Web development is a pain. A royal pain. That’s right, website development is the King of Pain in the Land of Marketing. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be such a drama queen…
Website problems can be so frustrating to small businesses, especially when many don’t have developers on staff. For companies that don’t have websites at all, the design and creation is overbearing.
Don’t fret! We have a handy-dandy checklist for you. Here are six steps to building a stellar website for your brand.
First thing’s first, how do you want your website to look? The design should be easy on the eyes and the layout should be easy to navigate.
Graphic design has so many discussion points that it really deserves its own blog … oh wait, looky here! Beyond a graphic designer, you’ll also need to enlist the help of a wiz developer to code the website.
A lot can go wrong with coding and it only takes one tiny mistake to throw a big wrench in the machinery. Hire a person with plenty of experience and a great portfolio to build your website.
This step is important. Super important. To give you an overview you deserve, we brought in our Digital Marketing Manager, Susan Staupe:
“Platforms are the technical foundation of your website. Choosing the right platform can determine whether you can make website changes on your own, or if you’re totally dependent on a developer each time.
“Developer costs add up, so finding a user-friendly CMS platform that fosters independence is critical. We choose WordPress because it’s easy to make many changes without the help of a technical person or developer.
“Since Google has come out with mobile-first indexing, site speed and load time are more important than ever because your mobile pages are getting indexed before your desktop.
“When it comes to website hosting, picking the right company can determine your load time, site speed and mobile-friendly experiences.
“We recently worked tirelessly on creating a brand new website and launched with a well known hosting company. The website was so slow it wouldn’t even load the home page.
“Due diligence should be taken to find out how many other sites are on the server you are sharing. We love SiteGround because they limit the number of websites that are hosted per server (increases load times and site speed) and they have great customer service.”
Web copy needs to be casual enough to welcome anyone to your website, yet deliberate enough to guide them towards conversions or other goals.
In other words, don’t be a high-pressure salesperson, but naturally guide people in the right direction. Here are some tips for creating natural-sounding marketing writing.
Keyword research can help you optimize your web pages to rank higher in search engines. There are also technical aspects of SEO like meta information, alt tags, site speed and a whole heck-of-a-lot more.
Goals can’t be set until you have metrics. Adding simple code for Google Analytics, Search Console and Tag Manager can give you the numbers to help make actionable decisions.
Websites don’t abide by the “set it and forget it” mindset. You need to make sure you’re updating your plugins every month, performing website backups and consistently tweaking and improving the content and user experience.
We’re a print and digital marketing agency in Burnsville, Minnesota and we’re passionate about helping other small businesses. Our team of strategists, designers, writers, and developers can help you define your brand and grow your audience.