It is evident that nowadays, the internet is the most accessible means of finding what you are looking for, with just a few clicks be it shopping, getting social and looking for information. Furthermore, marketing businesses have never been so easy with the help of the internet. This then makes websites an essential tool in their success. Because of this, many people have aimed to have their own website but due to the high cost, they opt to do DIY websites thinking that they are saving lots of money. Worse luck, they don't! The website is missing important information. These DIY sites are actually missing indispensable components that effectively reach customers and possibly generating more revenue. Let's breakdown the “must-have” components of a website and see if you do have the best.
More and more people are using their phones and tablets to search for things, with recent figures showing that over 87% of people use their mobile devices for searching.
Having a mobile responsive website not only improves the experience for the visitor, but it is also very important when it comes to getting your website to rank. After all, Google wants to send traffic to websites that users get value from, and enjoy using. If your site is not working correctly for mobile, then since it will be a bad experience, it simply won't perform as well.
This means that if your site is NOT mobile responsive, you will get fewer visitors, and fewer conversions (SALES!)
If you don't know how to make a website mobile responsive, then maybe you will need some help.
Clear Calls to Action
The purpose of a website is to generate leads, but not knowing exactly how to generate these leads can mean that a website simply doesn't return value to the business. And worst of all, it means that the potential customers don't have “the next thing” they need to be moved along the buyer's journey.
A good website designer can help a business understand how to generate leads.
Photos that don't appear authentic can send customers away in droves.
Terrible stock photos are an absolute turn off for virtually every business, and they should be avoided at all costs.
Sometimes, it's important to have someone who can look at the images that you want to use, and be impartial. And most of all, someone who will tell you the truth. Using the right images can make a drastic difference to the results you get in the quantity (and quality) of leads.
Clear Contact Information
A website is one of the most important marketing instruments a business can have and one way of encouraging your website visitors to get in touch with you is through a contact page.
This should not be a barrier for both your present and potential clients to either find your contact details or make contact with you. This should always be easy to use and easy to read.
It should always be welcoming. A personalized contact page will also put a face to your business and let people know the person they’re actually contacting.
There are a lot of ways of making a creative, user-friendly contact page. These tips might help:
- Be friendly and helpful
- Incorporate a Personality-filled Illustration
- Include a relevant Image
- Make it memorable
- Be on Brand
- Include a contact form for Ease of communication.
- Add contact Short cuts
Having clear contact information is a “must” because that's what it's there for.
Web Hosting is a service that allows you to view and publish your content on the internet. When you host your files on a hosting company's web server, your website will always be accessible on the web. Your web host is also responsible for things like server maintenance, keeping the software and hardware up to date, troubleshooting, and more. Having appropriate hosting is necessary because your website is your interface.
This is one of the missing components when you have a DIY website. Imagine if you choose a bad hosting that is not suitable for your website, what do you think will happen?
Testimonials are important form of social proof. These are from a customer or client who may be an unknown person to the reader but they have a personal experience with the product or service.
These are considered authentic since it comes from paying customers. It adds content to your site and helps you look more valuable and more believable especially for the first-timers. It can help brag your reliability when it comes to the product or service you are offering. Customer testimonials greatly help the conversion rate of visitors to your business as well. It adds legitimacy to your website and makes more people be willing to avail.
Also, One of the challenges encountered by small businesses is to persuade someone to open their wallet for the first time on an unknown trade or person. With Great testimonials, people feel more comfortable making a purchase if they know that other people have been happy with it. This is one of the reasons why all the world's biggest online companies rely on customer reviews. It truly influences the “herd” mentality.
Many of us are not aware of the importance of linking your website to Social media. The cruel truth- 25% of small businesses are yet to fully embrace social media. Given the success rate of businesses standing at 50%, social media and owning a great website can be the deciding factor in which half of that percentage your business sits in. The world now full of technology and the advancements and signing up to social media and linking it to your website is incredibly important and a must-do for every business.
