How do you design a website? Designing a website can be daunting, if you don’t know where to begin.
We’ll walk you through the steps necessary to design a website but before you even begin the website design, you need to create a brand. Without an effective brand strategy, a website will be ineffective.
What does creating a brand mean? Let’s take a look.
Creating a Brand for Your Small Business
What is a brand? A brand identifies and creates a perception of your business. How do you create a brand?
First, think about what products or services your business sells or provides. Next, determine what sets your business apart from other, similar businesses. Use this information to create a logo and tag line or motto.
When designing the logo, think about what colors and their meanings best represent your business.
For example, if you are in the banking or investing business, standard green is a good color to use because the color green is synonymous with wealth and money. Interestingly enough, certain shades of green are also synonymous with health and harmony.
Standard blue symbolizes trust, security, loyalty and confidence but a different shade of blue can symbolize depression, predictability, and an unwillingness to compromise.
Finding the right colors is a delicate balance. Be sure you have the right shade(s) of the chosen color(s) to create the desired perception.
Once you have your colors, logo, and tagline or motto, website creation (development and design) can begin. That said, there is more to branding than colors, logo, and tagline, but those are the bare necessities.
Choosing a URL
A URL should, first and foremost, be easy to remember. If potential customers can’t remember your business URL when they need it, they’ll likely choose the competition.
For example, if your business is an LLC, don’t make that part of the URL. Don’t include it on the logo or in the tagline, either.
Should you make your business name your URL? Sure, but there may also be other easy-to-remember URLs that can be purchased and redirected to your main URL in order to make it easier for potential customers. Do you have to use your business name in your main URL? Absolutely not.
Sometimes, there is an available URL that contains the best keywords for your business. In that case, that URL would be better than your business name URL. You can still purchase your business name URL and redirect it to the keyworded URL.
This sounds like a lot but really, it is only a small portion of things to consider when choosing a URL.
Choosing a Hosting Plan and Platform
There are many levels of hosting plans to choose from, depending on which host provider you go with. One of the most popular host providers is GoDaddy but there are many others to choose from.
Once you’ve purchased a hosting plan, it is tempting to use the host provider’s WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) or “drag and drop” editor but these are very limited in functionality and customization.
One of the most widely-used CMS (content management system) is WordPress. WordPress is easy to install and through the use of various themes and plugins is fairly easily customizable.
For this reason, it is our preferred CMS.
Choosing a Layout Design for the Website
Much thought should be placed on choosing a layout for your website. Take into consideration that static websites are a thing of the past and steer clear of those.
It isn’t enough to have all of the pertinent information on a static page. Today’s users and potential customers want to see graphics with text overlays that slide onto the page, they want to see content that changes color as they mouse over it, etc..
Before going too far into creating your website, keyword research should be done to find what potential customers search for and how much competition there is for each of the keywords.
The term “keyword” is misleading because keywords are typically phrases made up of two or more descriptive words.
The goal is to choose the highest searched keyword with the lowest competition. The main site page should be optimized for this keyword and other pages optimized for similar keywords. No two pages should be optimize for the same keyword.
This is a very oversimplified explanation of keyword research so if this isn’t something you’re already familiar with, we highly recommend you hire this done.
Creating Relevant, Keyworded Content
One of the biggest mistakes DIY website creators (and even some of the professional designers) make is not having enough quality, keyworded content on the website.
Search engines consider anything less than 600 words of relevant keyworded content on a page as not having enough relevant content and will not likely show your site high on the search engine results page.
Writing just to add words is also not an effective strategy because it will not be relevant, quality content so your site will be penalized and won’t show up in the search engine results.
There is a lot involved in knowing exactly what content is relevant and how to keyword it effectively. Again, this is a very oversimplified explanation and something usually best left to the experts.
The Bottom Line
Creating a successful website is quite complex and not something that can be completely explained in a thousand words but the steps above will, at the very least, get you started.
If you are more confused than ever, don’t have the time, or just don’t want to try to do it yourself, you can always contact Carmik Design for a free consultation.