The Makings of a Great Website: 7 Things You Need to Know
If you are around my age--definitely older than 29 but still feeling 29--you've had to make friends with websites, social media platforms, emails, webinars with little or no training. Those younger than our "seems-like-only 29 years" have grown up comfortable with a sea of terms like....browser, upload, download, mobile, link, stream, text, PDF...and more. But some--you know who you are--may feel like you are sinking in the sea of trending terms and savviness and are struggling to stay afloat. I admit, it's not easy!
That's why I've invited Nick Colakovic to write a post about setting up a website. If you want to teach piano in the 21st century and get the word out, a website is mandatory. Nick provides seven things that you'll want to include when building your website. I know I need to update my own after reading his tips!
Take it away, Nick.
Are you currently in the process of making your website? If you are, then it's good to know what things you need to be aware of before you begin.
Creating a website can be a challenging task, and since there are so many different things that need to be included, it’s no wonder that many people struggle when trying to put them all together.
This is why I've prepared this guide, to inform you about the seven things you need to know when you are designing your website.
Design and Feel
The way your website looks is very important when determining how successful it is going to be. If you take a look at some of the top ranking websites, you will notice a nice website structure and a graphic layout that is pleasing to the eye.
Have in mind that your graphic should not overwhelm your visitors when they come to your website, so try to use simple and beautiful graphic elements and fonts. Also, make the most of the white space so that you can help your visitors concentrate on the most important parts of your page and feel good about your website.
I advise you to use quality and unique images with colors that will match your website’s theme and brand colors. If you want to use moving graphics, make sure that your website can handle the loading speed, because sometimes, these moving graphics can make the pages freeze or take too long to load. If your pages are too slow, this will cause visitors to go to another website that will load much faster.
Navigation and Structure
One thing you also need to take into consideration is the structure of your website. Imagine navigation like a tree with branches and, when you click on a certain area, it needs to redirect you to the pages that are relevant to your search. Having poor navigation will make your visitors frustrated and they will leave, so try to make the structure of your website as simple as you can.
You need to have in mind that you only have a short period of time to impress your visitors. Giving off the wrong first impression can impact the reputation of your website in a negative way.
Security is an important area that needs to be a part of your website so that it can be secure for your visitors. Customers want to know that the private information they give to you will not be used for anything else. Nowadays, there are many viruses, Trojans and hackers who can really mess with your computer and your website if there are no security procedures put in place.
They can give your website a negative reputation and that can damage your search engine rankings and your popularity. Since you will be running your small music teaching business you have to think about cybersecurity solutions like Comodo, ESET or others that will help you protect both your website and your visitors. Make sure to always use trusted security programs when you are making your website.
The content you are going to post on your website needs to be of good quality and written using good language. Messy content that has poor spelling and grammar will give your visitors the impression of an unprofessional website.
This can also lead to people leaving your website, so make sure that, when you are creating your music teaching website, to write useful and quality content that will be helpful for your visitors. You also need to optimize it for search engines, so that your website can be ranked higher on search results pages.
SEO or search engine optimization is an area of website development that has a goal of improving the way content is ranked in organic search results in search engines. The best way to optimize your website and rank it higher is to focus on providing your visitors useful content and a good user experience.
Since more and more people are accessing the web with their mobile phones, it is important that your website is mobile-friendly for your visitors who are using their mobile devices. Mobile-friendly websites will adjust the image of the website to match the screen size of the device it is viewed on, while websites that are not optimized for mobile devices will stay the same as they would be seen on a computer screen. Lack of a mobile-friendly website may turn your visitors away.
This may seem like an obvious thing to add to the design of your website, but you wouldn’t believe how many people do not add their contact details on their websites. Websites that do not have contact details make it harder for potential customers or clients to get in touch with you. You need to make sure that you have a clearly visible place for your contact details, and it is usually done somewhere at the bottom of your contact page or your homepage.
Call to actions are designed in a way to make people take action in proceeding with a download or a purchase. Some general call to actions include “sign up now”, “click here” and “call us today”, but if you can come up with a unique call to action, you will increase the response you get from your visitors.
When it comes to making a great website, there are many different things you need to think about, so if you are new to the web or you’re having some doubts, do your research well before you start anything. The things I've listed above are the ones that will make your website user-friendly and successful, so pay attention to them when you are making your website.
Nick Colakovic works for firstsiteguide.com. He’s passionate about helping other bloggers take their craft to the next level and likes to help newbies understand the joy of being online.
Following Nick's advice, I'm placing a CALL to ACTION button at the end of his article. Make sure to click on it if you need help with your website and want to check out firstsiteguide.com!