A website is the most effective sales and marketing tool in your arsenal. In just 5 steps you can create a beautiful personal or business website that attracts visitors and makes them want to work with you. Here’s how to get started:
1. Choose a domain name
A domain is a unique name for your website.
You can choose any name, but we recommend using one that matches your business or professional name. Not only does this keep your branding consistent, but it can also have a big impact on how you appear in search engine results. to increase the number of users accessing your site.
As you brainstorm your domain name, keep these helpful tips in mind.
- Include keywords relevant to your business to increase your visibility in search engines.
- Make sure the spelling is easy.
- If you’re having trouble brainstorming, use our domain name generator as a starting point.
- Keep your domain short so your visitors can easily remember it.
- Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, hyphens and numbers.
- Aim to use a traditional top-level domain or TLD such as .com or .net, or whatever is most relevant to you and your business.
- Make sure no one else is using it. You can also purchase domains from others, but this can be expensive. Instead, it may be better to choose another name or use another top-level domain such as .net.
2. Register a domain, choose a design and hosting provider
Once you’ve decided on your domain name, you need to register it with a domain registrar. This can be done using websites such as Domain.com and GoDaddy. Note that these providers only register domain ownership, which can cost between $10 and $20 per year, depending on the TLD.
You’ll need to find another provider to host the URLs that build your website, and possibly use another program to design your website. For simplicity, you can choose to register your domain with a provider that offers registration, hosting, and design capabilities.
RELATED: Best Free Website Builders for Businesses in Australia (March 2023)
If you have little or no coding experience, you may want an all-in-one option such as WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix.
If you choose to use another company to manage your web hosting and design, look for hosting services that offer perks such as technical support, free domain names, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates.
SSL certificates are a world-class security technology that enables secure connections and protects your and your visitors’ data and sensitive information, so you should consider them carefully. Simply put, this security measure prepends the S for HTTPS to your website’s URL. Search engines and visitors see it positively.
These features are more common with all-in-one providers, but there are no guarantees. Make sure your chosen provider offers these features before purchasing a plan.
Popular web hosts with or without built-in design integrations are Bluehost, DreamHost, GoDaddy, and InMotion.
If your web host doesn’t offer integration capabilities, third-party design programs you can consider include Canva and Adobe Creative Cloud applications. You can create designs on these platforms and embed them into your website pages.
Related: What is Web Hosting?
3. Add useful pages and engaging content
You have many options for how you organize content about your business and its services.
However, try to include these important pages on your website.
- Impressive homepage: A central hub for your business website should engage people and tell them exactly what you do and who you serve. Include eye-catching graphics, easy-to-read fonts, concise and clear descriptions, and compelling calls to action.
- Enlightening “About Us” Page: Share your business origins. Emphasize your accomplishments, mission and values. You can also introduce team members to foster deeper connections with your customers.
- Book or shop page: Increase your revenue and integrate with third-party online scheduling or e-commerce platforms.
- Accessible contact page: Include your social media accounts, email, phone number, address and contact form so people can easily contact you. If it’s appropriate for your business, add hours of operation as well.
- Memorable content: By sharing compelling content, you can establish yourself as an industry expert and cultivate a community that is loyal to your business. This may include blogs, videos, podcast episodes, case studies, etc. As a bonus, this content can help you rank higher in search results and get more site visitors.
- A robust FAQ page: Answering frequently asked questions not only helps build trust in your brand, but it also reduces the number of calls and support tickets you receive.
- Customer Testimonials and Press: Build credibility by sharing your successes. Create a page to share positive reviews about your services and include mentions of your business in well-known media outlets.
4. Optimize your website for search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving your business website so that your pages rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs), especially Google. It helps people find you.
As you build your website, keep these basic SEO practices in mind to increase your visibility and increase your traffic.
- Use relevant phrases, called keywords, throughout your posts and pages. But don’t use keywords just for them. Make sure your choice is intentional. Overuse can negatively impact your rankings.
- Consistently publish valuable content for your customers and readers.
- Perform regular content audits or cleanups to see what can be consolidated or updated.
- Optimize your images or enable browser caching to make your website load as slow as possible. These adjustments help your web page appear higher in search engine results.
- Make sure your design and content work well on computers, phones, and tablets. Don’t underestimate your website’s performance on mobile devices. Up to half of web traffic now comes from smartphones.
Having a beautifully designed business website is great, but search engines want more than just establishing your authority when indexing their search results.
Always keep your visitors in mind when optimizing your site for search. You should choose an easy navigation system and create pages that can load quickly. To accommodate different user abilities, follow W3C guidelines to make your site as accessible as possible.
5. Check Your Site Before “Publishing”
Before you publish your website to the real world, you should test it to make sure it works correctly.
In particular, make sure that:
- Read the content and make sure everything is correct and error-free.
- Check for broken links.
- Remove filler content from your website theme or template.
- Test your website in browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.and
- Connect your website to Google Analytics to monitor its performance.
When you’re ready, hit publish.
Drive traffic to your newly created website by sharing it with your friends, pitching it to your clients, and including it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media profiles.