Now that your customers live online, it is important for your business to provide them a smooth, enjoyable online experience. With the pace with which technology has grown, everyone with a good internet connection and motivation can establish a successful online business and start serving customers irrespective of their geographical location. Here is a checklist you can trust to build a website that will help you grow your brand and that your audience will love!
- Domain Name: A domain name is your brand’s online address, the URL that a potential customer will type into their browser to reach your website. If your website was a house, the domain name is its address. A domain name generally looks like www.yourcompanyname.com. There are several domain endings, like .com, .net, .in to choose from. Choose a domain name as close to your brand name as possible. If you can’t find an exact match, try to add hyphen in the name or choose a different ending, e.g. www.your-companyname.com or www.yourcompanyname.co.in. Now, where to buy one from? There are online services called Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) where you can buy a domain name for your website. There are many reputed, easy-to-use DNRs online to help you, including GoDaddy, Domain.com, BigRock and Google’s own Google Domains.
- Hosting: Well, now you’ve got an address for your website. But you’ll also need a storage vault, so to speak, to house all your site’s data. This is where buying good web hosting becomes important. Web hosting is like a rental storage space to store all your website data, including the code, images, product list and order history. There are two ways to go about buying good hosting for your website. Most of the popular DNR services provide hosting as a bundled service with domain names these days. This has the advantage of convenience and good pricing. Or, there are dedicated web hosting services which provide you the power get more bang for your bucks. You can opt for extra features like more email accounts, free daily data backup, unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth.
For a bundled package, go for one of the DNRs above without hesitation. If you'd like a more tailored plan, some of the best web-hosting services are Hostinger, HostGator, and Blue Hosting.
- Branding: Your website is the main interface between your brand and your customers and should effectively communicate what your brand stands for. Before you begin building a website, make sure you have the key elements of your business’s branding in place. This includes your brand name, logo, brand colours, a tagline (if there is one) and a short text for the ‘About Us’ section. Now, if you are not skilled at graphic design and don’t have a graphic designer at your disposal, we've got you covered. The internet has plenty of easy-to-use free online graphic design tools for your needs. Use Coolors or Adobe Color to generate a colour scheme for your brand. And if you’re in need of a logo, head over to Canva or Figma to help you with that!
- Content: Your website’s content is how your customers will understand your brand and products. So, do spend a few hours planning out the content. Start with deciding which webpages you must have. As a rule of thumb, you would do well to have these pages: Home, About Us, Blog and Terms of Us. The rest will be determined by your particular business. In general, you will need pages to list all your products or services, along with detailed pages for each of them. Once you have this basic framework ready, begin writing content for these pages. You'll also have to collate images and graphics for the site. Well, with the variety of tools at your disposal, that shouldn't be an issue. Just consult item #4.
- Choosing the right website builder: Here comes the most important milestone of the journey- getting down to building the actual website. With the many website building tools available online, you don’t have to hire a website developer to build one from scratch. There are a ton of great website builders, like Wordpress, Wix and SquareSpace, which are easy to use and offer a ton of customisations. They provide a variety of plugins to enhance your website; options like custom user profiles, mobile apps, a blog, and more. But if you are building an ecommerce website, it'd be better to choose a specialized service like Fynd Platform. A lot more than an ecommerce website builder, Fynd Platform can ship your orders for you and lets you create your mobile app, marketing campaigns, rewards programs and more.
- Optimization for search engines: Once your website is ready to take off, it is important to make sure that it is easily discoverable online and ranks highly in search results. Make sure that the website loads quickly, and optimize it for loading on mobile phones. Google Pagespeed Insights will help you track down any issues and rectify them. Next, pepper keywords related to your category across your website. Google Keyword Planner is the best place to see which keywords are being searched the most. Don’t overkill it, or Uncle Google will be very angry. Add some keywords in your webpage titles, content and ‘alt' text for your website’s images. Also, see if your website builder has an SEO-related plugin or extension to automate this process for you.
Now comes the most important part. Create a blog section on your website and make sure to publish regular blog posts. Which brings us to the next item in this list.
- Blog: Your website should have a blog section, where you can publish regular content related to your industry and offer knowledge. An active blog section will help you build a strong relationship with your customers and rank higher in Google search results. Most website-building services offer the capability to create a new webpage or blog section for your website. Fynd Platform offers a plug-and-play blog interface where you can create a blog section in a few clicks AND manage all your blog posts from one simple interface. If you're confused about what to write, try to answer your customers’ biggest queries and write about new developments in your industry. For more content ideas, give BuzzSumo and UberSuggest a shot!
- Social Media Integration: Your social media is how your customers can keep a track of keep in touch with your brand. So, it'll be a good idea to connect it with the website. Find a spot to display your social media links. Most websites have their social media URLs at the bottom, called the footer, of their homepage. So that could be a good place to go with.
- Performance Tracking: Once your website is up-and-running, try to keep a tab on how it’s performing against certain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). like number of visitors, email subscriptions, number of transactions, number of units sold, etc. While most website builders offer some in-built website data, it'd be wise to install a website analytics tool like Google Analytics.
- Website backup:
The simple practice of backing up your website regularly can save you in the long-term. It’ll save you from losing data and help you against malware. It will also allow you to revert to an older version of the website, if you ever need to.