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How to start your website and make it succeed?
Your website represents your business and brand in the digital world. It allows you to connect with global audiences, market your products, acquire customers and build your brand. So, you need a premium website that actively helps you to gain traction in the competitive digital market. In this guide we will tell you about various aspects and steps of building and publishing a website:
Start with the basics- domain name and hosting
Many people may advise you to start by creating your site but we differ. The first thing is to buy a domain and hosting package. Why? Every day millions of domains are sold. With prompt action, you can reserve your desired domain name before it is purchased by someone else.
A domain name should be reasonably short and clearly define your USP. Select the name that is relevant, brandable, and memorable. Google says that the ideal length of the domain name is 3-4 terms. It is best to keep it shorter than 15 characters.
You can get inspiration by checking the domain names of existing websites in your field (your nearest competitors). Avoid using trademark names like “WordPress”, “Google” or other brand names as it can put you into the legal soup. Best names are the ones that blend brand, business, and USP like “techtutorials.com” or “up wizard. in”.
Don’t misspell the words (like Klix.com instead of clicks.com) and- as far as possible- avoid words with spelling variations (like the color that has different UK/US spellings). Also, avoid hyphens and numerical figures (like “1-stopsolution.com). Power words make a quick connection with your target audiences. For instance, if you provide start-up consultancy then names like “Startupsuccess.com” are best for you.
It is best to stick to standard domain extensions (the final suffix) like Dotcom or .net (for general/business sites). Likewise .org (for organizations) is ideal for non-commercial/community-oriented institutions while educational institutes can go for .edu extension.
The local businesses who serve only a specific region and don’t want to expand may buy may emphasize their local character by using country-specific extensions like .co.in, .co.UK, .us or others.
Web hosting refers to hosting your website on the webserver that makes it accessible to global audiences which means anyone with an internet connection can open your website, browse it and buy products- no matter where s/he lives.
Make sure that your hosting provider offers the resources needed for quick onboarding like eCommerce tools, pre-designed templates, SSL certificate (for secured communication), and site builders. It will speed up time to market and reduce expenses.
You miss the opportunities if your site is down. So, go for the hosting provides that can officially guarantee you over 99% availability backed by service level agreement. Speed is vitally important for any site to succeed. Ensure that your hosting provider uses the latest technologies like SSD hosting which boosts loading speed by up to 300%.
It isn’t uncommon to face technical issues with your hosting for which you need quick assistance before it affects your business. Carefully select the hosting providers with quick turnaround time and high quality of support. Carefully estimate the amount of traffic you expect on your site and choose sufficient bandwidth to support the traffic. Sites with low bandwidth and high traffic often struggle with performance or speed issues during traffic hikes.
While unlimited hosting or unlimited bandwidth/RAM etc. sounds good, in reality, there isn’t anything like that. When you start overusing the resources your hosting provider can throttle or even shut down your site and it is fully legal as is mentioned in the terms and conditions. So, use resources responsibly.
Some popular web hosting includes shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server, cloud hosting, and WordPress hosting.
Building your site
As you have now brought a domain and hosting package the next thing is to build your site. Hiring a web designer is one option but it may be costly and involves back and forth communication that may delay the process. Quality issues are not uncommon either. As a beginner, you need an easy, straightforward way to design your site.
The two easiest ways to create your site is to use site builders or CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress.
• Website Builders: Site builders offer you pre-designed templates and tools to build your website code-free through an easy interface without any coding. Many site builders use AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities where you just need to feed some information about your business and products and your site will automatically be designed without almost zero effort on your side. Website builders are easier to use and include wizards or automated designing steps but they are expensive and have limited flexibility and controls due to proprietary architecture.
• Content Management Systems: CMS like WordPress needs some learning curve but provides maximum flexibility over different design elements of your site that allows you to give it a unique appearance. It is much more affordable than site builders. More than 33% of global sites are built on WordPress.
Quick steps to design your site
Login to your cPanel or hosting account and look for auto installers like Softaculous.
