In an ever growing online world, now has never been a better time to build a website for an idea, a blog or even an online store.

Having an online front that never closes and that can you can use to leverage yourself against your competitors is an invaluable part of any business designed for the future.

Not too long ago, your average customer had to do research the hard way! Ask people for insight on products and services, compare the market with different businesses and then had to look them up on the phone book!

These days, the process is much smoother, customers simply google what they’re looking for. They will choose their solutions based off the quality of information they find, and how easily they found it.

In this Article, we will discuss the steps to getting yourself online & delivering an experience your customers will love.

What you want in a website can be very different to what you need.

One of the greatest mistakes people make when building their first site is trying to do too much at once and not prioritizing the essentials.

What you wind up with is an endless list tasks you will need to do and things you need to cover.

It’s better to just start with the necessities and grow the website from there, it will help lay the foundations of your brand online, and open up better opportunities to understand your online audience.

We recommend the use of WordPress, it’s a super flexible and open source Content Management System (CMS) for building websites that can be modified to do literally anything!

Not to mention it’s free and almost half of the world’s websites are made with it.

Consider this before dropping money on a website builder or web design agency, both are notorious for their generalised approach to website design & development

  1. Are you going to waste time and money on developing a site with features and tools you won’t end up using?
  2. Are you getting a full grasp of what kind of solution they are trying to sell to you, more importantly do they have a full understanding of your business, your market needs & what you’re trying to sell?
  3. Will you invest hard earned money on a personalized site design and innovative features, and only to find out later they don’t work to your intended audience?
  4. Are you going to wind up redesigning your website because your squarespace, shopify or any other online website builders just didn’t have the flexibility you really needed?

At Aware Media, we believe that market analysis & websites go hand in hand. Knowing your audience and their wants & habits are essential. They need to be integrated and synergistic with your online presence.

6 Tips for any website designer or business owner starting a website:

What you think you want in an online approach is mostly different than what you really need. So the smartest approach is to start with a simple variant of the website you believe you need.

Test to determine what works and what doesn’t on your website with minimal time and money investment, unless you have a firm grip on your online audience. But beware, online audiences don’t directly mimic your real-world customer base.

When you understand what works well on the site & what doesn’t, only then is it a good idea to start investing and growing it. Google Trends and Google analytics are excellent and free ways to analyse your audience.

Competitor analysis is also a great way to find out what works in a similar market & can help lead you in the right direction for what you need on your site.

Ok so you’re ready to get started with your website, here’s a checklist of what you need to do first:

1. Buy Web Hosting

We recommend Hostinger, Namecheap or Siteground. They all provide excellent customer service & and hosting that doesn’t break the bank. They also have packages that include a free Domain Name!

2. Picking a Domain Name

Make sure your domain name reflects your business name or what you do, try to be creative and make it short and sweet, so it’s easy for customers to type in and easier to link to!

3. Get a Business Email Address

  • Custom business email addresses are essential and shouldn’t break the bank.
  • You should pay no more than $5 a month for decent email services.
  • You can also setup free email hosting with your web hosting but they do come with limitations and aren’t as good as dedicated email hosting.
  • Using a gmail or email address that’s not the same as your brand looks unprofessional and will give your customers a bad vibe. How can you expect people to invest in your brand if you won’t do the same?

4. Install WordPress on your web Host

Download WordPress and install it to your webhost, this will be the barebones framework of your site. Most web hosting companies will give support on doing this, or have an easy to use installer on their platform.

5. Design your Website Layout

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Use a premade template. there are free templates and paid templates. This is a quick and easy way to fast track your website development, only downside to using templates though is your website may look very similar to everyone elses!
  2. Modify a template. This one isn’t for the faint of heart and requires an understanding of PHP, CSS & HTML code. You can modify and design the way your website looks by changing the code in WordPress’ template files. Bear in mind, this does take time and effort, and you need to design the website for both desktop computers & mobiles in mind.

6. Add content to your website that’s tailored for your audience

  • If you’re an e-commerce online store, add products and services with unique and engaging descriptions. We recommend woo-commerce, which is an extension to WordPress, made for e-commerce. It makes it super easy to start selling stuff online, not to mention it’s free!
  • Add blog posts and articles that your customers will read and enjoy. The best topics for writing these are common questions that are asked in your business or industry, like “how to fix a leaky sink” if you were a plumber, or ‘latest fashion trends’ if you were a clothing store. Get creative with your articles and make them engaging and entertaining, people love good content that they can relate to.
  • Make sure your posts and pages have at least 500-700 words, and are original. Use Copyscape to make sure they meet these requirements. This is important if you don’t want to get penalized by Google.
  • Add images and even videos to your content. A page of just words can be super boring to your readers, and multiple levels of content can entice them to read on.
  • Keep your writing style consistent and readable. Proof read your content and make sure its concise & easy to understand.

Now you’ve got a kickass website, attract more visitors with Digital Marketing & Search Engine Optimisation.

After building your website up and getting a better understanding of your audience, put these metrics to good use with keywords & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

There’s no better way to generate leads for your business than being the first link people click on Google.

You can read more about SEO and attracting more customers here.

Concluding

Now you have knowledge to make a mark online with your business. Properly built websites that cater to your audience’s needs can bring in amazing results. If you’re still unsure on where to start, drop us an email, we’re more than happy to help you achieve your goal in the online world.

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