Building a website nowadays isn’t such a difficult task. This is mainly due to great website builders and CMS tools such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.
However, just because there are great tools at your disposal that make creating a website relatively easy doesn’t mean that you should invest no time in planning the website.
This planning process includes thinking about various elements that you should have if you want your website to be a success in the current year.
If you aren’t quite sure what these necessary elements are, keep reading. Below you will find essentials that you must know about before you jump into building a website.
Reliable web hosting service
Your website needs a home online. You can think of a website hosting as similar to a landlord who rents you space for your website.
A web hosting provider allows you to use the server space where your website files are stored. This provider also makes it possible for visitors to come by and explore your website.
Naturally, you can probably guess that you need a reliable web hosting provider if you want a stable website that won’t go offline.
When considering a provider, check reviews or ask yourself about the speed of their service, maintenance, and improvements. Also, check out their customer service and support online.
Should things go bad, you will want an enthusiastic customer service agent to help you out in a timely manner. Do not think that this aspect should be neglected, especially not when it comes to website hosting services.
Finally, bear in mind that there are a few types of hosting plans. These include shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, managed hosting, and so on. You should determine the type of hosting according to your company website’s needs.
Come up with a catchy domain name
One of the first and more important steps towards creating a successful website is choosing a catchy domain name.
Before you actually register a domain name, you should know that choosing a domain name will make a big impact on your whole progress, and it’s up to you to decide whether it’s going to be a good or a bad one.
Firstly, you will want to keep it short and concise. Make your domain as short as you can, as the name needs to be unique and memorable. Do not use ‘cute’ shorteners such as 4U or 2U because they are difficult to remember and look unprofessional.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to go for a domain name that is brandable. This means that when people see or hear your domain, it sounds like a brand. When your visitors look at your domain name, they should be able to intuit what your website is about.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to spell out exactly what you are doing but instead try to capture the essence of it. Your website needs to deliver what it says on the label, and your domain name is the label. So, make sure not to mess up the domain name.
The right design
Your website is the face of your company. And we all know that a face needs to be spotless.
However, many still forget that a website needs to look great on all devices their visitors use. In other words, your website should look well and work perfectly both on mobile and desktop devices.
So, be careful when choosing the design or a theme for your website. If this means spending a bit more money, then do it. The design has to be responsive and mobile-optimized.
This is important because you want the website to load quickly, you want visitors to navigate your website without a problem, and it has to be easy to read.
Avoid too ‘heavy’ photos, do not include flash content, and pay attention to text clusters. In other words, you need to structure everything properly if you want a readable website that has no lag.
Fail to deliver design-wise and you will not only lose potential clients due to a choppy website, but you will also be punished by Google since all of these factors affect your SEO game negatively.
If you plan on selling, consider a knowledge base
If you plan on running an online store, you should prioritize UX. And one great way to provide a nice UX is to introduce a knowledge base.
A knowledge base is a centralized database for spreading information and data. Don’t worry about creating it, since building a WordPress knowledge base is relatively easy.
Having a knowledge base is great for your customers. They will no longer have to flip through manuals or call your agents to seek answers to simple questions. If they are looking for answers, they will be able to look for it in your base.
Additionally, your support team will have less work to do. When you provide a helpful knowledge base, your customers will get the answers they need on their own. This will free up your support reps to handle more important issues.
Finally, as it was mentioned above, you won’t have a hard time building a knowledge base. Just think about the questions your customers have asked you in the past as well as about the questions you searched yourself.
Analyze common tickets to determine which issues crop up most frequently and address those first. Go one step at a time and you will build an informative knowledge base that can be a constant resource.
Introduce a live chat
The benefits of live chat are numerous. Having a live chat feature on your website is a huge booster for customer experience. Customers want quick responses, they want to talk to other people, and a live chat does a great job with that.
When customers clarify their doubts with live chat agents on your website, they are more likely to make a purchase. When your agents act as ‘in-store’ assistants through live chat, customer experiences become better and more personalized.
On top of that, live chat agents have the opportunity to reduce returns in real-time. Also, you will get instant feedback on how you can improve your business or your products thanks to a live chat.
Finally, if you think that this is still a novelty, you are wrong. You can rest assured that most of your rivals already have this feature on their websites. And those who don’t have it are probably looking to implement it.
So, don’t be the last one to join the party. As soon as you get the website running, start looking for ways to make the live chat feature a reality on your website.
Run a blog
Blogging will never grow old or obsolete, so you need to include it on your website as soon as possible. With a good blog full of great posts brimming with useful content, you can help position your business as an industry authority.
When you post about topics that resonate with your audience and display your knowledge, you are marketing your business, service, and products too.
On top of that, a good blog can actually drive more traffic to your website. To make that happen, you should use keywords in your articles.
Create a list of the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be found for, and use these words and related phrases when writing your posts. Also, think about guest blogging if you really want to up the ante when it comes to the website traffic.
Finally, use your social media channels to promote your articles. This will redirect more juice from your social media presence to your website.
Bonus tip: Create opt-in forms
Encouraging visitors to leave their contact details helps you build better sales funnel. When you gather these details, you will be able to build a relationship with them.
This gives you a chance to build trust and establish a potentially fruitful relationship through email marketing. On top of that, you will be growing your contacts database.
So, have an enticing offer or introduce a form where visitors should opt-in in order to receive messages from you. This will be a good relationship starter.