No matter your line of business, having an appealing and functional website is a must nowadays. After all, the competition is tougher than ever, partly due to the 2020 pandemic that has forced us to transfer our lives to the Internet. Business owners today need to up their game and invest more effort into building their online presence.
Luckily, doing so has never been easier. The numerous tools and tutorials available today have simplified the process. All business owners, even those with no coding experience, now have the ability to create their own professional online space.
The website creation process inevitably begins with a hosting plan and a domain name. Once you've taken care of that, you'll need to organize and stylize your website, making sure it works impeccably along the way. Finally, if you want to attract customers, you'll also have to enrich it with valuable and relevant content, as well as promote it and build its ranking.
Choosing a Domain Name for your website
Your domain name is the foundation of your online business. It's also one of the first things that your visitors will look at, so choose it wisely. The domain name should ideally be your company name, but that's not always possible. Check the availability of your potential names and variations to ensure they're completely unique.
The top-level domain (TLD) is the suffix after the domain name. In case your business name isn't available as a .com domain, consider other, more specific extensions. For instance, you could use localized TLDs (.nyc, .io, .ru, .de, etc.) or others (.co, .law, .store, .agency, etc.).
Whichever one you choose, make sure your domain name is short, simple, catchy, and memorable. Also, avoid using numbers and special characters (such as hyphens).
Sign up For Web Hosting
Web hosting provides the server that stores your website's data, allowing Internet users all over the world to see it. Given that the hosting provider and plan you choose can impact your website's responsiveness and user experience, make sure you do your research before making any purchases.
While shared hosting can be a good starting point for small businesses, larger companies (with over 1,000 visitors per day) should consider a dedicated server or a VPS. Although more expensive, this option will ensure your website performs at its best even during peak hours.
Recently, more and more people have been taking advantage of Europe's spectacular Internet infrastructure — high speeds and temptingly low prices. To find the most suitable option for your website, make sure to read up the reviews of the best hosting companies in Europe.
Design Your Website
When creating your website, keep in mind that it needs to have a clear structure. Although simplicity is always welcome, your website should contain multiple pages, each having its own purpose and being of practical use for visitors. Think about what your customers might be looking for and try to provide that information.
Thus, apart from the homepage, you might want your website to feature sections like About Us, Contact, FAQ, etc. In addition, adding landing pages and CTAs will surely improve your conversion rates.
One of the most common mistakes business owners make is cramming multiple services and links into one landing page. Too many options can confuse and overwhelm the visitor, causing you to lose a potential lead. Therefore, every service you offer should have its own landing page. And if your business operates in more than one location, consider making a landing page for each of them.
Given that about half of all web traffic comes from smartphones, your website also needs to have an equally attractive and responsive mobile version. For added visual interest, you can attach a few original photos and videos, optimizing them to ensure your website remains fast.
Speaking of loading speed, there are many factors that can affect it, the main one usually being your hosting. Thus, be careful when choosing a hosting plan and company, preferably opting for a European provider.
The visitors' first impression will depend on the quality of your homepage. As it's the first thing the visitor comes across, the homepage needs to capture their interest, concisely explaining what the company does and how they can benefit from information featured on the website.
Don't overcomplicate the homepage and cram every single detail about the company in there (that's what you have other pages for). Instead, keep it short and simple, and end with a solid CTA.
Sometimes, sending a potential lead to a landing page instead of the homepage is a much smarter idea. Like the homepage, the landing page is also a great way for you to introduce your company, only in fewer words and using more specific CTAs.
Still, the landing pages should be cohesive with your website's design, which should have already been tested beforehand. Not every style will appeal to your audience, so it's important to constantly try out different options to determine the most successful one. In addition, incorporate multimedia, i.e. images, videos, graphics to your landing page to grab the visitor's attention.
Much like the rest of your website, your blog section needs to be easy to navigate but also visually appealing. Use different media in your blog posts to get your point across, making sure it's optimized for maximum page loading speed.
Apart from looking good, your blog should also contain valuable, accurate, and relevant information that the readers actually have a use for and want to read. For example, post detailed how-to guides, instructional videos and helpful tips related to your services. Make sure to publish evergreen content and update all existing content that feels old or dull.
Create a Brand and Stick With It
Once you've chosen a design that you feel best represents your business, you should stay consistent with it throughout every marketing aspect.
