A Website acts as the digital first impression of your business and can define your brand, offerings, values, and other components crucial to driving consumers to your business.
An easy to navigate, clear, and user-friendly website with updated content is a necessity for any business, big or small. As your customers search online, a website highlights content to guide customers through your business’ products or services, as well e-commerce opportunities where relevant. Through search engine optimization (SEO), you can also develop means of having your website secure a more prominent place when customer prospects conduct website searches using relevant keywords.
Steps to building your website
Step 1 – Define your website’s purpose, audience, and goals. Will users be visiting on mobile phones, on computers, or both? Are they existing clients or prospective ones? What would the ideal visitor do after visiting your website? It’s important to consider these factors throughout the website building process.
Step 2 – Make an outline for your site. Decide how to organize your website content in the most simple, streamlined ways in order to offer a user-friendly experience. Services like SlickPlan or JumpChart can assist with this process, but drawing an outline on pen and paper works just as well.
An example of a website outline
Step 3 – Fill in that outline with more detailed, quality content, organizing the material into sections like products/services, about us, e-commerce (if relevant), contact, etc. Does it still flow nicely?
Step 4 – Develop a visual mood board based on your brand identity. Choose colors, fonts, images, and other design elements that complement one another and define the aesthetics of your business. Try using sites like Coolors or Adobe Color Wheel that generate color palettes for you based on images, logos, or other chosen factors.
The color palette for this website
Step 5 – Build your website. To simplify long-term maintenance and manage costs, our center recommends engaging with website platforms that offer a “drag & drop” user interface, rather than requiring coding and other more complicated efforts to update your site. Some of the user-friendly platforms are: WIX, SquareSpace, Constant Contact Website Builder, and Weblium.
Step 6 – Ready your website for users. Do you have a domain name, or URL, that works and is easy to remember? Have you triple-checked for spelling or formatting errors? Be sure your website is perfect before you publish it.
Step 7 – Analyze your website traffic. We recommend using Google Analytics and other assessment tools to identify what content your site visitors gravitate to. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of website analytics, check out this comprehensive guide for new Google Analytics users.
Step 8 – Continuously update your website. Consider adding a blog or other, easily updated content that keeps your website fresh and relevant. Most importantly, be sure the content on your website is always correct - especially your contact information and business offerings.
Contact one of our business advisors who can guide you through improving or building your business' website, as well as share best practices to optimize your site and help you achieve your goals.