Part 2 – A Brief Guide to Making a Successful Website
This is part two of a brief and practical guide to what you need to know to create a successful website. This guide is not aimed at fellow web professionals, but at the entrepreneur. As such, I am not going to get into technical details, but will give pointed advice that will allow your next web project become a success.
Part two covers domain names, pages and content. If you want your to get the most out your website, read and apply.
WHAT’S IN A DOMAIN NAME?
Domain names matter. Your domain name should be short, memorable and contain keywords that are related to your business. Why? Because search engines results tend favor websites with the keyword in the domain name. And no one is going to remember how to spell your company name, especially if it contains an oddly spelled name. I know about this from experience. For some reason people have a real hard time with Beu.
PAGES, PAGES, PAGES
Now you know what success means and you’ve got your domain name picked out. Now we need to figure out what pages and content need to be created so that you can reach your targets. You should take some time with your designer to brainstorm what could work for your business. This process is nonlinear and should yield things you have not considered before. Be open minded and consider all ideas.
Make a list of potential pages (home, about, contact…) and features (contact form, newsletter signup, calculators…). Next to each page or feature write down what purpose that it will serve and how it will help meet your objectives. If you can’t come up with a purpose and a way it will help meet your objectives, you probably don’t need it.
After we have figured out what pages and features you need, we will need to decide what content needs to be created. Do we need a bio for the founder of the company? Will the home page be the blog page or will it be an introduction to the company? What does it need to say? Why does it need to say that?
The best approach that I’ve found for this is to figure out what the content of each page or feature needs to accomplish in one sentence. Start with a paragraph summary and whittle it down to what is essential.
Once you know what the content needs to do, then you can write out goals for the content. At this stage we are only defining what content needs to be created and what it needs to accomplish. We are not writing it. That comes next.
WRITE THE BEST CONTENT YOU POSSIBLY CAN
Find your subject matter expert. This is the person who explains your business better than anyone else. You want the guy who makes other people understand what you do. Team that person with a writer. The writer’s job is to get every nugget of information out of your expert and make it into compelling content.
What makes content compelling?
Grabs Attention – It need to be attention grabbing because most visitors make very quick decisions as on whether they like your site. It doesn’t matter how many visitors you get if they just leave.
Exposes Need – Explains to the visitor what the need for your product or service really is. Make them want what you are selling.
Ties Need to Benefits – Talk about the benefits they get from your solution. Put it in their terms. Explain what it is like before and after using your products.
Justifies and Calls Reader to Action – Justifies the purchase and provide clear calls to action to compel the reader forward.
THANKS FOR READING
Thank you for reading Part 2 of A Brief Guide to Making a Successful Website. I hope you found it helpful and informative. You can follow me on twitter.com/richardbeu.