Modern businesses cannot do without a website. Web development services providers can gladly help, but as the website owner, would you know the essential factors when building a website from the ground up? When establishing a digital presence for the first time, it is crucial to cover all the bases as much as possible so that you would not be clueless about how a website provides value to your business and your customers.
While at it, it is essential to understand that building a website from scratch requires thoughtful planning. This is more so because a website is an investment wherein you expect a return from it in the near future.
Factors to consider when building a website from scratch
1) Call to action (CTA)
A CTA refers to the next step that the user must take. A website must clearly depict the buyer’s journey, directing the users on what to do next. It can achieve this through a call to action button. Nonetheless, there should be one primary CTA and sub-CTAs. Each page contains up to three complementary CTAs.
Ushering the visitors toward an action renders completeness to your site. Not to mention CTAs provide a proper flow by giving visitors gentle reminders on how to proceed. As such, CTAs are more for the visitors than you because you want them to move forward with whatever purpose they have by going to your website.
2) Mobile experience
Since there are more mobile users today than desktop users, you must provide the mobile experience your target consumers expect and deserve. So cut down the non-essentials or the elements that hinder them from completing a transaction, for example. Ensure the website is responsive and automatically resizes when viewed in different screen sizes and browsers. This is easier to achieve in new builds than in existing websites—the latter would require a website redesign.
Optimizing the sales funnel and the buyer’s journey gives the users the impetus to continue exploring the site and interact with the page elements if necessary. For instance, if you have an innovative product that requires one-to-one demonstration, encourage the users to have a live chat or schedule a demo. The same goes if the product description contains everything the buyer needs to know. You might want to push the add to cart button immediately after the description.
3) User experience (UX)
UX/UI (user interface) design brings more value than you would know. UX/UI considers both new and old website users, so the design is geared toward how to make your website more navigable for them. This is more so because the users’ mentality varies once they arrive at your website. The same goes for their equally diverse thought processes.
So do not assume they will do this and that while exploring your website. Instead, provide the function, feature, and tool that they will need to explore the website as smooth-sailing as can be. Do not make them struggle to find what they need to do next. The web design principle behind this is to design for people first, not necessarily for Google bots. Anyhow, one of the ranking factors is UX, and if Google perceives that your website takes this seriously, it might reward you with prominent displayability on the results pages. Yep, that’s the #1 spot for you.
Regular monitoring of your website’s performance is vital in determining whether it can still provide value to the users or not. Of course, in the beginning, you know the user journeys. However, they can only be ascertained once the website is delivered to the users.
Using it for at least three months, you will know which page formats, layouts, and content types the users gravitate to most. For instance, these are the pages that your visitors interact with the most. As such, it is wise to factor in how you should monitor and track your users early in the development process. Analytics can help the team make data-driven decisions on what to include and exclude on your website. In this way, you would not be spending too much on features and functions that the users will not interact with.
When building a website, the choice of the platform with which it will be built is also essential. Every web developer knows how user-friendly the platform should be, especially when it is time to create training manuals and modules. The website will be turned over in due time, and there should be a point person who will manage the website.
This is a consideration because this spells the difference between a fully functional and up-to-date website and a website sitting idle and waiting for someone with technical know-how to make the expected changes and edits. Aspire to be the former than the latter. If you will let your website lag behind even simple modifications, that’s your investment money down the drain. Of course, you don’t want that.
Certainly, you clearly grasp your website’s purpose—drive conversion rates and maximize sales and profits. First off, you want to establish an online presence. However, the purpose we are discussing here is what your website needs to do or possess to achieve that business purpose.
Some questions worth pondering are:
- How will you make your website discoverable? But, of course, we have the answer to this question: search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is about optimizing your website, so Google displays it on the results pages.
- Who are your target users? Again, you have a target market. In the digital world, targeting users would be easier with user personas. These are fictional characters that are based on your ideal customers.
- What customer needs and pain points would you like to address? How do you want to address them? Publish infographics, demo videos, or how-to guides?
You can best meet your website needs and the needs of your target users once you answer these questions. Your website developers may have other recommendations that you can consider also.
Bear with us, but SEO deserves an item on this list. We give importance to SEO because 48% of Internet users start their online experience through a search engine such as Google. You want to ensure that your website is optimized for search engines. See more relevant digital marketing statistics.
The typical mindset is to DIY (do-it-yourself) SEO, but our two decades of experience tell us there is no shortcut to optimizing your website. Since the goal is to propel your website to the top of search engines, developers must build the site with crawlability and indexability in mind. On-page elements are prioritized and integrated into the UX/UI design and site structure.
Effective communication is the key to success. This also applies to websites, especially since there is no person behind the content on them. For example, if the page names are too try and static, do not expect people to engage. So pages, URLs, and the entire navigation structure must be well-researched and planned from the get-go.
As the website owner, you want to ensure that the message is clear and unified. Your communication, including your choice of words, inspires people to do business with you. Couple the textual content with the right visuals, the site can definitely drive sales and profits. Even Google prioritizes websites that have quality, original, relevant, and valuable content.
Branding should be integrated into virtually all aspects of the website. Even the most mundane things, such as the color of the links and CTA buttons and the error pages, contribute to the overall branding of your website. Color psychology affects branding.
The goal is to design a website with cohesive branding. Otherwise, it will appear unprofessional and unreliable. Not to mention it would be unattractive to look at. This alone defeats the purpose of having a visually appealing and fully functional website. No user will take your website seriously if it is lackluster. But you also wanted to avoid ‘over-branding’ your website.
Now, this concerns the contract you will have with the web development company. You want to ensure that you own the website, with templates, mockups, and codes included. One sentence in the contract that assures you are the owner goes: “I want to take ownership of my website, and all of the content within it will be mine completely.”
If, in case, you had a falling out with your developer or provider and would like to switch to another web developer, it would be easy for you to take everything with you. So do not forget to pencil out this in the contract. Or, if the company has a prewritten contract for signing, check that it includes this provision before putting your signature on the dotted line. It pays to read the fine print before you sign anything.
Our web design and development team builds fully functional, accurate-to-specifications, and SEO-ready websites. Whether building with a template or a custom website, we can tackle development projects of any scale and size. Request a quote now!