So, you’ve been thinking about it for years and the right time has finally arrived – you’re going to set up your website. This could be anything from a blog jam-packed with food reviews, an e-commerce hub where you sell your old family heirlooms or a forum-style outlet for likeminded individuals who create origami swans at the weekend. The internet is an amazing place, with a vortex of weird and wonderful platforms for us to get lost in – it’s time for you to bite the bullet and bring your baby to life. But it’s easier said than done, right? Here I’ve put together some of the most important things for you to consider when creating your website.
What is it you actually want to gain from this project? Is it just something recreational, for you to have fun with or do you want it to become a money-maker in the long run? If it is more casual then there is less pressure, you can go at your own pace and stop if you feel like you no longer want to continue, that is if you’re not enjoying it as much as you anticipated.
On the other hand, if you’re wanting to use your website for a pre-existing or in the pipeline business, then you need to be a bit stricter, especially if you have already invested money into it – you need to set yourself goals and try to stick to them. You must ensure that the content you’re putting out is relevant to your goals and is of high quality, whether this be images, text or videos. Remember to always post original content – you can use this software to check for plagiarism.
Who is your intended audience? Whether you wish for it or not, there is a good chance people will stumble across your website, so when they do, you want them to be the right demographic, not the ones that will bounce on and off in a matter of seconds. Assess your target audience beforehand and then tailor your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media accordingly, both of which should then lead the right traffic to your site.
This goes without saying really, yet you do still see sites that look like they were created by a 3-year-old child with a crayon – definitely not keeping within the lines. You don’t want anything too in your face or intrusive, as this will put people off and increase your bounce rate (where people land on your website and immediately ‘bounce’ off it). Keep it simple. Make it as user-friendly as possible, with easy to follow headers and internal links. Make sure it is all in line with your brand guidelines.
Try out different styles at first – ask your target market what they prefer and what their opinions are. You’d be amazed at how impactful colours and fonts are when it comes to keeping users engaged.
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