If you’re looking to build a Successful Business Website then there are a few major concepts you need to understand. With websites popping up every day, there has to be at least a small order of operations right?
Yes & no!
Internet Marketing is an ever-growing aspect of business owners around the world. Changing the way businesses interact with common customers, from promotions to support to sales and returns. The online version of your business should be an incomparable and streamlined version of your physical business, moreover, if your website doesn’t make doing business easier, it’s not successful yet.
Hello, my name is Kevin and I am a developer & internet marketing fanatic and I wanted to give business owners a simple guide in an effort to simplify the different focus points. Primarily to give you general terms to begin locating more detailed info about starting a successful business website. So, enough with the intro, let’s get to work!
1. Study Successful Competition Websites.
Learning your competition and their marketing strategy can help steer the beginning of almost any successful business website. Typically, a successful competition website has been pushed to the test from content and layout to design and even branding.
We recommend SpyFu, an amazing tool for getting real competition website data. They have a free version that will show you who your online competitors are in one click. The tools are geared more toward search engine data but we are only using it to get quick URLs to websites that give you ideas, concepts and more.
2. Claim Your Online Virtual Real Estate.
One of the biggest marketing rules is locking in your name anywhere possible.
We actually like to start off with Google.
Why? Because Google has become what I look at as a heartbeat of the website industry.
We like to match the domain to the google account, and then as long as neither names were already taken we would move on to claiming our Facebook business page, Twitter account, LinkedIn, and so on.
Read more about claiming social channels to gain more users.
3. Choose A Web Host That Fits Your Needs.
Website hosting comes in many shapes, sizes, and most importantly, pricing structures.
Let’s start by asking:
“What is website hosting?”
Website hosting, in simple terms, is a hard drive located on a remote server(s). A domain name would usually be connected using a server IP.
Your website files would be stored & accessible as files and folders very similar to how you save files on your home computer. There are more technical variables in website hosting than this article can handle.
Hosting depends on 2 major factors.. coding languages & usage.
What’s the difference between Linux and Windows hosting environments?
Linux is always your go-to for PHP platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, Magneto, etc. Linux is certainly more common than Windows/Plesk hosting.
Windows is generally used for .net and .aspx applications.
What is web hosting usage?
Usage is broken down into several different parts.
Storage is simply measuring how much space your files take up on the server. In case you run out of space, more storage is always available if needed as upgrades.
Bandwidth is calculating how much data users download by accessing your website… each page they visit adds up to more and more bandwidth usage.
There are more usable factors but this should be a bore article… I mean cmon, we are about to build a great business website right? So let’s move on!
3. WordPress Is Your New Best Friend
If you like “WordPress? What the heck is WordPress?”.. WordPress, also referred to as WP is a content management system (CMS) that provides a professional foundation for your website. Nearly 30% of all public websites today are built using WordPress.
“WordPress revolves around stylish themes and plugins.”
WordPress Themes are a series of files that display the content in a specific design layout. To clarify, WP themes give the user a more customizable website experience.
WordPress Plugins give your website custom features. Writing the code from scratch could take hours, days, or even months to get the same result and the best part is there are thousands of awesome free plugins available directly from the backend of your website. Just click, wah-lah!
WordPress has a repository for plugins and themes. Plugins are all free (many with some limitation to allow paid upgrades if needed) and as a matter of fact, many of the themes are too. You can look through them by accessing the WP repository.
One thing to understand, you can have a developer build a custom site WordPress theme from scratch, modify a paid or free theme and even build custom plugins.. WordPress is an open-source software with a great community of support.
ThemeForest is another great resource for WordPress website owners. They do not give things away here for free but rather offer very high-end WP goodies to help you gain the jumpstart or features you need on a budget.
4. Take Your Retail Online With WooCommerce.
If you sell products locally and want to expand, WooCommerce makes it easy! Unlimited products, product categories, photo gallery per product and many more built-in features so you never need another e-commerce solution again.
Maybe you want to sell music online independently, sell shoes online, sell event tickets online, or just simply need to sell your time as a freelancer. WooCommerce makes selling products online simple and easy!
5. Never Judge A WordPress Theme By Its Thumbnail.
I would imagine that 99% of common WordPress developers have experienced the WordPress theme nightmare. A client or website owner purchases a theme that appears to be exactly 100% what they needed, however, what the client didn’t realize was the theme was poorly coded, consist of SEO flaws, and was not built to follow today’s industry standards with search engine technology.
