan in hand is the first step to building a successful site.
Start by defining why you want a website
A surprising number of business owners are keen to jump on the band wagon and get their own website designed, up and running as soon as possible. However, they are not really sure why they even need one. Even before you start thinking in terms of what you want your site to do, think about why you want one. What does a website represent to you and your business?
Let’s start from the basics. A website is your virtual storefront. It’s the internet equivalent of your brick and mortar office. It’s a simple and effective tool to reach out to a global audience instantly and cost effectively. Plus, the number of people doing all their ‘business’ of buying and selling solely on the internet is increasing year after year. The younger generation is far more comfortable shopping online, researching the services/ products they buy online and even locating products and service online. Given this, a strong presence on the internet is an absolute need for your business if you want to remain visible to your future audience base. Your website addresses this need which is why you should be looking at it as your virtual business persona rather than a mere extension of your business or as a marketing tool.
Now that you know why you need a website, it is time to chart out the purpose that you want your site to fulfill, the objectives you want to achieve through it. As you already saw, the answer to this question varies depending upon the kind of business you operate and many other factors.
Planning and designing the site
Once you have defined what objectives your website should help achieve, it is time to put them down in the form of distinct calls to action. You may want your viewers to sign up for your newsletter, or to subscribe to your buyer’s club or to make a purchase or give you their contact details. A single website has several calls to action that all help the business engage the customer more deeply. In fact, every page of the site has micro calls to action that prompt the viewer to ‘do’ something that is favorable to you, the business owner. Starting with a plan about what calls to action you want and where you need them makes designing a successful website an easier task because you know what you are looking for.
Getting on with the website ‘building’
The actual site building is a fairly straightforward process thanks to the many tools that are available on the net. Web builder programs help you start creating your site from scratch with templates that you can use. A very popular platform is WordPress because it is user friendly, simple for first timers to use and it also have quite a bit of resources (like their themes). If you have built your site using WordPress, you can set it up with your host almost instantly, with just a click of the mouse.
This brings us to the hosting aspect. Your host makes your website accessible on the internet so that your audience can view it. The site itself is stored on the host’s servers, meaning that if the server is malfunctioning, your website may be inaccessible too. Clearly, you want to go with a reliable host who can assure you of interruption free services and who give you some great support as well. If there are problems with the site (during downtimes, for instance) they can be rectified quickly getting the site operational in minimum time. There are hosting services at come with rock bottom pricing but the cost is not the top priority when you are choosing a web host. The service quality and reliability should take precedence because these are what determine how accessible your website is to the virtual world.
White, Steve. “How to Build a Successful Website.” Article Directory, 24 May 2017, www.paypervids.com/build-successful-website/.
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