Here’s what you need to know: even a simple, well-designed website can give you an edge in your field. And, if you have products to sell, your site can open up new markets and expand your business inexpensively and fast.
For entrepreneurs taking their first steps into the business arena, a startup website must help them build their brand. It must also help them market their products or services, nurture an impeccable reputation, and promote their values.
But we aren’t here to scare you. Instead, we will give you some tips and show you 5 necessary steps you need to take when you’re building your first startup website.
Step #1: Set out your website’s objectives
When building a website it’s tempting to skip straight to the fun parts like designing out your homepage. You’ve probably already started looking at other sites for creative inspiration and planning what functionality you want.
But, fancy features and designs shouldn’t be your first priority when it comes to your new website. There’s a lot more important things to get straightened out first — like the goals and objectives of your website.
Not knowing what your goals and objectives are is like driving a car without knowing your destination. You’ll just keep going in the hope that you’ll get somewhere. That is why you need to find your focus, target audience, reasons why you’re building, and establish your overall site goals. By recognizing your target audience, you will be able to cater your design and content better. This will lead to long-term growth and overall success of the site.
Step #2: Understand your website’s brand voice, feeling and style
This one is kind of self explanatory. Business owners need to understand their brand voice really really well. You have to know the feeling that the brand needs to bring out and the voice of your brand. And you need to figure it out before jumping into your colors and other website styling.
Why? It is simple. While creating a business website might end up being good for your SEO and local search results, it will fall short if it doesn’t reflect your brand personality. Your brand’s unique personality can attract the right customers to your business and impact your bottom line. But it also helps differentiate your business from the competition.
Step #3: Obtain a good domain name
Choosing a domain name for your website is an important decision you’ll have to make. Remember, potential clients and employers will do their research.
Your domain name, also known as your website address, is the entry point to your site. It is important that it makes a good impression for usability purposes, as well as for search engine optimization (SEO).
Now, here are some tips on coming up with an optimal domain name:
- Make sure it is easy to spell. Try not to use slang, made up, or extremely esoteric words.
- Keep it as short as possible. The shorter it is, the easier it is to remember and type correctly.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens. They are hard to remember and less elegant and memorable than word-only domain names, and may be misunderstood when vocalizing the domain name.
- Avoid nonsensical names. Choose a name that conveys a meaning so that users will know immediately what your business is.
Choose a domain name that speaks to who you are and best describes your business. We’d opt for .ME, since it can make your business highly personalized and your domain name different and unique! Remember, there’s one rule that always applies to domain names: If you like it, go for it.
Step #4: Invest in search engine optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The higher your pages’ visibility in search results, the more likely you will draw attention and attract new and existing clients to your company.
With over 3.5B searches per day worldwide, there’s no doubt that ranking in Google’s search results is an excellent opportunity to increase traffic to your company’s website. By investing in SEO and improving your Google rankings, you can bring more visitors to your website, resulting in you having more leads and sales for your business.
If your website already ranks highly in search results, that’s excellent, but it means you’ll need to keep investing in SEO to maintain that position. Don’t let your competition outmaneuver you by overlooking this valuable business tool.
Step #5: Have a clear Call to Action (CTA)
The call to action is a key element on a webpage, acting as a signpost that lets the user know what to do next. Without a clear CTA, the user may not know the next steps to take to purchase a product or sign up for a newsletter and is likely to leave the site without accomplishing their task.
Guide your users by having a clear call to action such as a button or direct link. Whether it’s a sale or other forms of promotion, make sure your users can find information quickly and easily on your website.
Try to use words that will evoke emotions in users and provoke enthusiasm. Give your audience a good reason to perform an action, so try to stand out and offer a unique selling point.
Always be aware of the devices on which the CTA will appear and don’t be afraid to get creative.
Bonus tip: Prepare adaptive content
People access the internet from a full range of devices, and, as a startup, you want your website to look good on each of those devices, irrespective of screen size. Within this context, you need to be ready to adopt a responsive design for your website. In other words, prepare adaptive content for your website that will render well on any device or screen size.
So, what’s next?
As you prepare to launch your first website, remember to consider the user experience before anything else. Don’t write your content for a search engine and stuff keywords everywhere. Write so people can become engaged with your business or product. Don’t have videos auto-play, no matter how cool you think they are. You want people to return to your site, but they’re not going to if they have to exit out of a video every time. Think about the user experience in absolutely every choice you make.
And remember, creating your first startup website is just the beginning of a fantastic journey.