These days, all businesses should have websites. If someone wants to buy a pair of shoes, they Google: “best shoe vendors”. Without a website, it’s nearly impossible for them to find your store. Word-of-mouth can keep your business alive, but websites expand your business' success horizon. We're giving you some tips to make your website creation journey a breeze.
These tips will aid you in:
- Understanding the importance of web security
- Creating a powerful website structure
- Planning a successful website
Why Is Web Security Important?
Everyday, hackers are targeting the websites of businesses and revealing their trade secrets. You need to ensure that your website is protected by tight encryption standards. You should encourage customers to use a strong password to protect their data from cybercriminals. Additionally, employ two-factor authentication to secure accounts.
How to Plan a Website Structure
A messy website structure leaves users dissatisfied and makes it hard for search engines to decode your website's intent. We have highlighted some crucial actions you should take if you want to make your web pages SEO- and user-friendly.
Go through your competitors' website
If you want to gain a competitive edge, you should take a look at how your competitors' websites are organized. Evaluate them from a user's perspective. Parsing and web-scraping tools can help you automate data processing and gain better data visualization. Identify common sections and incorporate them into your website.
Conduct Keyword Research
If you want your website to rank first in SERP, you need to add keywords to increase traffic and site credibility. Use Google Trends to determine the search volume of a particular keyword. Remember, only add high-ranking keywords that are relevant to your business.
Create a Hierarchy
Your homepage cannot hold all of your content. Categorize data and connect specific elements to create a user-friendly website. Follow a logical structure to avoid navigational issues. Users won’t stay on your page if you bury important information under subcategories, so an optimized site hierarchy is crucial.
Devise an Internal Linking Strategy
Provide a connection between your internal web pages through internal links, which help Google understand your website's structure, the relevance, and the value of pages. Add contextual links to get backlinks from high-quality sites. This increases brand awareness and establishes authority.
Generate a Sitemap
A sitemap lets you index your web pages faster and aids search engines in determining canonical URLs. Overall, sitemaps improve site performance and rankings. You can create sitemaps using tools available online.
9 Website Planning Tips
Now, let’s dive into some tips for actually creating your website:
1. User Personas
Although it’s your website, your users are the ones who will be spending the most time on it. You need to determine your site's requirements according to users' perspectives. Identify your ideal customer and take note of their needs, expectations and frustrations to determine what your website will look like.
2. Domain Name
A complicated domain name makes it difficult for search engines to discover your website. Your web address is the entry point to your website, so make a good impression with it by creating one that is:
- Easy to remember
- Short and simple
- Consisting of proper extension (.gov, .com, .org, .edu)
- Original (avoid registered trademarks)
To secure a domain name, buy SSL certificate that is easy to install and not overpriced. This also improves your search engine rankings and builds trust amongst your customers. Lastly, this certificate provides instant security to your website.
3. Content Management System
Pick a content management system (CMS) to manage your digital content. The CMS you choose should cater to your specific needs — publishing articles, managing user comments, determining SEO strengths and weaknesses, etc. Some of the popular CMSs are:
- WordPress: Several industries use WordPress to publish content on a daily basis. You don’t need to hire technical staff to handle WordPress. It’s simple to use and free to install. You can generate your overall site score using its SEO capabilities.
Note: cyber attackers constantly target websites created in WordPress, because it is such a popular CMS. That’s why you need to run website audits and install security plugins to save your wordpress website from hackers.
- Drupal: It’s another popular CMS system providing the same benefits as WordPress. Drupal is more secure than WordPress. It doesn’t offer many themes or plugins which makes it less extensible.
- Wix: You can customize your website using Wix’s drag-and-drop functionality. Even a beginner can operate Wix easily. It offers a lot of templates and helps you tweak your website without having to change the entire web structure.
- Joomla: It offers you better security, templates and multilingual capabilities compared to WordPress. It has a steep learning curve. You might face device compatibility issues due to frequent updates.
- Squarespace: It provides you with third-party integrations, content marketing tools and customizable templates. Businesses find it easy to use and reasonably priced.
4. eCommerce Store
If you want to sell products through your website, you need a platform that enables your customers to make secure transactions. Some noteworthy eCommerce solutions are:
- Shopify: With Shopify, you can manage products, shipping, payments and inventory with just a few clicks. You can also perform fraud analyses, identify discount codes and generate reports.
- WooCommerce: WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin providing integrative capabilities to help streamline business processes. It’s PCI-compliant and ensures secure communication between your client and your server.
- Magneto: As an open-source eCommerce solution, it enables you to manage multiple online stores with various languages and currencies. You can integrate it with MailChimp and Google Shopping to maintain data consistency. If you have just entered the eCommerce world, we recommend starting with basic platforms like Shopify.
5. SEO Best Practices
It is crucial to decide on an SEO strategy that will help you gain traffic and improve your rankings. The following strategies will help you rank well for your targeted keywords:
- Create content that aligns with search intent
- Write a captivating title tag and meta description
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Optimize images (adding alt text and choosing the right file format)
- Monitor your page speed
- Add relevant internal links
- Earn backlinks
6. Content Inventory
Plan your content beforehand. This helps you to produce content on a regular basis. Organizing and planning your content calendar can assist you in defining marketing goals and setting priorities. Furthermore, it aids you in improving user engagement and increasing website traffic. Create a spreadsheet to track your projects. Content type, title, priority, category, focus keywords, search volume and target collateral are all things you should consider adding to your content inventory.
7. Create Quality Content
If your content doesn’t answer user questions or is outdated, it’s likely for search engines to consider your website unworthy. That’s why it’s crucial to revisit old articles and update them. Also post testimonials to attract potential clients. Ensure that your content relates well with your brand’s tone.
8. Webmaster Tools
Implement webmaster solutions to analyze your website performance. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster tools are widely used solutions. With these systems, you can track site visitors, bounce rate, off-peak loss, average time spent by users, page loading speed, broken links, etc.
9. Employ a Website Maintenance Plan
Regularly audit your website to avoid hacking incidents and improve website ranking. Some things to include in your maintenance plan are:
- Checking your webmaster data weekly.
- Leverage traffic information to create content that caters to user needs.
- Perform split testing to determine which website version has a higher conversion rate.
- Run daily backups to avoid missing important information.
Creating a website might not sound like a walk in the park. As you can see, there are many elements you need to consider when planning a successful website. Luckily, these tips will help you to create a successful website and put your business on the map.
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