The world runs on the web, and your small business is no different. However, if you are new to the world of digital real estate, then it pays to know a bit about how to make your website stand out above the competition before you get started. Today’s tips can help lay a solid foundation for your online presence.
Start with the right domain name.
Domain names are in short supply, but that does not mean that you can’t find the perfect online address to showcase your business. Start by searching Smart Choice Domains. You never know when you’ll find the perfect domain name just waiting for you. If you choose a domain name from scratch, make sure that you go with a reputable registrar, and then choose a name that best suits your business. Ideally, it will end in .com and have 15 letters or less.
Get to know search engine optimization.
Have you ever wondered how Google knows what results to give you when you type a question into the search bar? The answer is through web crawlers, which are like invisible fingers that go out into the internet flipping through the pages to quickly find what’s most relevant. The way that you get your website seen during this process is through search engine optimization. There are many moving parts that go into this, but just know that you will need quality content, such as blog posts and videos. You also need to maintain a strong understanding of emerging trends. If you’re not quite ready to understand the technical, Search Engine Journal gives the best advice: understand what people want. When your site answers a question or solves a problem, that puts it in a good position to be found during a search query. To figure this out, start with your keywords. If you’re not sure which to use on your most important pages, use Ubersuggest or Google’s keyword planner tool.
Design custom banners.
Your online banners are a quick way to draw attention to important information, deals, promotions, and events. Fortunately, you can find a free online banner creator that will help you create custom ads that you can post on your website to help spread awareness. Look for a template that best matches your brand, and then make sure that all of the elements – fonts, color, animations – remain consistent with your current branding materials.
Optimize your site for speed.
Page speed is the time it takes for your website to load once somebody clicks your link. If your website gets hung up during the loading process, there is a good chance that people will click off of it and move on to the competition. Moz goes into great detail on how to boost your page speed, including paying attention to technical details, such as enabling compression, reducing redirects, and utilizing browser caching. If you don’t have an IT team behind you, try, at the very least, reducing the size of images on your load screen and eliminating auto-play videos and sound.
Make sure it’s mobile.
One of the most important things you can do for your website is to ensure that it is compatible with people’s mobile devices. A mobile website is essentially a scaled-down version of its desktop contemporary. While you might prefer to work on the desktop, keep in mind that more than half of all organic search visits take place from the palm of someone’s hand.
Pay attention to your statistics.
Analyzing your website is crucial in ensuring that it remains up and running and visible. Web analytics tools, like Google Analytics, can help you see how many page views you get each day, where they come from, and even how much time people spend on your website. All of this can help you cater your content and web experience to your users.
Websites are not simple. By nature, there are many technical pieces that have to fall into the exact right place to make sure your website stays up. But your user interface should be as clean and sleek as possible. Not only will this make for a better visit, Websites360 also explains that a minimalistic design will function better on mobile devices and, importantly, load faster. Plus, eliminating visual clutter means that people can see what you have to offer without having to look too far into your site.
Make it disability-friendly.
We often commission the design of our websites without thought to how they may be viewable or usable to those with disabilities. Make sure that your website is easy for everyone to use, which includes things like tagged images, navigation that only requires the use of a keyboard, and the availability of audio or video files to support your content. You also want to pay attention to color contrasts that might make it more difficult for people with visual impairments to read.
Link to your social media.
Something else that's important for your website is to make sure that it links back and forth with your social media. Your website is where you will post all of your content, and your social media is where you will share it. Making sure that you are linked, which will drive more traffic to your site, and, in turn, make it a stronger candidate during search queries. It also ensures that people looking for your social media don’t accidentally come across a similar company with a similar name.
Ultimately, the goal of your website is to be an extension of your brick-and-mortar business. And, in today’s digital world, there’s a good chance that your website will become as or even more important than your real-world setup. Make sure that your site is top-notch from the beginning. While having some technical skills will help, even simple steps, such as creating a custom banner and linking it to your social media, will have a big impact on the overall usability of your online space.
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