Whether you’re just starting out or have been around for a while, running and growing your website can be challenging. Between rising competition, technology that changes faster than a toddler’s moods, and the myriad of other demands on your time (and money) as a business owner—it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to make it all happen. But here’s something that’ll put your mind at ease: if you’re willing to put in the work up front, then everything else will fall into place once your site is live! In this post, I’ll walk you through what you need to know to grow your website from an idea into something that will generate revenue (and hopefully some profits).
Keep your website up to date.
It’s important to keep your website up to date, especially if you’re running an e-commerce site. Regularly updating your content tells your visitors that there is always something new and interesting on your website.
How about your web design? Have you upgraded your website to a mobile-friendly design? As most people by now have used a mobile device to access the Internet, making sure a site is mobile friendly is not optional anymore; it’s a requirement! This can sometimes mean making simple changes to your text or photos so that they don’t appear too small on screen. Sometimes, depending on the scope of issues that keep your website from being mobile-friendly, a whole re-design may be in order! However, staying on top of smaller changes here and there may prevent you from having to make one major change at one time. Make sure you look at your website often to identify exactly what it needs.
Be sure to regularly test the speed of every page on your website to make sure it doesn’t take too long for them to load. It is important to note that the average person will wait about 5 seconds before moving on from a slow website! If visitors have trouble accessing parts of the site because it takes too long for them to load, this could be bad news for your business since those visitors might never come back again!
Check all your links as often as you can to make sure that they still work properly so people can find what they’re looking for easily when visiting any page on your site. You don’t want them clicking around different sections and finding broken links everywhere, which is unfortunately a common problem. Don’t be part of that number; make sure everything looks and works the way it should!
Make sure your site is mobile friendly.
In the previous section, the importance of having a mobile friendly website was discussed. It bears repeating because having a mobile friendly website is critical to overall user experience. Again, most people have used some kind of mobile device to browse the Internet, be it a smartphone or tablet. Mobile optimization should be part of the plan whenever you are planning a web design project. The need for it is something you can’t afford to ignore if you want your website to be successful. There is only so much pinching and scrolling users are going to tolerate before they decide that remaining on your website simply isn’t worth the time. Not surprisingly, studies also show that mobile-friendly websites are more profitable than non-mobile friendly ones! It’s not simply a matter of them getting more traffic, but it is the ease of use, navigation and engagement that encourages this traffic. The bottom line: make sure your site is mobile friendly!
Test your website’s speed.
Website speed is a ranking factor. It matters to Google and other search engines and it also matters to your users. There are free tools available like GTMetrix and Pingdom that you can use to test your website’s speed. Rule of thumb: a fast-loading website will load in under 1 second, which provides a much better user experience than one that takes longer to load. If they have to wait longer than 5 seconds, now you’re at risk of losing a visitor. You can also use the above mentioned tools to diagnose any problems you might have with slowing down your site.
Make it easy for visitors to take action on your site.
Your website needs to be easy for visitors to use. If people can’t find what they’re looking for, or if they get confused by a poorly designed layout, they’ll leave your site and never come back.
To make sure your site is easy to navigate:
- Create an effective and clear navigation scheme that helps users find their way around the site.
- Use consistent terms throughout all pages of your website so that users can easily recognize them wherever they appear (e.g., “Contact Us” instead of “Get in Touch”)
Ensure you have a clear call to action on every page.
On every page of your website, there should be a clear call to action that is visible, easy to understand and not hidden by other content. If you have more than one call to action on the page, make sure they are arranged in such a way that they are easily found.
For example: if you have an “About Us” page, it might include several different calls to action such as “Contact Us” or “Subscribe to our Newsletter”. However if these options are scattered around the page in various places with no clear order then visitors will be confused and won’t know what they need to do next. Instead ensure that each option has its own section on the page (.ie Contact us) – this makes it easier for users who know exactly what they want from you (they just want your contact details) without having too many distractions from those who aren’t sure yet what exactly they should do after reading about your company history or mission statement etc…
ALL Websites Should be Profitable!
It should be the goal of all websites to be profitable in some way, even if being profitability means a visitor is well-educated about your brand or product. Even if you’re not actually selling anything directly on your website, your website can have enough information on it to where a visitor can and will decide to do business with you. You can make money by sending traffic and leads back to your business’ main website, or even to other businesses and websites. Whatever it takes to get people interested in what you have to offer is worth doing.
Here are some ideas for making money off of a website:
- Create an opt-in email list for people who want updates about the topic that is discussed on your site (example: “Sign up for my newsletter!”)
- Sell advertising space where appropriate – create banner ads or sponsored posts that link back to other sites (example: “I recommend this book I read recently.”)
Now that you know the most important aspects of making your website profitable, it’s time to start building your own! You just need to decide what kind of site you want, then find someone who can build it for you or teach yourself how to do it yourself. Once your site is created, it should be easy for anyone on the Internet to access and impressive enough for your brand to be remembered!
First Creation Media is interested in the best option for each client’s web design project. We specialize in custom web design and for clients who are just starting out and custom work is cost-prohibitive, we also have a list of fully customizable website templates. If you’re thinking about getting started and need advice on the best route to go, contact us at (312) 650-9004 or email email@example.com.