For every website out there on the internet, there was once a time when that site was just a glimmer in the webmaster’s eye. A time when the site was a mere idea and not a reality. As these sites were pushed into the eye of the online world, some quickly rose to the top and succeeded while others faded away into obsolescence and obscurity.
So, how can you ensure that your website will get the best start once you launch it and not become an instant failure? Try these five powerful steps to get your website going strong straight from launch.
Step One—Research Your Competition
Your competition’s website is going to give you an idea of what is currently out there for your demographic to view. You can get a good idea about what is missing in the market as well as what topics you should be covering with your site. What you want is a perfect blend of providing the base coverages of your industry while also setting yourself apart from your competition. For example, if your competition’s site lists all of the colors of a certain model washing machine you carry, you certainly want to list all of the colors as well, but be sure to highlight the fact that you can take custom color orders. See what’s wrong with their site and then improve upon those wrongs with your own site.
Step Two—Develop a Logo and Color Scheme
While it might not seem like a big deal, having a logo and matching color scheme to your site certainly is. Your logo and the colors linked to it will be your brand image. They will come to stand for your business’s values, ideology, quality and identity. When customers see your logo, they will come to trust it and the barriers to conversion become lower. As for color scheme, colors like blue create more trust while colors like red draw attention. Knowing the psychology of color schemes for web and logo design is important here, but so is knowing your own business. Choose a logo and color that represents your business statement and then implement them throughout your website.
Step Three—Domain Name
Next, you’ll want to start choosing a domain name so that you can register it. Your domain name—also called a URL—is simply the web address that people will type in (or see at the top of their browser in the address bar if coming from Google) when they want to visit your site. Your domain name should be branded, but not too long. It should be recognizable as your company, but also not impossible to find via search engine. In other words, if your company’s name is “Fido’s Chocolate Dog Bones,” you don’t want fidoschocolatedogbones.com. That’s too long. But what you do want are the keywords (chocolate, bones, dog) and something that is memorable. A good URL here would be chocolatedog.com or chocolatebones.com or something similar. It’s not too long (only two words), has the keywords people will be searching for right in the URL and is easily recognized and remembered.
Step Four—Create Engaging Web Copy
A few years ago, creating a web copy wouldn’t have even made it to the preliminary website checklist. Instead, you would have had to read a long section on keyword research, SEO, etc. But with the way that Google has tweaked its algorithms of late, the best, honest advice for creating good a web copy is to write informative, helpful, relevant, fresh, original, interesting copy for your site. These are the exact factors that will lead to good customer experience on your site, which is exactly what Google is ranking their site recommendations by now.
In short, as long as you have a good grasp of the language in which you are writing, can explain yourself in an easy to understand manner, aren’t too long-winded and are very knowledgeable about your subject matter, you can start creating your own web copy. When finished, you can even hand this to a professional to touch up, or just post it up yourself. Of course, if you want to outsource the web copy and get some professional research and writing behind it, that’s always a good idea as well. You’ll also need to create copy for each page on your site and most likely, a few blog posts to get started with, so now is a great time to draft up your site’s hierarchy.
Finally, a site with only written content is fine for search engines, but you sure won’t capture any fancies from the viewers once they get there. For that, you’ll want relevant, clear, engaging pictures and videos that tie it all together. This media can supplement the written content or even replace it if the content is too wordy and/or confusing, but remember that media means more engagement on a website, the same as it garners more interaction on social media platforms. Start getting yours in line now and you’ll have a more cohesive website plan in place when you’re ready to start uploading.