Here’s how you begin your design. It may surprise you to learn that “design” doesn’t begin with “layout”; that actually comes much later in the design process.
Your first step should really begin with answering the questions about WHY you need a website. What is the purpose of this site? If you can’t answer that then you are not ready for a website (see sidebar).
Some people say they want “presence” because someone told them they should be “on the internet”. But that vague reasoning will do nothing for them–their site will never attract traffic because they don’t even really know why they are there.
The very best reason you should have for building a website is this:
To drive traffic to your website to convert your goods and/or services into one or more sales AND to build a long-lasting business relationship.
This statement is your guiding light in every single step of creating your website. To allow that to happen your site should follow Google’s 4 B’s:
- Be Found
- Be Engaging
- Be Relevant
- Be Accountable
If you are not found in a Google search for your keyword phrases AND COME UP ON TOP, then it won’t really matter how far down you appear because very few people will be going to page 2 or later.
If people visit your website and stay just a few seconds on the homepage then your homepage is ALL WRONG, and Google will punish you by lowering your page ranking–that’s how important Google believes engaging your visitor is.
If you are selling Real Estate, people are not interested in your pets, favorite places to visit or your best recipes–DON’T DO IT! Stay focused. Google will also zing you here if your pages don’t talk about exactly what it is you say you are going to talk about.
Are you tracking your numbers with Google Analytics? Do you know how many visitors you are getting daily, who your visitors are, where are they coming from (geographics), which pages they visited, how long they stayed, from which page did they leave? If you can’t track these important metrics then you are doing what we call in the business “Spray and Pray”.
Once you get your head around these concepts then you can begin the steps you’ll need to design you site.
Step 1. Discover your keywords and keyword phrases that best attract and engage your target market. You should group and categorize these (use an Excel sheet) and sort them by those keyword phrases that have the lowest competition and the highest demand.
Step 2. Get a decent hosting service (like Godaddy.com) and choose a name that is the composite of all the keywords and the essence of your business (not necessarily your name). For example, if you cut hair in Ventura, it would NOT serve you well to choose CutsByJackie.com (Google sees this as…what?) Instead, choose a site that Google recognizes quite clearly as to the relevance, like hair-stylist-ventura.com. That’s what people are searching for.
Step 3. Work with your webmaster to choose colors, theme, fonts, photos, page content, testimonials, videos…all of those elements that will help your webmaster create a website that is not only YOUR essence but addresses the Google 4 B’s above.
This is how to Design a website. Next, read about how to Build a Website.