Top tips when building a website
When launching a new website, your ultimate goal is for it to achieve return on investment for your business. Here are some top tips you can follow to ensure that your website is both cost-effective and profitable.
1. Consider What Kind of Website You Need
- There are three main types of website development - Website builders, template sites, and custom builds. These vary in cost and functionality.
- Consider your needs, budget and the level of technical expertise in your business when deciding which kind of website is most suitable for you.
- Also factor in costs for related services, like support, hosting, ecommerce and SEO.
2. Have a Clear Picture of Your Audience
- For your website to be a success, you need to understand who your target customers are, and how they behave online.
- Demographics - You should know who your customers are in terms of their age, locations, gender, income, education, digital literacy and accessibility needs.
- Behaviour -
- What devices do your customers use?
- How long does it take them to make a purchase?
- What information do they need to make a purchase?
- How do they find new brands?
3. Decide on Your Desired Appearance and Functionality
- Ensure that your website suits your wider brand in terms of:
- Colours and fonts,
Media, images and videos
- Do you have suitable, professional quality media relating to your business?
- If not, do you have a plan to acquire these as part of the web development process?
Consider the actions you’d like users to take on your site, including:
- Making and altering bookings and purchases,
- Secure payment processing,
- Communicating with your staff,
- Signing up to email lists and other marketing channels,
- Viewing, downloading and consuming various kinds of marketing content.
Your site should offer HTTPS support and GDPR compliance as a minimum.
4. Create a Content Strategy
- Conduct keyword research to decide on transactional target keywords for each of your core product and service pages, before trying to create content for these. Are your keyword targets relevant, realistic and suitable for your product or service pages?
- Develop a content marketing strategy to target informational keywords in your industry, and ensure the wider site’s rankability.
- Create a calendar to publish this content and distribute it through other marketing channels.
5. Think About How Your Website Will Make Money
- Consider which monetisation functions you’ll need on your website.
- Bookings - Users will need to have the option to:
- View availability,
- Reserve time slots,
- Make a payment,
- View existing bookings,
- Make alterations to their bookings.
- Ecommerce - Do users have the option to:
- View availability,
- Reserve stock,
- Make a payment,
- View existing orders,
- Make alterations to their orders,
- Choose from a variety of shipment and delivery options,
- Track shipments,
- Schedule a time slot for click and collect users,
- Carry out returns.
- Back office - Do the above features integrate with your existing back-office systems, such as:
○ Email communications,
○ Customer relationship management,
○ Secure payment processing,
○ Calendar management,
○ Stock control,
○ Order fulfilment,
○ Payment and accounts management.
- Marketing integrations - Do you need your website to support marketing functions, such as:
- Audience tracking,
- Ad retargeting,
- Email lead capture,
- Embedded social feeds.
6. Important Questions to Ask your Web Developer
Project and Cost:
- What is the total cost for launching your new website?
- How long will the project take to complete?
- What are the qualifications of your team members?
- Will you pay a flat price for the project?
- What are the agency’s internal quality control and assurance processes?
- Will you own the work the web design firm produces?
Design and Functionality
- Will your site be designed from scratch, or using existing themes and templates?
- Will your site offer mobile responsive design?
- Will the structure and pages of the site be informed by a clear SEO strategy?
- What CMS platform will the site use?
- Can additional functions be added easily using plug-ins?
- Does your site offer suitable ecommerce, booking and marketing functions for your needs?
- Will the agency offer content services, or should content be created and uploaded by your team?
Support and Usage
- Do the developers offer training on managing and administering your new website?
- Does the firm offer ongoing hosting and technical support?
- How will additional website changes be charged after launch?
- Do the developers offer tie-in marketing and optimisation services?
- Can additional pages be added to the site without engaging the developer?
- Will the developer set up common tools such as Google Analytics and Search Console?