Blog - WebSelf

Making a website : the first few steps

The first steps

Small businesses are often afraid of the cost of developing a website and an online marketing strategy or even worse, still believe that a website is a luxury, a superfluous element, that its unnecessary. However, when we look at our life habits, it’s clear that the web occupies a more and more important part in it. 78% of Internet users search a product online before buying it. 97% of consumers look for local businesses online before going on site. 82% of web searches are followed by a local store visit or a call. But ... and sadly, only 44% of Quebec SMEs create a website.
 

The remaining 56% are still fears or use excuses: "I know nothing about websites", "I don’t have the time", "It's too expensive", "I already have a Facebook page, I'm alright”. Which one is your excuse? In 2013, none of these are actually valid. Several solutions exist to create a website in a simple, intuitive and affordable fashion and build a reputation or e-marketing campaign around it no longer means going broke. A Facebook page will never replace a website. It may be part of a strategy for e-reputation, but it should not be its center.

Where to begin ?

First, the construction of your site. Where to start? Even if you are not a computer technician, it’s very possible for you to create your site yourself and maintain it. A simple solution is to use a online website editor, such as WebSelf.net. You can also use the services of a webmaster, but keep in mind that for every small change, you will pull out your check book and it often is for hefty bills!

With an online editor like WebSelf, you choose a plan at a very affordable price and you can start your online business in just a few days. Plans include everything that is technical, such as hosting, domain name, access to the site editor and tech support. The editor itself is simple to use and easy to learn. We will never ask you to touch an HTML script or understand what JavaScript is or anything like that! WebSelf works with modules : the module text to add text, image module to add an image, etc.. Basically, you create a website and it shouldn’t be more complex than producing a Word document!

The content and keywords

Keywords

Then you have to build your site. Not easy when you’ve never did something like that before! There are some rules in writing web content and content creation and they can save you a lot of money and help you build your audience and get people to know you faster. Even before you begin to think about inserting an image or typing a sentence in your site, you need to think about your keywords. Google, is an important part of your marketing and if you approach your search engine optimisation intelligently and early on, it’s also free! To find the right keywords for you, the key is to put yourself in a stranger’s shoes. What will he type in Google’s search field in order to find you? Don’t try to think of a single word. Instead, target an expression closely related to your business or activity. Keep in mind that Google searches contain, on average, 4.29 words! Also Feel comfortable to choose a short phrase as keywords… "shopping" alone is certainly not enough for a good positioning!

Content

Once your keywords are set, you need to think of the content itself. Your competitors site One of the most important thing to not is to not make your visitor think can be an asset if you are short of ideas. I’m not talking about plagiarism, of course, but about looking around to see what is happening in your field! Adapt to your market adequately to succeed. One of the most important concept when make a website is Don’t make your visitor think! Organize your content paragraph with clear titles and headings, insert "call-to-actions", etc. By encouraging people to do a specific action, you influence them in the right direction. What do you use your site for, what’s its purpose? Do you want your visitors to call you? Tell them! A call me button that points to your contact information is the best way to receive calls.

Also, don’t overlook spelling and good vocabulary. Spelling carefully helps you in terms of SEO and professionalism and the use of a vocabulary that fits your target audience is important. On the web, just as in real life, you don’t address lawyers with the same tone and vocabulary as you do preschoolers. Reflecting this in your word choice is key to make your audience feel important.

Include a blog

Include a blog on your website is an asset, but you have to consider some things before you start. Do you have the time to maintain a blog? If the answer is no, then forget it! A blog is a long-term commitment. You have to regularly post new content for it to be effective. It should also be noted that a blog is a good source of fresh content for Google. By adding your articles on a regular basis, you just add a sources of fresh keywords to your site. Reflecting on your blog, developing an editorial strategy, a voice of our own and by posting on relevant topics, not only do you add content to your site, but you also gather an audience, which will come back to your site and become loyal to you. Over time, if your articles are read and appreciated, you will establish a reputation as an expert in your field, which is an added value for your company or business!

Think about SEO

Create a website or blog also means being out there, with all the other sites in the web. To make a place for yourself, you really need to pay attention to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and your positioning on search engines. Google positions you depending on your PageRank, which is visible in the Google toolbar. The PageRank is a note on 10, given to your site according to certain criteria. One of these is the number of links that points to your site. A PageRank of 2 or 3 out of 10 is very good for a small site or a blog. By establishing a reputation for yourself as an expert in your field through your articles and constantly adding new content, people might share your articles, either through social media or their own blogs. This generates links to your site. These links are counted as votes. The greater the number and weight of the votes, the better your site is positioned. More popular sites, with higher PageRanks, that link to your site have more “weight” ion the voting process than a link from an unknown, unvisited site. Note that you can also increase the number of links to your website by making link exchanges with partners or sites related to your field of activity.

Analyse the statistics

Once the site is online, the blog set and everything, nothing is actually finished and done with. To have a website that works well, you need to keep track of its performance. You will need to have a panel for your website’s statistics. It’s important to analyze and review your statistics, as well as understand them. It’s not enough to be satisfied with the number of unique visitors, you also need to read between the lines and check your other data. If your bounce rate is too high (say 70-100%), then something is wrong and your website will not meet your expectations. Even if you have 100 visitors a day, if your bounce rate is 98%, then it means that only 2 people actually take the time to explore your site! Several factors can influence your bounce rate : poorly organized content, no "call-to-action", your offer is not clear enough, you chose your keywords poorly, etc.. If your site doesn’t deliver, then it’s important to do tests and try making changes to the site to increase the retention rate of your visitors.

Marketing strategy

Along with your website, you can have a very affordable marketing strategy with social media or with a small advertising campaign. Take the time to evaluate your needs and your goal before you head blindly on every social media simply because it’s popular. Blogger, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, it's really easy to get lost. Target the most important social medias for you and your audience so that you can to vary your platforms and increase your reputation. Remember that you can’t act like a salesperson on social networks. If you do, your messages fall into oblivion. You have to offer relevant content and share information that gives your audience or fans information and entertainment. Share information about your business, give your expert opinion, talk about current events, but do not lose your purpose and your voice!

Remember that starting an activity or website is always demanding at first. Do not get discouraged and stay focused on your goals! Hundreds of resources are available online and our technical support is always available to help you! Do not hesitate to contact us if necessary!