As I’ve just launched this new website, which I built myself, I couldn’t think of a better subject for my first blog post than to share a few useful tips and insights that I gleamed from the first-hand experience in building a website! When I decided to launch Trend Marketing in March 2017, the item on the top of my priority list in setting up the business was the website, an online presence often forms the core of a brands marketing strategy and Trend Marketing is no exception.
Building a website – Proper planning prevents poor performance!
Rather than jumping straight into the website design, the first few hours after kicking off our website project were spent planning the overall website structure and content. If you’re thinking about building a website for your business, or perhaps even refreshing your existing website, then I found that spending these few hours thinking about an overall website map (what pages you need and how they all link together) were absolutely invaluable. For me personally it really made me take a step back from the project and think about not only what I wanted to get out of the website, but also how my customers would want to navigate it and what they would like to find in terms of content.
Website content is king
Once I had defined what pages the website needed (and what our customers were likely to want), I put pen to paper (or pixels to screens) and started to draft the copy for each page. Using my personal experience in copy writing and a bit of search engine optimisation knowhow, I drafted the copy for each page focusing on a few key words and messages in easy to understand language that would really engage our target audience. This is really important for good search engine indexing and will help your website to appear higher up in the likes of Google search results. I also tried to make the content as diverse as possible by including images, videos, headlines, links etc wherever possible, I think this helps to improve the user experience as well as earning a few extra SEO brownie points.
Behind the scenes ‘to-do-list’ for building a website
As well as building the website itself, there are some essential actions that I needed to undertake to ensure the site runs smoothly and gets listed in the right places, I think that these can sometimes be overlooked, especially if you pay someone to build you a website but they aren’t involved in the ongoing management. The more important of these actions were creating an XML sitemap so that search engines can easily navigate the site (plus submitting this to Google’s search console), adding Google analytics tracking code so you can measure website traffic and also working on meta descriptions so that your listings appear correctly on search engines.
Getting social with the online audience
After years of involvement with social media for a wide range of brands during my marketing agency experience, I know how important it is to build a two-way channel between your website and the sometimes daunting social media platforms. Getting this right means that your website visitors can easily share content on their own social media, providing a bit of free advertising for your brand, and your social media channels can drive traffic to your website content, so you can potentially benefit from more sales leads and sales. I decided to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube for Trend Marketing, each have their own merits and it’s totally up to you to decide what fits with your brand. I’ve set the website up to allow for easy sharing and I will also be working on unique content for each channel to help drive more people to the website.
The shiny new website big launch event
So, the shiny new website is built and populated to a level I’m happy with and I’m ready to start sharing it with the world, the next step is the area I found the most challenging and that’s how to start driving some traffic to a brand new website. In short there is no easy solution to this challenge, there are a range of options for ‘buying’ an audience through pay-per-click advertising such as google adwords, but if you’re looking to grow traffic on a tight or non-existent budget then you need to be prepared to break a sweat! I started out by adding my website to directories, posting in relevant forums, blogs and social media pages to start getting word of mouth going, it also really helps to have some good connections in the right places, or more precisely a big audience to share your new website with. I won’t lie to you, this does consume a lot of time, but all of this activity in conjunction with a natural flow of traffic once the site is indexed by search engines, will see your website traffic start to grow!
And finally, the sales pitch!
I genuinely hope you found this bit of insight into how I approached the new Trend Marketing website interesting and useful, I know how daunting this subject can be, particularly to small businesses or new start-ups. I’ve got lots of experience in managing website projects and search engine optimisation, which helped me to deliver a structured approach to the website and an end result that I’m pleased with. If the sound of undertaking a website project by yourself is overwhelming then I would love to have a chat about how Trend Marketing might be able to work with you to make it more manageable, whether it’s managing the project from start to finish, helping create a plan for you or another third party to deliver or even just the odd bit of copywriting to ensure your pages are optimised for search engines. If you’d like to know more about how we can help with building a website, check out the services page and the get in touch via the contact us page.
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