I am sure you do not want to be that brand with a promising launch and excitement for prospects only for them to grace your website and be greeted with a poorly developed website that is slow as a snail, has dead links, and looks like it was built in the 80s because of the poor interface.
Today, any business that’s looking to widen its marketing horizon and thrive in the digital marketing ecosystem will need to invest a great deal of effort and detail into creating an impactful website that is not only good to explore but also functional and exudes a great user experience.
Table of Contents
1. Create a Comprehensive Website Checklist
Create a handful checklist of all required features for the intended website.
The website creation process has to be carefully planned. There’s a need to compile a handful checklist of features you’d need on your website.
There’s a tendency to overlook important elements in the website creation process when you don’t have a comprehensive list of features primary to your brand and audience.
Just as it’s nearly impossible to construct a house without a blueprint, same way, it’s not advised to create a website without a blueprint detailing how you want the important sections of the website to be crafted for an amazing customer journey experience.
Your website checklist should consist basically of essential web elements such as website navigation, your business location, online ordering solution, if applicable (e-commerce), web structure and layouts, forms, inner page designs, your projects, lead generation, and other business-friendly components.
This will help ascertain that your website is well structured, and have a proper hierarchy of content and functionalities that caters well to the need of your prospects.
2. Choose the Right Web Platform
This stage can sometimes be confusing in the website creation process.
Today, there are hundreds of solutions including CMSs, web builders, page builders, etc.
Making the right choice when it comes to picking a website creation platform is a key business decision that you must make.
Allowing for various factors in your consideration will influence your eventual choice.
Knowing fully well that the choice of web design platform will determine how much of features and functionalities you’d have access to.
However, whatever the choice of platform you’re going to select, ease of management should be a top consideration.
You and your team should be able to make simple changes to the website, because in a situation you have to always reach out to your website developer every now and then for updates and basic changes then you’re obviously in for a long walk.
WordPress remains a top choice for an easily deployable and pocket-friendly solution.
It currently powers about half of all the websites on the internet.
It is easy to handle for most developers and most importantly for you, especially when you need to make regular updates and publish your marketing content.
Whatever feature you’d business requires, be it an online appointment booking solution, an E-commerce system, CRM solution; you can always extend your WordPress site to accommodate these features.
The most important consideration is making sure that your web design solution is one that perfectly blends well with your immediate business needs and objectives.
For example, if you are planning to grow your online presence on search engines and generate some organic business leads, a platform like WordPress is your surest bet, this is due to its proven SEO features.
Whatever platform you choose…
In all make sure that it goes hand-in-hand with your short and long-term goals as a business owner.
3. Craft a Distinct Brand Persona
Your website’s design and content should clearly be put together to form a coherent brand identity for your business.
The marketplace is already packed up with different brands in their millions across industries.
Instead of making your head spin with this fact you should instead approach your branding from a stand-out perspective.
You don’t want to build a yet-just-another brand that’s a replica of an existing brand out there.
This is exactly what a brand persona helps you to achieve – Differentiating your business with strategy and style.
It’ depends essentially on how you want your audience to perceive your brand, interact with your products or services, and your marketing touchpoints.
Now, bring this to your business’s website design, think of this as your website’s personality.
Your brand persona should largely influence your tone of content.
Whether it’s friendly and casual or more formal and technical, it should humanize your business helping it create stories that your prospects can resonate with.
To achieve this, the systemic use of visual elements will play a magnificent role.
Your choice of colors, fonts, and imagery are key to fleshing out an effective brand’s persona.
When visiting a website, visuals in the form of infographics, images, and videos will help to eliminate the boringness and increase your brand perception score with the customer.
It is why it’s recommended you work with a professional graphic and web designer to come up with appealing collateral that aligns with your brand and creates a pairing connection between your business and prospects.
Consistency in branding is lucrative
Several studies have pointed out that businesses presenting their brand consistently can increase revenue by as much as 20%.
Therefore, investing in a professional, cohesive brand persona on your website is one of the best business decisions you’ll ever make.
4. Optimize for Search Engines (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be likened to a compass guiding users to your website organically from search engines.
A great website doesn’t end with an aesthetically appealing design, it must also be discoverable enough on search engines to attract some organic lead for your business repeatedly and consistently.
Keyword research and gap analysis
Setting time apart to do some serious Keyword research is paramount.
If your website already exists, you can do a keyword gap analysis to help you discover some keywords that your competitors are ranking for on the business side, but you are not.
Keyword research tools like Semrush, Ahref, and Google Keyword Planner will help identify search terms your audience is seeking and their exact intent for searching those keywords.