There are a lot of ways to market your products and services. One is email marketing which I find very beneficial in every small business. Why? It is a vibrant and powerful way to connect to people.
Marketing your products or services by email can be a fast, flexible and cost-effective way of reaching new customers and retaining existing customers by encouraging repeat website visits.
This can allow you to create targeted and personalized messages and can help you to build meaningful relationships with your customers. It also improves response rates to your direct marketing campaigns.
So, if you are running a business, it is safe to say that email marketing is still the most effective way to universally reach people who have expressed interest in your products or your site.
Up to Date Content
Have you checked your website recently? Does it still have relevant content?
You may be wondering why I am asking these questions. Well, simply because the world is ever-changing which means the market also becomes dynamic. They always want the latest and the greatest.
A boring and hard to navigate website can scare clients away before they even know what you are about. Be sure that you put your best foot forward when seeking out new clients, and keeping your website up to date is one of the most important things you can do.
The top three things to focus on when updating your website are:
- Updating Your Website Security
- Keep Your Content Fresh
- Updating Your Website Design
People always like for things to be new, refreshing and up to date. Don't let your website be stale.
Not knowing how to fully use the tools
Today, anyone can make a website. regardless of technical skill level. With all the available tools to make it easy still, there are questions about it because it is not 100% efficient.
Expertise in using WordPress
When we say “expert”, it is not just it’s NOT someone who’d install a few nice plugins for you and call it a project. Web publishing is best done with WordPress if and only if you know your way around it. You have to be able to maximize this tool in order to have a website that performs well, provides exceptional user experience, and delivers your message effectively to prospects and customers alike.
Knowing which theme is perfect
Before you jump into aesthetic ideals, it is important to know what — or who — your website really is. Ask yourself: What is the purpose of my site? Who is my intended audience? What features might they need?
Thinking conceptually about your website’s objective is crucial to making sure you choose the right look, feel, and functionality for your visitors.
Understanding which plugins are necessary
If you are just beginning to build your website you have probably noticed that plugins are a very prominent aspect. Plugins let you get started with a basic web site and expand when necessary. These are great resources because they allow your site to do things it otherwise wouldn't be able to do. Plugins allow “non-techies” to have a website that they can manage.
Furthermore, most plugins will typically work “right out of the box” and only require installation and activation to provide your website with instant new capabilities and functionality. But bear in mind that despite all these benefits, we must consider which ones are necessary to avoid excessive and unnecessary use and integrate errors to our website.
Knowing the tricks of the trade that will save hours of effort (or stop a project from failing completely)
Projects fail for all kinds of reasons. Budgets can disappear, materials can be delayed, and priorities can go un-managed.
If you are struggling to figure out where the root of your project failure is, consider these seven issues. They tend to be the most common causes of project failure.
Assessing these issues will help you immediately point out where to and when to make changes and avoid failing completely.
Knowing how to get the most performance out of your hosting
Ever wonder why your website loads slowly? “Slow and steady wins the race” as the saying goes, but when it comes to the performance of your website, that certainly is a recipe for failure.
It can be a difficult task to figure out what exactly is causing the website to slow down. No matter what the root cause might be, you should leave no stones unturned to get to the bottom of the issue. Knowing how to get the most performance out of your hosting will be a great help in maximizing your website performance.
Knowing how to use caching
Caching is an area of a computer’s memory devoted to temporarily storing recently used information. The content, which includes HTML pages, images, files and Web objects, is stored on the local hard drive in order to make it faster for the user to access it, which helps improve the efficiency of the computer and its overall performance.
Most caching occurs without the user knowing about it. For example, when a user returns to a Web page they have recently accessed, the browser can pull those files from the cache instead of the original server because it has stored the user’s activity. The storing of that information saves the user time by getting to it faster and lessens the traffic on the network. It is imperative to know about this because it makes access to data less expensive.
