How-to build a successful website!

If you’re a webmaster or a website owner, this article is for you: These 10 tips can help you to build better and more successful websites. We suggest to hire a web developer if you can’t write the HTML source code. Even if you’re able to create a website on your own, it’s often to separate the technical stuff from the marketing part.

Each website project starts with a plan

Write down your ideas to have a plan and think about which sections in your website project are required. Think about which categories you need for your products or services, you need those very soon for the keyword analysis. If possible sketch a simple diagram, this will help you later to remember how your first website’s structure was planned.

Keyword analysis, do some research which keywords need to be used to find your website

Traffic from Google or other search engines is great for conversions on your website. To get your site in Google’s search results you need to know which keywords are used by your customers. By using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool it’s possible to find the most popular keywords. Access the tool and enter 3-5 important keywords which are related to your product or service. From the generated list of keywords it’s not smart to select those with the highest search volume because it’s very hard to compete with existing and more established websites. Go for the keywords with a “higher” volume and check for each of them the competition in Google Search.

Search for available domain names and select a reliable web hosting provider

A keyword sensitive domain name is a good choice for Google SEO. But first you have to decide if you need a domain for branding or a domain name which is better to find in Google. If you choose a keyword domain, you should choose one where the most relevant keyword is included (select a keyword from the keyword analysis). Choose a .com domain name because they gaining more trust than others. If you create a website for a local audience it might be useful to have a domain name with the country TLD.

If your new website need to grow in traffic over the next few month, your hosting account should be able to grow as well. Check the plan you’ve created, if your website success is based on huge traffic you should look for VPS hosting. Other smaller websites running fine on a professional shared hosting account. Don’t go for the cheapest hosting offer, a cheap solution is might become expensive if the hosting account is getting offline at the moment that website has got the some traffic.

Build a website from the scratch or using a Content Management System?

Sometimes it’s better to build a website using a Content Management System (CMS) and sometimes not. The right choice depends on many influences. If you update or expand the websites content frequently, you should go for a CMS. If you have the skills to build a simple HTML page and is your website more static, a basic website without a back-end is often cheaper, built faster and more flexible. If your website has mostly news to publish, you should go for a WordPress blog. There are thousands of premium WordPress themes and WordPress plugins available which you can use to build your website very fast for a smaller budget.

Website templates, choose a stylish layout

A ready to use website template is a good choice for your CMS based or regular website if your design-budget is limited. Remember the plan you made before while selecting a web template for your site. It’s quite common that people choose a design because it looks so good and later they have problems to use a template for the website. If you like great animations and/or sound a Flash template is something for you, but don’t forget that you need special software and knowledge to edit Adobe Flash files.

Writing unique content for your new website

Perhaps you want to juice up the content on your site, or you’re looking to buy a website and improve it editorially. Use the results from your keyword analysis for the text you need to write for your website. Use a set of 3-5 keywords for each section or page, your need more if your text is longer and use less if your copy is short. It’s important that the most important keyword is used inside the headings and the page title (title element) and don’t forget to use this keyword in the text as well. Sometimes it helps to write down the information first and think afterwards about where to use the keywords. Spend some extra time to create great headers.

Building the Website

If you use a Content Management System the building process is very limited. It depends on the CMS, if you need to install some required extensions like a SEO plugin or module (to optimize your website for search engines). If you build your site from the scratch you need to convert your website template into a website. It’s important to use the different header tags (h1, h2 and h3). Use a great page title and use the “alt” attribute inside your image tags. Skip the Meta keywords because they are ignored by most search engines. A Meta description is important because this description is often used as the “snippet” inside search engines:

Test your site and remove all problems

Your website is built and it’s time to do some tests. Test all functions and check your website in different web browsers. Ask more people, which are not involved in your project, to test the website. Resolve all problems before you publish the website.

Web statistics, yes of course!

Your website is live and you get the first visitors, now it’s important to learn how your visitors behave on your site. With web statistic software like Google Analytics it’s possible to learn: What is the bounce rate, how many pages has been viewed by each visitor, how does a visitor has reached your website and much more. Use Google Analytics from the beginning to learn from your visitors and use this information to optimize your site from time to time. The installation of Google Analytics (GA) is very easy; create a profile in GA just and add the tracking code on each page from your website. Google Analytics is 100% free and easy to use.

Promote your website

There are different ways to get visitors to your (new) website. You can do some paid advertising or maybe you like to promote your website for free. Tell your customers and partners about your new website and write also a press release. There are paid and free “press release submission service” sites available, submit your press release there and maybe some journalist or blogger will mention your website in an article. If you’re a member of a group or community? Send your press release to as many organizations as possible, there is always a chance that your website get mentioned in a newsletter. If you’re a member of a social network like Twitter or Facebook, you can mention your site on your profile page as well. But be careful, it’s possible that your friends or followers doesn’t like this kind of self-promotion.

If you like to share your own tips on how-to start a new website, please post a comment below.

Comments

  1. It is always difficult to build a website especially when you’re not into it. But it’s more difficult to promote a website. Good thing there are softwares today that do the job.

  2. Hi Oliver,
    it’s funny, for marketing people is technical part of a website some unknown/big process and some developer doesn’t imagine how much marketing work is need to build a professional website :)

    Be careful with website promotion software, you need to be relevant with all information you like to send your target group.

  3. Thanks for these tips! I think more than building just any website, aside from putting all the important information of your business/brand, it’s necessary to make sure that it looks aesthetically nice. It doesn’t hurt to have a great layout and easy to access features, especially now that Google provides a preview option.

  4. Yes a unique design is very important now. If you you use some free template which is used by similar websites as well it’s possible that the visitor doesn’t click your result (because he think that he knows the page already). The same for this blog, I will update the theme within the next weeks!

  5. All steps described in the article are great but only on paper. Without strong knowledge of seo techniques and other optimization tips you will be seating with best designed and developed website without getting even a single visitor.

    I have extensive experience with developing websites and know how hard is next step – promoting them.

    Right SEO approach and patience are the keys to website success.

  6. Hello Gregory,

    You’re right without any traffic a website makes no sense.
    Search engine optmization and other promotion methods are good for another articles.

    I got the idea for this article because many people doesn’t realize how much work a website is. Even if they don’t build a website by themself ;)

  7. Hey Olaf, I was always with the understanding that Google prefers HTML over Content Management System. Is that idea an “urban legend”? Thanks, Trish

  8. I don’t think that Google will prefer static HTML sites if the content management system generates clean code, too :)

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