On page efforts
Once you have a compact list of relevant long tail keywords, it’s time to start optimizing your headlines and other elements on the website for those keywords; you can optimize your images, text, videos, and infographics for those keywords.
If you’re looking to optimize for local visitors, you should consider geotagging – systemically placing the names of your target location across your web pages.
Off-page efforts: link building
Over time, we have been made to believe that (looking at the pattern Google and other search engines use to rank websites across the web) backlinks are the strong pillar for building reputable websites with enhanced rankings.
While this is true, you need to understand that a lot has changed lately, building backlinks should not be approached from the standpoint of trying to trick Google and other search engines to believing that your content is worth more than it really is.
This takes us to the next element on this subject which is creating valuable content.
You need to focus on making great copies not for search engines but for human consumption.
The internet today is packed up with ai-generated content, and Google and other SEs are looking to rank something more valuable than existing recycled knowledge.
Google will likely displace your competitors’ subpar content and push yours in place if you painstakingly invest in creating content that is of immense value to your audience.
Noticeably, Sites that are more actively into link building than creating real valuable content get hammered more in recent Google search updates.
This is simply because Google is trying to get rid of websites that aren’t putting in the work and always trying to manipulate search engines with links plus mediocre content.
Page load speed
Slow-loading websites risk losing some important web users or leads along the way, especially at a time when people are increasingly impatient and waiting to explore a pool of alternatives.
Google’s algorithm rewards websites that load fast with higher rankings, and more crawl allotment, thus emphasizing the need for your web pages to respond speedily to human and crawl bot requests.
You can use online tools like GT Metrix or Google Pagespeed Insight to determine how fast your site pages load.
The speed at which your website’s pages load can make the difference between a captivated audience and a frustrated exodus. According to several online studies, One in four users abandons websites that take longer than four seconds to reveal what they’ve got to offer.
Beyond that, the bounce rate of a slow-loading website will definitely get worse, especially on mobile devices. Google, the gatekeeper of digital domains, has always considered site speed as a serious ranking algorithmic factor, thus playing a key role in a website’s visibility.
To keep loading times swift, the first winning step is to partner with a reliable web hosting provider with a proven track record that is proven.
Clearing the clutter from your site’s code is akin to helping your prospects get a smoother experience exploring your website, simply, ensure your website’s codebase is well optimized; this can be a daunting task for a beginner blogger or if you have little technical experience about web design. In this case, consider creating websites with some of the top website builders in the market; such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify for E-commerce development.
Many of the off-the-shelve web builders are intuitively developed to offer swift-loading pages.
5. Prioritize Mobile-Friendly Design
The digital sea is vast, and travelers carry a variety of vessels – from mighty desktops to nimble smartphones. Your website must be like a skilled sailor masterfully crafted to adjust to all terrains, ready to navigate any craft that approaches its shores.
In a digital-propelled age where mobile devices commandeer 54% of the total website traffic on the internet, crafting a mobile-friendly experience is paramount. Customer-centric businesses should make it a priority to construct their website with mobile-first design principles.
This encompasses envisioning all your website content and design elements on a mobile screen, and then elegantly adapting them for desktop users.
If you are not so vast with handling HTML, CSS, and JS to craft your own websites, then your surest bet is to make use of website builders, many of these web creation platforms already come with mobile-optimized templates and themes; you can imagine WordPress alone having well over 20,000 free themes, with a good number of them crafted for a harmonious experience across devices.
The developers of many of these templates have inculcated responsiveness to the themes and templates making them resize and display website elements, like menus, differently based on the particular device that is used to access the website.
6. Enhance Website Security
Security is your business website’s armor, every small business website needs to be protected from the lurking threats of the cyber world.
Cybersecurity isn’t just a mere choice; it’s a necessity and must be well-planned. Most importantly businesses that handle some sort of sensitive information or financial transactions of your clients.
You don’t want to be caught in any form of data breach, that can cost your business thousands of dollars, not to mention the priceless trust of your customers.
One of the ways to straighten your website’s security is to have an SSL certificate in place, however, that’s not all, but a good starting point.
SSL is like the digital seal that verifies your website’s ownership and also helps to protect data-sharing activities between your website users and your web server
A good web hosting provider and website building software will offer free SSL certificates in most cases.
While it’s understandable from an encryption standpoint that every SSL certificate performs exactly the same function and paid SSL does not necessarily mean stronger encryption than free SSL, free SSL is not as trusted by most organizations compared to premium SSLs.
