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Improving your First Website



So much advice is offered from many web designers, friends and colleagues all offering different tips and it can become information overload. We have put together some essential concise tips that may help improve your website.

The Purpose of the Website

Ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve with your website? Is it to showcase your products, online ecommerce purchases, creating and collecting a database, blog based, e brochure or a personal website? Understand what you want to achieve and what you want a browser to do and feel and this will link in with improving the website.

 In today’s business climate it is important that you’re website/online presence reflects your business accurately and at its best as online searches are a go to before many new phone calls/contact are ever made.

Register your Domain Name

Decided on your business idea? It’s time to search a website host provider like GoDaddy and buy a domain name linked to your business name. Ensure that you register the domain name in your own business or personal name so you have the legal ownership. They are not expensive and it is worthwhile buying the co.uk and .com options.

Design

Before you decide to use a template, create your own web design or use a web designer, start planning and researching your website design. Questions to consider at a starting point are: What colours represent your business? What features will you require? A Shopping cart, chatbox, Newsletter, database, contact us form?

How many Pages will you need?  What tab headings will be on your menu bar? With all this information you will be in a better position to decide which route is best for your business. It’s important to remember you have one chance to create an impression and to influence a browser to carry on browsing your website and potentially be a long term customer or to turn away and go to a competitor’s website. Here are some options for you to consider.

Contact a College/University

You may find a student who is willing to create a cost effective website.

Pros
Cheap
Local
Passionate

Cons
Limited technical knowledge
No long term experience
Once qualified may move to a new town/country and you cannot contact them again
One man band

Template

If you are technically savvy you will be able to update and set up a template website.

Pros
Cheap
Designs to choose from
Online help
Accessible
Quick to upload text and images if they are ready

Cons
Limited changes
Limited features
Set format like so many other websites that are also in your industry
No differentiation
Lack of creativity
Not Search Engine Friendly

You can also get a web designer to bespoke a template for you to make it more unique and potentially add some widgets to it.

Web Designer

Using a qualified experience web design professional to design and develop your website from the beginning

Pros
Unique creative design
Add any features that you like
Developed from scratch
Use the latest technology
Launch SEO Friendly
Experts in field

Cons
More costly
Finding the right company

There are many website company’s in the UK, so it is important that you research and meet with them to ensure you have chosen the right one to represent your business.

Images and Videos

It is proven we react more positively to Pictures and videos than text. Both stand out and help us decide if we want to then read the text on the website. There are some great cameras available and with the right light boxes you may be able to take your own pictures or hire a professional photographer or buy Stock images. It is important you have good quality images and videos that are copyright free. They will speak a thousand words and help do the hard work on your website. Human brains process video 60,000 times faster than text, giving you  the opportunity to impress potential customers. 

Whilst adding images and videos do not be afraid of white spaces through your web page, it actually breaks the page up and gives the browser an opportunity to see things properly rather than a cluttered website where important information can be missed.

Remember if you have more than one video on a page for SEO purposes search bots will only read the first video at the top of your page, but your SEO Company can discuss this further with you.

Responsive Website

More than 80% of browsing is done via a mobile, so it is important that your website adapts to screen sizes such as tablets and mobiles. No one likes pinching and pulling whilst browsing, if anything they will leave your site and go elsewhere.

Remember the layout and design will be different on a mobile as screen dimensions are different. We browse in a different ways on mobiles by wanting to scroll down and get as much information as we can on one page without necessarily wanting to go to another page. Again your web design agency should be able to advise you with this. 

Get Found with SEO

SEO is an ongoing strategy and should be part of the beginning of the design and development stage of your website as well as once it is launched. A SEO specialist will explain to you how important it is for your website to be optimised whilst it is being developed and how relevant keywords will help your website be ranked and found.

Understanding your customer base will really help you  get the best out of SEO. You must know who you are targeting and also going back to the start of this article, ‘what do you want to achieve from the website? What do you want your browsers to do? What is the follow up action? Speaking to a professional SEO expert can help you devise a plan.

Social Media

Social Media is a great platform to promote your business and website. They both work so well together where hyperlinks from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, P interest, Linked in, Vlogs  and Blogs are directed and increase traffic to the website. Referrals and reviews on social media also help with your website ranking.

Decide on the relevant social media platform that best suits your website, if its 30+ females you are targeting then Facebook is the medium you should be using. If its professionals, Linked in is the platform.

 You do not have to use every single Social Media platform, choose the ones that suit your target market and concentrate on that platform to start with. If you need help with writing content and looking at new ideas you can always look for Social Media Experts who can help you create some fresh ideas.

Always Test, and then Test some more! 

Keep on testing and reading and checking your website. Is the content up to date? Does the Contact Us form work? Are the Social Media links connected? 

Get your analytics for your website and see which page browsers land on, what is the bounce rate, which is the most popular page? What have you done differently on that page compared to the other pages?

Good Luck with your new website, Let us know if you have any further questions as we are always happy to help.

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