You're ready for a new website, but have you done your homework?
Before starting, you should know these top 5 things:
Your Target Audience
Who are your ideal customers? Where do they live, work? What are their daily habits?
Your Business Goals
Where do you want to be in a year? What about in 5 years? What will it take to get you there?
Your Financial Goals
How does your business make money? How will a new website help you hit these goals?
Your Call to Action
What is the primary "action" the site visitor should make when visiting your site? Do you want users to contact you, sign up for a newsletter, make a donation, buy a product, etc.?
Who are your competitors? Who in your field do you admire?
Are you ready for a new website? We can help you create a strategic plan to level up your website in 2021!
Organizing your workflow equals increased productivity. As a WordPress developer and now a new blogger, I am constantly fumbling around trying to find the app, tab, program, email, or photo for my current project. Time is the one thing you can’t afford to waste. Every second counts, and even more so for your paying client. Time is money in our world.
Starting in the new year I was determined to get my ducks in a row. Get more organized with my workflow. I needed to figure out how to manage my current clients with my new exciting venture launching in Spring 2017.
I sent out a S.O.S “I’m drowning from too many browser tabs to find anything” tweet to my WordPress friends. I received reply back from someone I didn’t follow, @alex_kaul, mentioning an app I haven’t heard before. Freeter App.
Hummmm. What is this app? I’ve tried them all. Trello, Asana, etc. They didn’t really help my workflow. It was just another browser tab that got lost in my chaos.
What do I have to lose? I downloaded Freeter for FREE! Yes guys, for free!
What is this amazing wonderful app that I am staring at!? It’s a blank canvas for project management. I could add a shortcut to my design mockup, I could add task lists, set some goals – then I stumbled across their website widget.
WHOA NELLY! I can embed my Twitter feed, my Asana, my Trello – WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE!? I have tabs for resources, tabs for my client invoicing, my forecast calendar for projects etc. All in one easy to find location, because it’s an icon in my taskbar not lost in my 500 browser tabs. I am seriously a tab junky – I hit CTRL-T for days!
But WAIT, there’s more! You can add code snippets, write blog post drafts (guess where this is being written). Since I installed the app, I’ve crushed more goals. I’ve checked off more tasks. It helped me gain 100+ followers in one day, and for being new to this game – I’ll take it!
Can I mention again that It’s free?! Check it out, download Freeter App here.
WordPress .com vs .org: What's the deal? What’s the difference?
First, let me say “Yay!” for choosing WordPress.
WordPress.com is easier to install for non technical users. It's free to install. That’s right FREE! But you're only allowed to use certain approved themes and plugins - where's the creativity in that? If you want to use your own domain name and/or need more space you need to pay for these upgrades. Want to post videos? Well that’s an extra $60/yr. And most importantly you can't have advertisements on your site! No affiliate linking is allowed.
Accidentally blur the lines with advertisement/affiliate linking – WordPress.COM can TERMINATE your account. Good-Bye 100’s of posts.
At this point, you might as well get a hosting account and pay for space there. At least you'll then you can install any theme or plugin you want. You can link to who you want to link to. You can generate revenue with advertisement.
Nervous about installing WordPress yourself? Almost all hosts have a One-Click WordPress install. It will take you less than 5 minutes to get your WordPress.ORG up and running.
If you're serious about blogging, skip the .com and invest in a hosting account with WordPress.org
Writing content can for a website can be intimidating. We hope this guide will help you write great content. Make your content work for you by following this writing blog content guide.
Organizing content structure is important. Cleaner readable content will keep visitors on your page and wanting more. People scan website pages to find "keywords" that are relevant to what they are looking for. See How Users View Your Website for more on how visitors view your website.
Break up your content into sections using headings. Headings should only be a few words long. Avoid long sentence headings. Use Headings Tags (H1-H4 tags) for headings for SEO. Headings should be clear and precise.
Images and videos are visual representations of your "product." Use images that are relevant to your content. Yes, that cute kitten picture is adorable but it doesn't belong on your 30 minute Paleo dinner recipe post. Never use images you don't have the right to use. I've seen someone get charged $1,500 for using a stock photo from another website. Don't do it, it's not worth it. There are lots of free (and paid) stock photography websites to get premium photos. If possible, use a professional photographer or take a class or two in photography.
At the beginning of the article post, include a brief overview summary of the article. Just a sentence or two explaining what the article is about. This gives your visitors an idea of what the article is about. The summary should be informative but not too detailed. Include just enough to get your target audience engaged.
What is the purpose of your article? Are you pitching a product? Are you wanting more subscribers? You need to include a Call to Action step on your page. Whether that be a button to download your eCourse or a newsletter signup form. Each article should have the next step toward your visitor engagement goals.
Long and complex sentences will get lost on your visitors. Try to keep your sentences short and simple. As mentioned previously, visitors don't read whole articles. They scan for information that is relevant to them, but we will go into this later.
Use bullet points to break up content. When creating a steps list - use an Ordered List (OL). When listing ideas, use an Unordered List (UL). Ordered Lists are numbered and Unordered Lists use bullet points. Both are equally effective when used in the correct context.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but MOST people don't read your content. Yes, you read that right. Most people scan web pages in an "F" pattern. They pick up "keywords" that are relevant to them and what they are looking for. We live in an impatient world and people want to move on to the next thing - including the next article. Consider this "F" pattern when laying out your next article.
The people who visit your website matter. You should be tracking who is visiting your website if you haven't been already. Google Analytics is a great tool to track your visitor's demographics. You can learn what country are they coming from, their age group, what language do they speak etc. From there you can learn to tailor your content based on what they need. Do your visitors have accessibility issues or a disability that could prohibit them from viewing your website properly? If so, what can you add to your website to make it viewable? What are their goals on your site? Are they the same as yours? Or are their needs different? What can you do to meet their needs?
Another important, often overlooked, step for creating great website content in the context of use. Where, when, and how they are accessing your website content is important.
Are your visitors using your site while out shopping? Are they using it at work (during their breaks of course)? Are they using it in a cab on the way to the airport? Or are they simply viewing your site while at home sipping on a cup of hot coffee? Where they use their site is important because it can help you structure important links, images, etc that can be easily accessed from their location. For example, if you are running a fashion blog and you would want to show locations of stores where they can purchase those cute red pumps you just blogged about. You want to have a quick link at the TOP of your content to mapped locations since they are hopping from store to store looking for those shoes.
When are they using your site?
Knowing when your visitor peaks are can help you know when you launch that new eCourse or publish your latest post. Again, Google Analytics will help you determine what time, day of the week etc.
How are they accessing your site?
In the world of 20 billion different devices (yes I am exaggerating), it is important to know how your visitors are accessing your site. Are they mainly desktop users, ipad/tablet people on the go, or are they mobile surfers? Writing responsive content that looks great on ALL devices is important. Putting extra emphasis on the devices that are most used. This goes the same for browsers used. If no one is using Opera to view your site, don't worry about optimizing for it. Look to your Google Analytics for your reports on browser and devices used.
I hope you were able to take away a few things from this article to help create great website content. Do you have something to add? Do you have a great writing tip? Leave it in the comments below.