Here are some advantages of consistent branding:
Helps you get your brand message across
Contributes to the credibility and authenticity of your brand
Gives your customers a sense of familiarity and invites them to trust your brand
Encourages brand loyalty
Having a style, i.e. unique logo and color scheme associated with your brand name can make it more marketable. Don't be afraid to sport them every chance you get — in ads, social media posts, offline marketing, employee uniforms, merchandise, etc. If you need help with branding or creating a memorable logo, we recommend using a tool like LogoGenie.
Customers typically use multiple channels to interact with your business and make purchases. Therefore, make sure that your branding stays the same throughout all channels and platforms.
In addition, participate in events and collaborate with brands that share the same values and mission as your brand. That will strengthen it even further.
Implement On-Page SEO
To improve its ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) and thus its visibility, you should optimize your website. Here are some common SEO methods that you can try:
Come up with a suitable title in 70 characters or less for each web page to let users know what it's about when browsing the search pages. Make sure to include the name of the business/brand, as well as specific keywords to the content on the page.
The meta description is located below the title tag. Like the title, it should give users an idea of what they're about to encounter on your page, only in more words (up to 150 characters). As it also appears in SERPs, the meta description should contain the main keyword too.
Although backlinks are important for building your authority with search engines, internal links can help them get a better picture of your website's content. Thus, make sure you add appropriate links to other useful pages on your website.
Break up your content into sections using header tags (
Image Name and ALT Text
When adding images to your website, make sure to give them a suitable name and ALT tag. Don't forget to incorporate the keyword for easier identification and higher ranking in image search results.
Bold crucial words and phrases in your content to emphasize and draw the reader's attention to them. That will also help search engines determine what's important. However, be careful not to go too far and overuse the keywords, as it could be off-putting for some readers.
Expand to Social Media
As you may know, everyone and their mother is on social media nowadays, typically using multiple platforms at the same time. To increase your Internet visibility, reach your audience and connect with them through various channels. In addition, post on your website shareable content that your customers can talk about and promote on their profiles.
Not all social media platforms have the same format, though. Twitter is perfect for link sharing and short announcements. On the other hand, Pinterest and Instagram are directed toward visual expression. Make sure to make the most of each platform and adjust your content accordingly.
It's not enough to create your website and hope it keeps its high ranking forever. You need to make an effort to maintain it as well. Aside from ensuring it works seamlessly at all times, you should update your website's content. Post new products, offers, and company news on a regular basis to give your visitors a reason to come back. In addition, your website should always contain timely and relevant information.
Finally, keep in mind that SEO won't increase your business website's traffic overnight. It's a process that takes quite a lot of time. To see actual results, you must remain patient and consistent, continuously making efforts to improve your website, content, and online presence in general.
Design a Logo Yourself With Logogenie
If you don’t have spare cash in your budget for a logo, don’t despair. While in the past you may have had limited options, nowadays technology has advanced so that virtually anyone can design their own logo using an online logo design tool like logogenie.
In our digital era, design software is less about the technical skill of your hands and more about your creative ideas. You don’t need to master your brush strokes or pencil shading — you don’t even need steady hands. With digital logo makers, all you need is an idea.
Logogenie, and other online design tools, use templates to make design fast and easy, even for first timers. First, you select your industry from the dropdown menu.
We’ve categorized our templates by the needs and demands of the top industries, so finding yours is the first step. Our algorithm will then generate the top choices for your industry.
Simply choose the one you like and start editing. You can customize each template however you want, personalizing your choices for:
Company name and slogan
Font and typography
Text and picture sizes
Text and picture placement
Adding new icons
Layering (putting some images behind or in front of others)
You can choose from our internal library of over 200 icons. A quick glance shows that there are plenty of the intellectual imagery we mentioned above, including trees with rainbow leaves, shield crests, books, graduation caps, and more.
If you want to use more advanced techniques, we wrote a quick beginner’s guide to using Logogenie. This explains all the nuances of the Logogenie interface, including how to edit individual aspects of the base image, change certain colors but not other, and perfecting your typography.
Using a DIY logo maker like logogenie, you can create a professional-tier logo in just minutes. When you’re done, you can buy all permissions and commercial licensing for $24.90, which grants you your logo forever.
While the template-style of design works well for first-timers, you’ll get better results if you bone up on some graphic design basics beforehand. Keep reading our blog for special design tips, straight from expert designers.