Part 1 was about planning. Once you've got your basics noted and sitemap developed, you are ready to jump into development and implementation.
Dabbling in Design: Thinking about a website layout when you aren't a web-designer can seem daunting, and it's true that some coding experience may lead to your greater success. These few tips can help with the most important points.
- Remember that functionality comes before beauty. Remove all clutter from your page.
- Coordinate the look and feel of your website with other materials you have such as brochures, business cards, social network platform designs, etc.
- Use HTML text.
- Be sure that your page names, file names, picture names, and anchor text include keywords that people will search for.
- Leave room for ads in the sidebar if you're going to have them.
- Eliminate unnecessary code and avoid an excessive code-to-content ratio.
- Use <strong> HTML tags instead of <bold> and <em> instead of <i> for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes.
- Tell Google what your abbreviations mean.
- Validate your code to avoid mistakes.
- CSS (cascading style sheets) allow absolute placement and reduces the code-to-content ratio.
Creating Content: Unique content updated at least once a week that uses strategic keywords is important for the SEO (search engine optimization) and CMO (content marketing optimization) results you need to increase your Quality Score and ranking.
- You need at least 500 words of keyword-rich text on each site page.
- Most people don't read, they skim. Use bulleted lists and headers to break up text for visitors.
- Use in-links to other pages within your site, deep links and a few outgoing links to relevant sites. Give crawlers the path to your most important content.
- Use unique keywords in your Meta Tags (Title, Keywords, and Description) on every page.
Finding a Host: Choosing the right web hosting company initially will save you future frustration. Be sure to do your research before deciding on a home for your site. Ask these questions:
- What is their up time? Do they have backup servers?
- Do they offer domain forwarding in case you have multiple URLs?
- Do they have phone, live chat, and email customer support?
- Do they offer ancillary services? (website builders, built in PPC (pay-per-click), email accounts, etc.)
Goods for Sale?: Make sure your shopping cart software has the same criteria as your hosting company. Think first if you will have anything to sell. Explore different options as everyone should have something they can sell. Most importantly: Can your software calculate shipping, taxes, and automate invoices?
Email: You should have an email account: email@example.com and have multiple accounts such as: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc. to project a professional image.
Set up auto-responders to contact, checkout, etc. letting visitors and customers know exactly when and how you will be getting in touch with them or thanking them for a purchase.
Automated follow up information on anything is possible. As long as it doesn't negatively affect the user experience. (For example: a visitor inputs their email address and receives a confirmation that they have been added to the newsletter mailing list. They then automatically receive the newsletter and other marketing emails.)
Next steps will be discussing traffic driving. I used to be scared of numbers and am typically horrible at math, but simple equations changed all that. Find out more next week.