Open auto-installers and double click on WordPress. After some moments, it will redirect you to the registration page where you will provide some basic information to complete the installation process.
• Just sign in to the WordPress admin area, click on the appearance > Themes (in the left pane)
• It will take you to a large collection of themes. You can check for the relevant category and pick the one that seems best to you. All you need to do is just activate the selected theme and it’s done. It will automatically be applied to your website.
• You can change the theme color, appearance, and fonts in the theme editor.
Branding your site
To stand apart from others, you need to define a unique brand for your site and enhance the visual character of the site.
Create an amazing logo for your brand
Once you create a website the next thing is to make an appealing business logo that offers you a unique professional identity and instills trust in the audiences. A good logo is one that precisely reflects your business identity/ideology and instantly connects with the audience.
You can either hire a logo designer or create the one using online logo makers. You can search websites like Freelancer to hire an affordable logo designer. If you want a premium logo with a competitive edge then websites like Upwork are best for you. If you need a justified combination of quality and costs, Fiverr is the right gig site where you can find good talent at very affordable rates.
Another option is to use an online logo maker that allows you to create your logo using easy graphic tools and templates. There are free logo makers as well but they either look very generic or don’t allow you to download the watermark-free logo. So opt for premium logo makers that come at a reasonable price and offer you the extended creative capabilities to build an appealing logo with minimum effort. You get all the files and are free to use the logo anywhere.
Some logo makers also have an automated logo building option where you just need to feed the key information about your business and a relevant branded logo will automatically be created. Pick the favorite one, pay the price and download it.
You can either choose a logo template or customize the fonts and colors to suit your brand or create a logo from scratch with designing tools using the drag and drop method. In the latter option, can create your design, select the fonts, and determine color chemistry and other features.
The URL icon is the small icon just next to your site URL which offers a more professional and attractive appeal to your site. While not important, having a URL icon or favicon can give a distinguished look to your site right in the address bar.
Making your site popular and improving its rank
Once your site is up and running the next thing is to make it rank on Google. The better ranking you have the higher visibility you get. Visibility increases your traffic and also allows you to tap more conversion opportunities. Other ways of increasing site visibility are social media engagement, publishing ads, and getting backlinks from high authority relevant sites to widen your reach.
For that, you would need digital marketing strategies which include different methods with a single objective of making your site popular and increasing conversion rate.
SEO or search engine optimization refers to optimizing your site according to the latest search engine guidelines to improve its ranking on SERPs. It involves both on-page and Off-page SEO including keywords strategy, user-friendly design and mobile-friendly interface (called AMP), backlinks from other sites, and maintaining a good content strategy.
You may either hire an SEO agency/freelancer or use SEO tools to improve visibility, ranking, and conversion opportunities. Some really useful tools simplify and streamline the SEO strategy and assure solid results if you follow the right guidelines. That said, you first need to acquire good knowledge about SEO so that you can make optimum use of SEO tools.
Know about the latest search engine guidelines, Google algorithms update, SEO-friendly design, and other on-page/off-page SEO issues. Read blogs like MOZ, Searchengineland, and Social Media Examiner that regularly publish helpful information on SEO with examples and practical guides.
Don’t hesitate from implementing those methods on your site as it is the practical knowledge that will make you succeed in SEO. Just don’t overdo the things- one at a time is fine… and keep a journal of different SEO practices that worked for your site to create a unique SEO strategy of your own.
Create SEO and Reader-friendly content that connects instantly
Content is the king. To create awesome content and present it appealingly to benefit the readers. Graphics and videos make your point clear and keep people engaged for a long. Write content that fills crucial information gaps and quickly aligns with the requirements and interests of your targeted audiences.
Most of the top websites regularly publish high-quality content that keeps people engaged for longer.
Along with having good writing skills you also need to pay attention to the presentation formats. Some of the content formats that attract maximum readers are:
• Top lists
• How-to guides
If you are not good at writing then you can hire a freelance writer but keep in mind that good writers don’t come cheap and cheap writers generally lack good writing skills. So always be ready to pay a reasonable amount of quality, and not quantity should be your preference.
