If you are running a small business and you have not realized how essential website design is for your business, it was high time you start taking advantage of the power of the internet. Investing in a quality website design can be one of the brightest decisions you have ever made to power your business.
The improvement of web development technology in today’s era has progressed business where a company represents itself in the online world and become the essential part of a day to day life. And, there is no crime in stating that professional website consists of the important role to attract new users.
Below are 5 essential stages of the design process that will assist you understand how a website is designed and developed on a professional scale.
1. Project Planning
Project planning refers to determining the overall goals and objectives of the web development project. This is questionably the most important stage in the entire project. It is further divided into the following five parts - Requirement Assessment, Project Summary, Determining Required Resources, Key performance goals, Competitor Analysis.
2. Determining Project Scope
The next stage of the design process includes determining project scope. Creating a well define scope of the project will help in ensuring that the website project ends on time and within the specified budget. One of the best ways to mark out scope of the project is through a Gantt chart.
A Gantt chart offers a visual reference of the project. The chart shows activities involved in the project. It also shows the timeframe for the completion of each stage. It helps in specifying scope of the project. Moreover, it also creates accountability between the website design team.
3. Website Design:
The next significant stage of the website design process is designing the website itself. In this stage, the website development team focuses on selecting the theme, color, layout, features, and other aspects of the website.
During this step the website designers incorporates different elements such as company logo, color that strengthens brand identity, theme that reflects the company’s product portfolio, and layout that is elegant and looks appealing.
The website designer will craft one or more prototype designs for the website. This is then sent to the website owners through email with the mock-ups of the website.
4. Website Development:
In this web development phase, the website development team takes individual elements of the website and uses them to create a functional website. The stage involves developing a home page after which a “shell” is created for the interior pages. The shell contains navigational structure and site layout without the web content. Once the website owner provides the content, it is spread throughout the site in the specified areas.
On the technical side, the website development process includes elements such as designing interactive contact forms, implementing payment gateways, and choosing a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, and Magento.
5. Website Testing and Deployment:
The fifth and final stage of the website is testing and deployment process. In this stage, the website designer adds final touches to the site and tests the website before deployment. The designer will test entire functionality of the site to ensure that it runs smoothly without any fault. The website designer will test the scripts and forums, ensure that the site displays well on different devices and platforms, bear out internal links, and other similar tasks.
The website designer will also validate the website codes to ensure that it meets latest website standards. This ensures that the website performs smoothly exclusive of any issues and problems.
The website is then shown to its owners to acquire final approval of the site. After the final approval, it’s time to deliver the site. The web design team will upload the site on a hosting server specified and selected by the website owner using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program.
After the website has been uploaded to the hosting server, a last run through is conducted to ensure that the site performs without any problem. This step is performed just to authorize that all the files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site is fully functional.
At last, the website design team adds finer details to the website to optimize its functionality and performance like plug in installation, on page SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and page speed optimization.
Your web designer should work closely with you on a much related process to this one. A good working relationship with your designer, counting an open line of communication, is vital to ensure they are creating a successful web site that will help your business grow.
Consumers rely on the Internet for just about everything. And that’s why increasing website traffic is vital to your small business. Gone are the days when potential customers would flip through the Yellow Pages or ask a friend for a personal referral.
Today, your next customer uses their phone, tablet, or laptop to do a quick internet search to find where they'll spend their money.
The single aim of all marketing efforts is to increase sales and in order to achieve this online; your website needs to have traffic to convert into a sale or a lead. Therefore it could be said that the initial focus of your online marketing efforts should be to acquire qualified traffic and lots of it.
When starting out on the web along with online business, the importance of website traffic can be vague. However, many people begin to realise that the success of their business depends on it.
Here is some ways to boost your website traffic for free-
1. Facebook Retargeting:
Facebook is a grand promotion tool whether you’re in the B2B or B2C industry. But did you know you can group retargeting audiences in Facebook? By installing a Facebook tracking pixel on your site you can continue to market to customers who have visited your site. This is a great way to generate return traffic to your business blog or website. And you can start retargeting to audiences as small as 100 visitors.
2. Twitter remarketing:
Twitter retargeting works in nearly the exact same way as Facebook retargeting. Simply install the pixel and you can now target your sites visitors on Twitter. The main difference is that Twitter will require an advanced minimum audience calculation before you can start advertising towards them, 500 people to be exact.
3. Twitter Cards:
Twitter Cards is a great tool to drive traffic to your site. They are bigger tweets that incorporate images and permit you to have buttons built into the tweet. They allow you to have engaging calls to action, attractive images right in the stream, and you can even give them special functionality like having downloads attached directly to the tweet. Tweets with images get 18 percent more clicks than its text counterparts, so make sure you’re using Twitter Cards.
4. Build an e-Mail List
This is also an amazing tool for driving traffic through a newsletter. Make sure that you have a newsletter opt-in on your website. It is suggested to use a great tool called Drip. It’s free and very easy to set up.
5. Blog, blog, blog:
Blogging really does drive traffic. From a recent experiment where some people increased their blogging from twice per week to over 10 posts per week. The result was definite increase in traffic in just two months. And this isn’t an unusual occurrence.