Not having access to the best tools
Gone are the days when website creation was a pain. In the past, website building was just in the wheelhouse of hardcore coders and web designers. Today, some of the best web design software tools have drag and drop features, requiring little or no coding experience. The most up-to-date, intuitive, and highly recommended pieces of web design software available today but one must always take into consideration ease of use, the richness of features, and value for money like the following:
Graphic design tools like photoshop
Graphic design is an important tool that enhances how you communicate with other people. It serves to convey your ideas in a way that is not only effective but also beautiful. Good design makes you look good. It sets you apart. It summarizes an idea.
With the right knowledge in Graphic design tools, turning your idea into an image that you’ll love won't be that hard.
Image compression services and tools
Image compression is minimizing the size in bytes of a graphics file without degrading the quality of the image to an unacceptable level. This can benefit users by having pictures load faster and web pages use up less space on a Web host. It does not reduce the physical size of an image but instead compresses the data that makes up the image into a smaller size.
A quality website builder
Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. However, finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners. You have to consider your goals and what features would you like to see on your website, your growth options and make sure that the website builder you choose is capable of handling your needs as your business grows.
The best tools to enhance speed
Speed matters. Yes, it does. It turns out customers will wait no more than 3 seconds for a web page to load before abandoning a site. Just a half a second difference in load time can make a 10% difference in sales for an online retailer. Your website performance and the performance testing tools will determine whether your website is a winner so it’s super important to invest in website performance testing tools and figure out how to improve your web performance.
The best lead capture tools available
Of course It is great to create interesting content that drives in traffic and engages your customer base but it is more important to capture this data when it comes in because ultimately, these leads will be your sales and with an effective capture system on your website, you will be able to build a database of potential customers. Keep in mind that Sales are dependent on leads no matter what industry they are in. This is why having a data capture system in place is so important in driving the business forward and a must to be included in a business’ marketing strategy
Can't you just buy all the tools? Yes, but it's more expensive than having someone do the site for you
You don’t necessarily have to hire someone to build a website. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you can build any type of website on a budget thanks to different tools available on the web. Yes, this can be true BUT if you don’t have a clue on what tools you’ll need to build a website, chances are you’ll overspend your budget on things that you’ll never need. You will end up spending more money without even getting to your perspective. The simplistic solution for this is to have someone do the site for you. Sometimes, people tend to be restrained on talking to someone for their website because of the idea that some builders are overcharging but if you look at it closely, most people who don't take the risk actually fails in executing their project.
Not knowing how to get the website to rank
Why it's important to get a website to rank (if no one visits your site, you aren't getting value from your investment)
Uncle Google is where millions across the globe turn first for answers to their questions, big and small. If they're lucky, they usually find them within the first few results returned. It is proven by experts that if you can rank on top, your business will become ten times better than your competitors. The ranking is an inevitable asset for every inbound marketer. If you are yet to appear on the first page of Google results, The success will then be yours.
Meta tags, descriptions and alt tags
You already know the importance of SEO. It enables you to get on page one of Google and helps you rank for the keywords that matter most for your business. To excel at SEO, it's critical you know how to incorporate meta tags, descriptions and alt tags into each one of your web pages. All these can help search engines correctly identify and categorize your pages — which will ensure higher rankings, and more exposure to the audience you're trying to reach.
Knowing how content impacts your rank
Without high-quality content, you can't realize useful content on your website motivates your website visitors to stay for longer, and this can positively impact your search rankings. Here are other key benefits of content:
- Quality Content Generates High CTR
- Quality Content Helps You Generate Backlinks
- Content Allows You to Incorporate Keywords –
- Quality Content Provides a Great User Experience
Understanding what Google is looking for in a website
Have you ever wondered why some sites rank high on Google when they aren’t optimized for search engines? Or even worse, when they barely have any backlinks? A lot of it has to do with Google. It looks at ranking factors when determining where to rank a site. These ranking factors aren’t easy to understand, which makes it difficult for you to figure out how to adjust your site to maximize your rankings. It is highly recommended for you to know what really matters to Google.
