It's no secret that any business is doomed without a great website. There are many factors that go into creating a great website, but what helps one transition from a great website to a Killer Website? In the following sections, we'll discuss the things that every great website should have. Then, we will take it one step further and outline the defining features that will boost your site exponentially. Finally, we'll look at how to attract your audience and leverage this newfound audience to boost your sales. Hang on, it's going to be a long ride!
Plan Properly Today, Celebrate Later.
Building a killer website starts just like any other successful venture, with proper planning. The first thing that you should do is get all of your ducks in a row and decide exactly what your goals for the site are. Ask yourself the following questions to start:
- What is it that you are trying to accomplish?
- Do you have your logo and branding already or do you need a graphic designer?
- Who is your Target Audience?
- Are you selling a product or service?
- How much do you plan on setting aside monthly for advertising?
What's the point of all these questions?
These questions will serve multiple purposes. For one, they will get your creative juices rolling on your business and it's ultimate strategy. Secondly, they will give you an idea as to how the site should be laid out and where your focal points should be. It's always a great idea to keep your eyes towards your focus. This is best observed with E-Commerce sites in the form of Daily Deals or Featured Items. An E-Commerce website might have hundreds of products, however, they will showcase a select few at a time which will help drive revenue more intensely. Finally, they will start to pave the way for your marketing plan.
Layout the details
Killer websites don't become killer on their own, it's about the planning, execution, and follow-up. Now that you have all of your preliminary answers, you're ready to really plan the site. At this point you should decide a few things like:
- What sections/pages you will need.
- Figure out what your company stands for, and what your history is (This will come into play later on when you build your About Us page.)
- What type of website you will need to achieve your goal (corporate presence, e-commerce, single page site, etc.)
- And last but not least, which social media platforms will lend themselves best to your company's unique industry and role.
Killer Website Plan, Killer Execution.
Now that your planning is done, it's time to go through the execution phase for your killer website. If you already know how to design, code, and market your site, it should be easy sailing for you from here. However, if you are reading this blog post, chances are that you don't. Your next step is to find a web development company that understands the way to follow through with your plan and to turn it into something that will work on the Internet.
Get a clue, man!
For example, at Alkemy we start all of our projects by discussing your vision first in a preliminary meeting. The target here is to get a firm grasp on all of the details for your website. Then, when we are sure we understand your goals, we undergo an internal planning phase to determine the best way to accomplish what you are looking for. This is just as important as the planning phase you went through before because it allows us to understand the flow of the site.
Let's get real
Next, we'll begin preliminary design of the site so that we get a visual idea of the elements and how they'll play out. After we have a rough sketch, we get feedback from you so that we know what you like and what will need adjustment. This is essential, so that before we get down to business we have all of the kinks ironed out. Now it's time for the magic, once we have the site details down, we begin coding and graphic design for all elements of the site. We work together as team to get the site to a finished level and then run through our Quality Assurance Testing.
Killer Websites come from a detailed Testing Phase
This testing phase is our internal way of making sure that the site responds well across all platforms. Finally, after rigorous internal testing (and copious sums of coffee), we are ready to pass the site back to you and your team so that you can perform your own review of the final product. This is all part of our plan to ensure that your site gets testing from many different angles, both internal and external.
In this last phase of development, you will need to look over the product with a fine toothed comb and make sure that everything you want was included. If anything was missed or needs adjustment, the project will go through a round of revision so that we can make the necessary changes. This cycle of revision, quality testing, and review will continue until the project is completed. These rounds also tend to be limited by most development firms to avoid major delays that can obstruct releasing the site.
That's why it's important to understand that revision rounds are a web development company's way of correcting minor elements that need fixing, they are not a complete overhaul of the project. At this point and if all goes well, your killer website has been designed, coded, and agreed upon. The site will now be launched and set live, but... What else is left?
Here comes the most important stuff!
We've had the meat and potatoes, but what about dessert? No website can be celebrated until you have an effective marketing strategy in place. Earlier, you took notes about your target audience, products and services, and your marketing budget. All of these things were building towards an understanding of what needed to be done to market your site. Now that you have the preliminary questions answered, you can move on to planning the most effective strategy. At Alkemy, the beginning phases of marketing strategy are covered during our initial site planning phases. This technique saves time in the long run and preps us for post launch.
Plan your avenues of attack
The first secret to marketing a killer website is that the correct on-page meta should be integrated. This includes any descriptions, page titles, article authors, etc. These tags are important to websites that crawl your site (like Google and Bing) so they can understand and properly index it.
It's important to point out that Social Media plays a HUGE part in online marketing. Statista.com published the following statistics:
The power of social networking is such that the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 3.02 billion monthly active social media users by 2021, around a third of Earth’s entire population... The region with the highest penetration rate of social networks is North America, where around 70 percent of the population has at least one social account. As of 2017, 81 percent of the United States population had a social networking profile.
Building on this, you should have already gathered what Social Platforms you were going to use. An effective part of which platform to choose has to do with the type of business you have. For example, a cafe or bakery would be best served by using visual sources like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Next, you have to create these presences as they will be the sounding board for your business.
Consider a Blog and Youtube channel
If you are an authority in your field, content creation can help you build a huge following. This is vastly important to how your business is perceived and, in turn, how much business you will get. In modern internet marketing, everyone knows Content is King. As a matter of fact, even Meta Keywords have been depreciated since crawlers can now discern value from content clues.
Building a great blog can also help you to generate links into and out of your site. This task of getting people to link to your website is called back-linking. Link building strategy is an essential consideration when planning your marketing. It makes you more authoritative in the eyes of search engines, which increases ranking.
Youtube is another way of building authority and also getting social media shares. Today, people are learning all kinds of things online. Sites like Youtube have opened the flood gates for experienced and knowledgeable individuals to share with the masses. Borrowing our previous analogy of a bakery or cafe, you could teach people how to effectively bake a cake or prepare a good latte. If your video is good, it will get noticed. Of course, you will be sharing it across your social media channels and on your blog. This will then cascade outwards through the internet. Who knows, if you are lucky, the video may go viral!
Plan for targeted Advertising
Google and Facebook ads are some of the strongest tools at your disposal today. Every marketing plan should consider utilizing them in the creation of a killer website. Monitoring these ads is hard work and requires a good deal of knowledge and skill. You have to test the effectiveness of the ads constantly and adjust campaigns accordingly. To avoid any issues, we recommend having a company on retainer that will monitor your campaign. You should also make sure that any company managing your campaign is providing you with insight into your campaign and it's effectiveness.
Analytics, Insight, and Adjustments
No marketing plan should ever stay stagnant. It takes constant review of analytics data to understand what direction your marketing should take next. Effective marketing makes a killer website. To convert effectively, your website marketing needs to scale over time. This means that there should be a tiered approach with milestones. Consider planning what these milestones are with your marketing firm and what increases you will have to your budget when they are met.
Cost Per Acquisition
In addition to tracking conversions, a good marketing firm will discuss your Cost Per Acquisition. Cost Per Acquisition is a marketing metric that is used to measure the total cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level. This is valuable to you in that it helps you understand how much you should be spending on your campaign. Whereas conversions and number of sessions are success indicators, CPA provides the direct impact that your marketing has on your business in monetary terms.
We hope this article has brought you one step closer to understanding how to create a killer website. There are tons of factors that go into the planning, execution and follow up to achieve success. However, all of this is possible and relatively painless when you partner with the right company. Here at Alkemy, we are dedicated to your success. No matter how small or complex your project is, we are ready to help you achieve greatness.
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