Most customers existing or new will search for your business at some time. What will they find!? Will they find informative and compelling representation of your business and the benefits it can bring to that individual wrapped up in a professional looking website or will first page results of the search engines have a host of listings in business indexes with your company name and phone number providing no further information about your business.

These days, you’d have to think long and hard for a reason not to have your own business website. Most of your competition will have one but that on its own is not a good enough reason to go out and create a website. What should be is the fact that most of your customers will search for you online at some point and professional looking sites are possible to build and maintain on a budget.

Top Tips on how to Create a Website that Sells

Make your own website

There are many user friendly platforms; WordPress, Google Website Builder, Amazon Webstore, that allow you to create your own satisfactory web presence online. Using tools such as this you can put together some very sophisticated and well designed sites however this will still require an investment of your time and can involve a steep learning curve if you are not tech savvy.

On the flip side a website that is created that does not follow any standard rules of web design practice can actually damage your online reputation as they look unprofessional, have poor navigation meaning the users cannot find what they need in order to do business with you.

Always think from the user’s point of view and make it as simple as possible for that ideal user to become a new client; either by making a transaction, calling you, subscribing to your email list, or finding directions to your store.

Pay someone else to do it

Budget is always paramount for any business but there are times when you have to way up the opportunity cost of doing something as opposed to paying a professional to create a website for you. There are thousands of web design and development companies out there that will be able to provide you with a well structured website. Costs can vary, dependent on your specific needs but costs can range from five hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds.

The chances are that the website you design now will be with your business for the next few years and although it is hard to predict the future think about the message that you would like convey to existing and new clients now and a few years down the line. No marketing material says more about your business than your website.

Take some time to browse across the internet and find websites that you like; from a functionality point of view, navigation and or design and let your web developer know so they have an idea of where you would like to position your website.

Think about your content

One of the key areas that people overlook when researching how to create a website is the content. The content are the videos, images, articles, blog posts and everything in between that delivers the message of that business and more important keeps those visitors and readers coming back for more.

A lot of websites will come as templates, as a shell where you as the business owner have to write all the copy; all the text, for the website and this can take just as long and be just as daunting as actually setting up the website in the first place.

The content that you write has to be rich in value, be structured so it can be found by the search engines and compelling enough to incite a call to action; a phone call, a subscription or a social media share. That is not easy and is a whole different skill in itself. Work out whether the web designer will provide the content if not are you in a position to invest the time producing content or should you outsource the content to a professional copywriter that could do it for you.

Write copy for the internet

People on the internet are in a hurry, they tend to skim read rather than absorbing the whole page. Everything is right now. If your content can not get your message across crisply and succinctly then the reader is likely to find someone else who can deliver the message they are looking for.

To make your content stand out and more importantly get read use plain, simple language that gets to the point quickly and use headers and bullets that will allow the user to skim read and pick out the bits that are important to them without having to plough through the entire article.

Good web copy will be all of the above but also reflect the personality of the business owner, humanising your business and brand. So don’t be afraid to write as you speak.

Include the pages people expect to see

The majority of websites on the internet follow a similar structure and by that I mean they have several pages that people expect to see.

  • Product or service page – A page that outlines the products or services that you sell.
  • About us Page – A background about the company and a brief insight into who you are.
  • Contact Page – Details on how the user can get in touch with you. Phone numbers, social media contacts, address and details of how to find you.
  • Testimonials – people trust reviews left by others online so don’t be shy about displaying yours, highlighting the great work you have done for other businesses.

Think about getting found

The most aesthetically pleasing website with the greatest content in the world is only as good as the people that find it. If no one knows that your site exists then all of the time and investment will come to waste.

SEO – search engine optimisation – is the art of getting your website listed at the top, or near the top, of a search engine results pages for targeted keyword terms relating to your business. So, when someone types in a phrase related to your business, they see you first and not your competition.

There are many ways to improve SEO, there is a whole industry around dong just that, however the core principles are based around the fact that you need to create fresh, relevant, keyword targeted content that warrants being linked to and shared.

The more reputable and relevant sites that link back to your website informs the search engines that your website can deliver good value to their users; people using the search engines, and they will increase your website position in the rankings and as a result you will receive more targeted traffic.

There is creating a website and then there is knowing how to create a website that grabs targeted users, wins them over with great content that inspires a reaction and adds revenue to your business. Be clear about which one you want for your business as they are two completely different things!

What advise would you give people on how to create a website that sells? Leave your comments below!