Not understanding the “normal” structure of a website
Making a website easy to navigate. Understating UI and UX Design will help win the consumers’ confidence and make them use your application or website by providing them what they are looking for. For a start-up or a small venture, the importance of UI and UX Design becomes even more crucial as the first impression lasts long and using UI and UX designing can make or break the brand recognition.
Knowing how to make content easier to read in just a moment. Websites attract a diverse audience. Your content has to be able to speak to each visitor in a manner that they can easily understand.
Unable to generate leads
Not knowing what tools to use to capture leads. If you are looking into making sales you have to know how to capture leads as it would help target the right people or companies that may have interests in your services or products.
Not having the data/analytics to help the business make better marketing decisions. It provides your website visitors’ data so you can optimize your content based on the user's interest. It’s important to identify what users are doing on your business or blog website. So, you take productive decisions that grow your profit and increase website traffic. And website data analytics tools will help you to get a user's behaviors, age, demographics, gender, and source of traffic, etc. details.
The project never gets finished
Building a website can be very hard, slow and may not ever get finished if you haven't built a site before. Experience comes in handy for almost all lines of work and building a website requires a whole lot of it. Starting from the initial planning of the site, to building it, to deployment and maintenance, it is a great value of having someone who can accomplish all these things with efficiency and dependability.
Having a web designer can help to keep you on track. Having constant communication with your developers is important, being on top of things as to where the progress of the build is, and having a goal that would indicate that the project is moving forward to its completion.
There are errors on the site or some things don't work correctly
Having other people, experienced in checking websites can make a huge difference. Having a good looking site does not entirely mean conversion, the design is only one aspect of building a website. The back-end is as equally important as the front-end of the site as it dictates the performance whether or not it's fast and if its functions are working fine, and you might miss out on this if you do not have a keen eye for errors. A professional normally has a checklist after deploying a site in terms of maintaining it.
Knowing how to fix issues when things break is important. Troubleshooting skills are essential as bugs or errors rise up without warning and having someone on top of it reduces the probability of disrupting your business if it is entirely done online.
Having access to someone who can help change or fix content is essential in keeping a website up to date, accurate and working correctly. If you want to keep your current customers you should have a go-to person. You never know when a bug will arise and so having someone who is familiar with your system who can quickly get to the bottom of the error is important. Keeping up with the trend as well is essential to keep everything interesting for your customers.
The website becomes neglected
Websites that are not well maintained don't generate as many leads. In addition to people not staying long enough to find out who you are and what your business is like, they are unlikely to engage in any transactions or purchases due to bad impressions they get upon visiting your website with poor design and performance.
Websites that are not updated are more likely to be hacked. Security has to be one of the main focuses upon building the website as it might hold sensitive information about you and your potential customers. It is imperative that your website is secure if you want to build trust with your customers and keep them on board.
Sites that appear old, gives visitors the impression that your business is not well maintained or not a premium service. In today's age, people have been exposed to well design and well-maintained sites and have high expectations, and if your site does not meet that they are likely to stay or entertain any kind of thought of making a purchase or revisiting your site.
It looks unprofessional
Unprofessional images. One research shows that product information is by far the top reason people visit small business websites. In addition to pricing, dimensions, and details, people want to see images of your offerings.
Unprofessional mistakes. Things like typographical errors, poor web design, and server issues all affect a customer's impression about the brand or company and would will mostly not bother to revisit your website.
A website for a premium business, but the website looks like it was thrown together. First impressions are important as well as user experience. You cant expect a poorly designed website to attract visitors so a premium design must be provided for a premium business, “Its a no brainer!”.