Tips to craft great content
Having a solid keywords strategy is imperative to get a good ranking and build steady traffic. Without keyword strategy, even the best articles may be denied the position they deserve.
Make sure that your topics and content style align perfectly with the people’s needs and profile. You need to build an instant connection with audiences. So, start by understanding their demographics (country, gender, income status, education, interests, etc.)
Strictly avoid duplicated content as Google has a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism and it can result in demoting your site or even filtering out from search results. For that, you can use the tools like Small SEO Tools plagiarism that matches your content against millions of websites to ensure that it is 100% unique.
Google Analytics Tools keeps a track of your visitors and can fetch you much of the needed information about them. Strategically use this information while deciding the content strategy for your blog to ensure that it gets a positive response. If you want to acquire and engage new visitors then there are certain tools to find out what most people on the internet are searching for in your preferred niche.
Digital marketing strategy to drive traffic and sales
To make your site a success you need to buy digital marketing packages which include Search Engine Optimization, social media marketing, and SEO-friendly web design. You can either hire an SEO freelancer/agency or go for DIY SEO tools available in both free and paid versions.
Keywords refer to the specific search terms that you intend to rank for in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Tools like Ahrefs help you in finding the right keywords by showing you the traffic volume that different keywords attract. Also, add links to your site pages and other relevant sites makes it easier for Google to discover your site and include it in relevant search queries.
More SEO tips:
• Have a logically prepared sitemap that makes navigation easier
• Check and repair any broken links on your site
• Increase your website speed by taking required actions like uninstalling heavy plugins, minifying images, and neat coding.
• Get an SSL certificate that secured client communication and encourages people to freely interact and shop on your site without any concerns of data leakage/misuse.
Email marketing: An effective one to one marketing communication
Though very old, email marketing can never get outdated due to its quick personal character and detailed one on one communication. There are numerous ways you can use email marketing for increasing sales and marketing your products. Send promotions and exclusive discounts, festive promo offers, savings on group purchases, and information about your new products to the relevant people who are likely to be interested in the same.
You can find many powerful tools to simplify, streamline and improve your email marketing strategy. These tools enable you to design newsletters, set frequency, create personalized content, automate the email sending process, and even create a complete workflow for automatically scheduling your emails based on opening rate and interaction.
Monetizing your website to earn revenue
Now as your site has been set up and you are following SEO practices, the next thing is to convert returns into revenue. There are different ways of earning through your site- also called site monetization. Here are two easier ways for the starters:
• Affiliate Marketing: You promote other company’s products by placing affiliate links that enable people to make a purchase. You earn a commission on each sale through your affiliate links.
• Google Adsense: Google allows places contextual ads and banners in the relevant blog posts. You get paid when people interact with these ads (clicks, etc.)
Apart from that, there are many other ways to monetize your site that you will learn in due course of time as your site and traffic grow.
Regardless of your revenue objective, it is very important to create a solid architecture that allows and encourages visitors to share their information like profile, profession, country, interests, and more. For that, you can create forms that collect information without raising any doubts in visitors’ minds as many people are not keen on sharing sensitive information.
For this purpose, you can use premium and free form builders that not only allow you to build attractive forms but also transfers submitted information automatically to your mail in a comprehensible tabular format that can be saved as an excel file for future reference.
In this guide, we discussed how to create your website from a scratch. Here is a quick summary of what we learned in this blog:
For making your site accessible to the global audience you need to buy a domain and hosting package that starts from many hosting providers that offer a free domain with hosting packages. The next thing is to design a good website. WordPress is an easy-to-use CMS that allows you to create your site with drag and drop tools without coding. It also offers many pre-built ready to use design templates.
For a unique brand appeal, you need a professional brand logo. Logo makers allow you to create your unique logo and you can hire a good graphics designer from gig sites like freelancer or Fiverr to create great designs at affordable rates. Once your site is up and running make sure that it drives more visitors and sales by investing in SEO and digital marketing practices that we mentioned in this guide.