What can an effective website do for your business? The question is really more properly phrased as, what can’t it do!? The bottom line is that a website built specifically for your business needs to be designed to bring in qualified leads for you to build a relationship with and turn them into paying customers. So, we want to start with the primary purpose of your website and go from there. What’re examples of the primary purpose of a website? It could be building brand awareness, displaying a portfolio of your prior work, or selling a product or service. Of course an effective website can serve multiple purposes, but really we want to think about the main goal of your website because that dictates the user experience and design we want to create. With this in mind, here are our tips on how to build an effective website!
Domain Names 101
Do you have a good domain name for your website? Domain name means website address, it is the URL that pulls up your website. Having a good domain name is important for SEO purposes to help your website be more visible for potential customers searching for you. No one wants to get lost in cyberspace! Here are our tips for optimizing your domain name:
- Make sure it’s easy to spell and doesn’t use slang or made up words.
- Keep it as short as you can so people can remember it and type it correctly. This is called direct search when people type your domain name into Google to find your website.
- Use the right domain extension (usually .com is the proper one).
- Avoid numbers and hyphens as they are harder to remember.
- Research the domain name to see if a competitor website exists online. You don’t want people searching for you and ending up on their website!
- Check the price of the domain name. Yes you have to buy it and sometimes they are expensive and have a current owner you will need to negotiate with if you really want that name.
- Create an SEO-friendly URL by including keywords and a geo-location. Take our client Frederick Fisher Jewelers for example, they chose the URL https://flagstaffjeweler.com/ – that website using the go-location of Flagstaff and the keyword “Jeweler”.
- Consider buying a few other URLs and then have them point at your main URL. This helps when you can’t decide which URL to use or are worried about competitors using a highly similar URL.
Hosting Your Website 101
Now you have your domain name, so what’s next? Your website has to live somewhere on the internet. It needs to be hosted on a server. A website hosting provider is a company that offers the technology and services for your website to be seen on the internet. This is different than SEO. Hosting is what allows your website to be live and out there on the internet. SEO is the process by which you improve the ranking of your website in search engines so it pulls up higher on Google’s pages when people search for you instead of being buried sometimes hundreds of pages back. Here’s what you need to know about hosting:
- Expect to pay between $10 and $2,000 per month depending on the type of technology and support you need. We advise against the very inexpensive mass shared server plans on the internet. The performance of your site can suffer due to shared resources and if one of the other websites is hacked yours may also be in jeopardy.
- Buy a yearly plan instead of a monthly one to save money.
- Investigate the phone/chat support the hosting provider offers. There is nothing more frustrating than being unable to talk to a person if your website has a problem and you need it fixed immediately. Phone support is ideal.
- Investigate the server security protocol of your hosting provider. There should be daily backups of your website content, SSL certificates, and regular security maintenance.
A Clear Description of Your Business
Small business web design is crucial to help you make sure there is a clear description of your business on your business website. Your website is the electronic signage and virtual business card for your business. When people land on your homepage, it’s crucial they immediately know who you are and what you do. Did you know that It takes a website visitor .05 seconds to form an impression about your business? That’s less than 1/10th of a second. You need (1) a responsive design but also (2) a website design that is aesthetically pleasing to your target audience helping them travel through your website to achieve the end goal for your visitor – whether that is making a purchase through your ecommerce website, booking an appointment, subscribing to an email newsletter, or some other goal. Here are some ideas for how to improve the description in your web design:
- Include a homepage banner and other page banners that are a visual representation of your products or services. The banner is a large photo that catches the eye of your website visitors.
- Include an introductory blurb near the top of the homepage saying who you are and what your business does. Humanizing yourself and providing information immediately about your business will help your website visitor feel safe and like they are in the right place.
- Update your header and footer to make sure contact information is accurate and that your about us page link is clearly visible for your website visitors to learn more about your business.
Optimize Your Business Website for Search (SEO)
A good Google web designer will have a set of best practices to implement when launching your website, but SEO is a long-term game. When a website launches, search engines need to index and rank your website. Once this “crawling” by search engines happens, you’ll find your website competing with other websites with similar content to yours. If all you do is have your web design company do their SEO launch duties and that’s it, you’ll find your website buried in Google and unable to bring in the business you desire. Here’s our list of some SEO services that are recommended to optimize the SEO of your website:
- Keyword research and recommendations (initially but also routinely throughout the year)
- Improving website load speed
- Installing SSL certificate
- Mobile optimizing your website (and for many different types of phones, tablets, etc.)
- Increasing high-quality backlinks (links on other websites with similar content that link to your website)
- Increasing internal links in your website so people continue moving through your website.
- Increasing positive reviews online (Google, Facebook, testimonials on your website etc.)
- Linking your social media to your website and vice versa
Increasing the word count on your priority website pages and using keyword research to imbed those keywords in your website.
Your business web design should focus on three things: your brand, your goals, and your audience. Web design and development begins with getting really clear on those three aspects of your business and then building an effective website from there. As our world becomes more and more digital every year, now is the time to make sure your website truly represents your business, is designed to achieve your goals and is targeted to your specific clientele. At Mountain Mojo Group, we are a web design agency and we invite you to check out our portfolio of prior web page design and development projects we have completed for past clients. We are located in Flagstaff, Arizona, but have clients all over the United States. Contact us for a consultation to find out how we can put some mojo in your web design!