When people are looking for a new business, they look online, even if they meet you in person. A website itself can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow. The web has a far wider reach than any other form of advertising. While it takes time to build up enough traffic to your website to make a worthwhile impact on your company`s marketing campaign, it costs next to nothing to do so. Your website will be the center of your company`s online presence; through it, you advertise your business around the Web on social networking sites, forums and through pay-per-click advertising programs. So there are a lot of opportunities available for you if you have a website.
It's difficult to make changes or updates
Some things are too complex for people to do themselves. A proficient web developer makes sure to design websites with increased performance and speed. Their expert abilities also offer quick turnaround time along with the low cost of hiring and efficient deliverables.
Someone needs to keep the website up to date. Hiring a web developer helps you establish a high level of consistency in terms of web design. They help you understand the need to stand apart from the crowd while still meeting the expectations of the industry and niche area.
Some websites are just plain hard to maintain, especially ones that are built DIY. Depending on your technical skills, there is only so much you can do? If you are only limited to web designing then backend management might be a problem for you and would greatly affect the performance of your website. So having a professional handle those tasks would not only be beneficial to you but also saves you from further costs and a whole lot of trouble.
It's hard to DIY. Excluding the costs into building a DIY website, the labor that goes with it is hard to ignore, depending on the purpose and complexity of the website the design and building functionalities may take a considerable amount of time where nowadays you can have access to Drag and Drop website builders and CMS that makes it possible to make a website in just a couple hours or in just a day.
Is there a better way?
Cheaper than DIY? As other methods of creating websites became available namely CMS(WordPress, Drupal, etc..) the traditional way of building a website through coding (HTML and CSS) in a way became costly considering the time, effort and personnel. As every method would vary in price, it would be determined by the complexity required and the cost is bound to increase the more complex and the more customizations are implemented in the site.
Website builders are the way to go if you have a low budget but keep in mind that it would be best to choose the right solution for your budget or else problems for the website might costs you more. You might have an existing website but if the functionalities are not well built then you will not get any satisfactory results you want.
What if it generated more revenue? There are plenty of ways to generate revenue with a website one of those is through Ad networks(e.g Google Adsense, AdThrive, MediaVine) this method works when you have high-quality, optimized content on the pages of your website. With careful inclusions of keywords into the written text, Google might determine what ads to serve your site, but this is decent for site with less than 25k visitors? So having a well designed, a well-built site can do well for you.
What if it was easier? Today just about anyone can build a website regardless of skills level, either with a Website builder or WordPress. Using themes with WordPress, it is way easier to choose a design and functionality that would fit a particular business or intent for the website. Aside from Independence, backend control, advance customizability, and scalability, WordPress has only two ways of adding content(pages and posts). Improving functionalities as well is done by installing plugins. In conclusion, WordPress is pretty straightforward to manage, easy to set up, with unlimited customization and freedom in terms of creativity.
And Faster? There are many reasons why a website is slow, things such as(Web hosting, page size, external scripts, etc..) and if you are using WordPress(Configuration and bad plugins) so having your website optimized is of an extreme importance as it would affect your user experience and would ultimately determine the number of visits your site will have. Using WordPress will give you the ability to not only customize your website but also have numerous options to speed it up.
Installing a caching plugin would make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster. How it works is that instead of going through the whole page generation process, the plugin makes a copy of the page the first time it loads and would serve as the cached version to the next subsequent user. Image Optimization is another way to increase website speed because images on their original formats can have huge file sizes so compressing them and choosing the file format can decrease the file size significantly thus affecting page load times, along these and more are available using WordPress for your website thus giving you great performance.
It's an expensive DIY. Having templated website builders may offer free or low-cost services but this rarely holds true, the time involved in personally building and maintaining your site all comes at an indirect cost to your business. You may start out on a “free trial” but before you know it you are becoming subject to steep monthly charges, so in the long run, a professional website developer would give you more “bang for your buck”
It's almost impossible to have access to everything you need to do it well. As long as you know the right tools and methods to use, you will find that building a website is achievable without having to purchase software or plugins or hire multiple developers.