All in all, having a knowledgeable WordPress developer around during the selection of WordPress themes can be critical to a successful business website.
Download our guide to choosing the right WordPress theme.
6. Learn Standard On-Page SEO Tactics Used By Successful Business Websites
On-page SEO tactics were more of a insider secret many years ago. Nowadays there are more businesses relying on SEO than ever before.
So what is SEO?
In simplest terms, SEO stands for search engine optimization, to emphasize, this is the magic that allows you to rank your website for high-volume search terms. Generally, SEO is broken into two sides:
- On-site SEO
- Off-site SEO
On-site SEO means exactly how it sounds, edits you can make directly to your website for ranking improvements. Most on-site edits are very simple to make and can land you on a 1st-page ranking alone if handled properly.
Offsite SEO consists of actions you can take on websites outside of your own. Basically, this tells search engines this site trusts you and wants to share the information you provide. Google can then take that into consideration.
7. Modify Images To Reduce Page Load Time
Nowadays, the content inside of a blog can seem a bit plain or boring without using images. On the other hand, images can cause the web page to load extremely slowly for visitors if I uploaded them prematurely. Resizing to fit more naturally is the first major solution.
Do not upload a 2000+ pixel image to cover a 300-pixel square. A rule to keep in mind when cutting images is too much size can slow things down and too little can make things blurry. Are use retina-based logic to cut images. It’s rather simple, we want our image to be to ask for the actual size in pixels.
An example would be, if my image needs to be 200 x 450, I would cut, crop, and re-size to get an image that’s 400 pixels by 900 pixels. Now, this method is a very basic but simple way to keep your resolutions in check when creating a successful business website.
8. Page speed optimization can make or break you
Literally, you can lose it all in a split second.
What am I talking about? The difference in page load time itself.
A split second can mean the difference between a happy visitor and a distracted visitor. The last thing a retailer wants is for a customer who accesses their web store to get stuck waiting on the page to load. Allowing them to second guess the purchase or simply changes their mind due to your site was slow and they are having a bad day.
I know it may sound unrealistic but you would be surprised. People change decisions based on tiny impressions that change in-the-moment emotions.
There are many page speed tools available for absolutely free. These tools won’t necessarily do all the work for you but they will tell you where the work that needs to be done.
9. Keep your website safe and up-to-date
Website software such as WordPress requires common maintenance and updates in order to ensure a stable operating system.
The core, themes, and plug-ins all go through routine updates that additionally help you keep your site safe and running properly.
Ensuredomains provides private WordPress maintenance packages that are available to ensure customers. You can let us handle the maintenance, updates, and malware scans every month.
I like to tell clients to compare website maintenance to automobile maintenance. Try driving your car all year long without changing the oil, replacing a part or two, and, of course, the occasional bath.
They ensure maintenance packages are more like auto insurance. If your site crashes your package would include complete backups that we could restore within minutes to have you back in the game (without the auto insurance hassles of course)
10. Use social media and search engines to build your brand
If you plan to use the Internet to gain more business without using social media or search engines, prepare to be disappointed.
Let’s just be honest with ourselves, the Internet doesn’t buy things… people on the Internet buy things, also, another factor to consider if you doubt these routes while building your successful business website.
Facebook alone has spent hundreds of millions to make it easy for you to gain customers using their network.
So, how much sense would it make for you to try and reinvent such a platform to increase your business sales? It’s easy… it doesn’t! Look into all forms of digital advertising from paid to free.
All social media networks have methods for you to spend specific budgets to generate new traffic, leads, and or sales.
We are talking as simple as pressing a few buttons from your smartphone and your campaign could be live in front of millions of targeted customers.
While, like all advertising, there are steps to make a campaign thrive. Just uploading an image and saying buy my product probably won’t get the results that you expect. There are hundreds of articles available for free only that give you concepts in direction on how to structure simple business campaigns.
I did not write this tutorial to be a detailed step-by-step guide, rather, I just wanted to provide a less intimidating bigger picture of a Successful Business Website. Over time we will add microblogs within each of the sections giving you better in-depth information for each of these concepts.
We hope you enjoyed reading our 10 tips for a successful business website. Feel free to leave comments or questions below as we appreciate feedback of all sorts.
Enough reading for now.. let’s get back to building a bigger and better business!