5 Tips for Building Successful Websites

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

If you’re a business owner looking to hire  a web developer to build a website for you the most important thing on your mind is probably making sure that the site is a big success.  But how do you build a successful website?  What goes into designing a website that is structured and built for success?  Here’s a look at what it’s going to take to assure that your website is successful and what you need to do to assure this success.

Start with a Plan

You wouldn’t take on a big project without proper planning and the same goes for a website.  Successful websites are the outcome of proper planning and preparation.  Make a list of your ideas and plans for the website prior to meeting with a web developer or designer.  Think about the categories that you will need for products or services, think about the content strategy you will use and consider even making a preliminary sketch of the layout or structure of the website.  All of this can be changed but it’s a preliminary plan—you’re brainstorming.

Do Some Keyword Research

What’s the point in a website if nobody ever sees it?  If you don’t take some time to consider the keyword strategy of your website then there’s a chance your site will never rank in the search engines and nobody will see it unless you specifically send them there.  Consider choosing 5-10 keywords or keyword phrases that appeal to your business and research the amount of traffic you can expect from those keywords.  If you aren’t familiar with keyword research, consider hiring an SEO or choosing a web development company that has SEO knowledge to help you with this task prior to the actual site development.

Consider Domains with Your Keyword in the URL

Some of the best and most successful websites are targeted around a single keyword that is the domain name.  If your business is already a well known brand, then the URL may be your business name.  For those who do not have a solid brand reputation already built, consider a URL that includes the primary keyword in the title.  This can be a significant help with SEO and increasing traffic along the way.  Although websites can still be successful regardless of the domain name, it will take a longer time to brand a site who’s URL is non-related, not specific or difficult to remember so consider all these factors when purchasing a domain.

Consider How Much Content Your Website will Have

If you don’t plan on making regular updates to your website or you only plan on updating certain features regularly then you have a few options.  A Content Management System can help you make changes on the fly, add content regularly and keep things simple when it comes to updating certain aspects of your website content.  However, if you don’t plan on making regular or fairly regular changes or updates to content then a CMS may not be necessary and not having one could save on overall development costs.  Consider how much content you will be adding and how regularly you will do so prior to meeting with a web developer.  If you only plan on making regular updates to a blog section of your site, consider using a CMS such as Wordpress only for this area of the site.

Keeping it Fresh

Finally, once you have designed the site and worked with the developer to build the website you’ll have to have a way to keep it fresh and new with the search engines.  Search engines like to see changes, updates and fresh new content being added regularly.  Considering the keywords that you already researched early on in the website building process and also considering the content strategy that you designed the site for, it’s time to begin writing unique content for the site on a regular basis.   Use keywords in headings, titles and meta descriptions to help boost search engine optimization efforts.  If you are unclear about how keyword usage works, consider hiring an SEO company to do some content creation for you.

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