6. Promote your blogs on Facebook:
You may have heard that Facebook has cut back on their organic reach. This means that almost nobody will see your social media posts on Facebook. Instead, you need to put a little bit of budget behind them. A good strategy is to have a campaign constantly running that is featuring your blog posts and targets that campaign towards your custom audience and retargeting audience as described above.
7. Optimize your site for SEO:
Trying to control the search-engine rankings is a losing proposition at this point. Instead, what you should be concerned with is making your site look as good as possible for the search engine robots that will be crawling your website. Spending time on your site’s SEO optimization is always time well spent.
8. Become a contributor:
Contributing to other websites is a great way to drive traffic to your site. To turn into a contributor you need to start small and work your way up. Also, you need to hone your craft when it comes to writing. To do this you have to be writing every single day. The more you write, the better you’ll be come and the better your chances will be at becoming a contributor.
9. Find partners in your industry:
There are typically dozens of partnership opportunities for any business out there. The trick is to find those partners and establish a working relationship. Take an example; try to sign up as a partner for Unbounce. They’re landing page creation software that helps companies optimise their marketing campaigns. It is free to sign up as a partner and they then featured us in their partner section and allowed us to do a little write up on our firm. Before you knew it we were getting leads from their site and it’s been a great source of traffic for us.
10. Create a podcast:
If you’re worried you can’t present to a live audience or build up the right message, then instead consider a podcast. Podcasts are great ways of distributing your expertise and are a surefire way of driving traffic to your site -- but you need to be consistent and promote it.
When you first start off, it will seem like you’re talking into a black hole and no one is listening to you. But if you stay persistent and promote your podcast on social media, your audience will grow and your future episodes will gain more and more listeners.
These days, almost any small business should comprise a website. With costs being particularly low at the entry level, it's becoming hard to imagine a reason for any company of any size not to have a website.
Many small businesses mention cost as the main reason for not having a website, but actually when you consider the potential reach to customers that you can achieve with a website when compared to traditional print advertising, it is one of the most cost effective ways to advertise.
After having a stunning website for your business, what to do next? Now you face the challenge of actually bringing in fresh, qualified traffic. After all, that’s how you will make more sales and boost your customer base.
Website promotion can be a demanding process, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can obtain more traffic to your website by applying techniques and strategies that have proven to work for others. Some ways which can help you promote your website on Google-
1. Search Engine Optimization:
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is the process of increasing your website’s visibility in search engine’s natural results through optimizing your pages with the keyword phrases people are expected to search for.
Some popular ways to improve natural search results are through editing existing content, removing barriers to indexing activities of search engines, growing the number of backlinks or inbound links (links your website receives from other web pages, which indicates the popularity or significance of your website).
2. Pay Per Click:
Use Pay Per Click(PPC) Internet advertising to bring in traffic to your website from search engines like Google. You pay a fixed cost for every click your ad gets in the search engine, and your ultimate goal of the click is to convert that user in order to make out a return on investment.
Related article: Top 7 PPC Mistakes That Can Waste Your Money
Presenting free, original content on your site can help out bring new visitors and set you apart from the competition. By giving a link to your website in any blog or your biography at the ending of your post or any guest post, you can depict in new visitors from a source that likely gets much added traffic than your current blog or website.
4. Facebook Ads:
Millions of people use Facebook every day. And it’s not only trendy with teenagers and college students -- all types of demographics are now regular users of the social network.
Facebook ads can not only help to get you targeted people from a targeted geographical location, but also links of your current fans, or even also help you to target demography according to their likes, interest, even their education. Additionally, it’s a cost-effective way to bring in new traffic -- you can put a daily budget, pay for clicks, or pay when people see your ad.
5. List On Google My Business:
Google is making search personal and now displays results that are modified for your location. For example, if you search for a Dominoz, it will show you the one in your city with a map. So, it has almost become compulsory for a business to get listed on Google Local.
Google has made it easy to add and manage your location on map. You can also deal with your Google Plus profile from the same place.
6. Youtube Advertising:
YouTube is one of the best platforms to come your website on Google very easily. Create videos for your business, products etc to upload it on YouTube and share it to all. Videos not only promote your product or service but also engage your customer in an emotional way.
7. Google Groups:
Google has Millions of groups, in this groups where users will talk about and share their own ideas in front of the overall universal Google community. Google groups are one of the best places to speak and talk about your business services as well as share to the point information about your business products.
8. Google Documents:
Google Documents is the great place to creating the advertising documents, products, services, catalog on your business. You can also utilize Google Documents on your website or to upload on to the document sharing sites.
9. Analyze existing traffic and enhance what works best:
Only increasing traffic is not important, but monitor their traffic sources, from where your visitors coming or where they exit from your site, is the most important factor for your business. Always keep an eye on your referring traffic and evaluate what websites are sending you the most visitors. Check Google Analytics referrals and try to find out from what worked best so far.
10. Use internal linking to make readers spend more time on your site:
A strong internal linking has several returns. Keep your visitors extra time on your website and offer them more reasons to stay. Help your articles get indexed in Google and give them a small SEO boost.
Website promotion is trendy popular concept in today’s business environment. Nowadays, most offline businesses are rotating their attention towards the online space. Having a professional website that represents your brand or business is the best way to start with the right foot in today’s marketplace. Don’t forget to make your website mobile-friendly.
I am RG Infotech, passionate for providing web development. Love to write about what web development can change in business strategies for a great betterment.
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