For a strong data protection protocol, a paid SSL is advised for better warranty coverage, technical support, validation, and coverage in the case of multiple domains.
Most free SSLs last 90 days with little to no warning for renewal while premium SSLs are usually on an annual tenure basis.
We have written a detailed guide on 17 other ways you can secure your Website, especially if it is built with WordPress.
7. Create Engaging Content
Content is the soul of your website, the storyteller that captivates your audience. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. Crafting engaging content is an art that blends creativity with strategy, drawing visitors deeper into your digital realm.
Start with a captivating headline, the beacon that lures readers into your content. A compelling headline is like an enchanting melody that beckons listeners to a song. It should be concise, evocative, and promise something of value.
The introduction is your narrative’s threshold, the first impression that matters most. It’s like the opening act of a grand performance, setting the stage for what’s to come. Engage your readers from the very beginning, presenting a problem, a question, or a compelling story that piques their curiosity.
Subheadings are the signposts that guide readers through your content. Much like a roadmap, they provide structure and clarity. Break your content into digestible sections, each with a descriptive subheading that hints at the treasure within.
Visual elements are the illustrators of your story, enhancing comprehension and engagement. Use images, videos, infographics, and charts strategically to illustrate your points and break up text. Remember that 65% of people are visual learners, so cater to their preferences.
Keep your content concise and scannable. In the digital realm, readers often skim before they dive in. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and bold text to make your content easily scannable. Provide valuable information in a clear, concise manner.
Crafting engaging content isn’t limited to text; it extends to multimedia. Consider creating videos, podcasts, and interactive elements that resonate with your audience. These formats add depth to your storytelling and cater to diverse learning styles.
Remember that your audience is at the heart of your content creation. Understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. Use audience research, surveys, and analytics to tailor your content to their interests.
Lastly, be authentic and unique in your voice and perspective. The digital landscape is crowded, and authenticity sets you apart. Inject your personality into your content, and don’t shy away from sharing your experiences and insights.
8. Implement Effective Calls to Action (CTAs)
Your website should be more than a digital brochure; it should be a guide, leading visitors on a journey. Calls to action (CTAs) are the signposts that direct users to their next destination within your digital domain.
Effective CTAs are like magnetic forces that draw users deeper into your website’s narrative. They should be clear, concise, and action-oriented. Avoid vague language and opt for specific verbs that tell users exactly what to do.
Consider the placement of your CTAs. They should be strategically positioned throughout your website, especially on pages with high traffic and engagement. Common locations include the homepage, product pages, blog posts, and landing pages.
Tailor your CTAs to match the visitor’s stage in the customer journey. For example, a first-time visitor might benefit from a CTA that offers a free resource or encourages them to subscribe to your newsletter. In contrast, a repeat visitor might be ready for a CTA that prompts them to make a purchase or request a consultation.
A/B testing is your CTA optimization tool. Experiment with different CTA designs, colors, text, and placement to determine what resonates most with your audience. Tools like Google Optimize and HubSpot offer A/B testing capabilities.
Remember that the design and visual appeal of your CTAs matter. They should stand out on the page, using contrasting colors and eye-catching graphics. The goal is to make them impossible to miss.
Personalization is the crown jewel of CTAs. Use visitor data and behavior to customize CTAs for different audience segments. Personalized CTAs can significantly boost conversion rates and user engagement.
In summary, CTAs are the compasses that guide users through your website’s labyrinth. They should be compelling, strategically placed, tailored to the visitor’s journey, visually appealing, and personalized for maximum impact.
The process of bringing to life a truly remarkable website is a process that has to be filled with creativity, strategy, and dedication if future results will be ascertained.
One of the most important components of your website which is information accessibility must contribute to the masterpiece of what your business stands for in the digital world.
Your website should be seen as a canvas waiting for your unique vision and a symphony ready to harmonize with your brand persona.
As you embark on this journey, keep in mind that you’re not trying to build another static website, but one with a bold statement of visual design, intuitiveness, and evolving creation.
Owing to this, it is also of important to regularize testing, analyzing, and refining it, so as to ensure it’s always captivating and serving your audience.
To create a lasting blueprint for your business and entity in the digital world, your website remains your most potent tool, it is needed to interact and engage with customers, share your brand story, and achieve your business goals.
So, there’s no better time to unleash your creativity.
Remember, a great website is one that embraces best practices and is mindfully crafted to leave a long-lasting impression.
Make it a masterpiece, employ contentfulness mixed with intuitiveness, and use a vast digital gallery for trust-building and drawing visitors in, inviting them to explore all that your business has to offer in value.