What’s the most important thing about starting your online business? It’s to have a website, right? So if you get that wrong, you’re finished before you even start.
You need a professional and user-friendly website that will allow your customers to find you and get to know your company as well as its products and services. Beyond that, your site needs to fit your customers’ needs and be able to standup to the latest online trends to help you get a steady flow of customers.
But how will you do that? Building a website can be done in two ways—either you do it yourself or you can opt to find a great web developer who can create it for you. If you’re not very techie or you don’t have someone close who loves to code, then your best bet is get an expert who can give your company a compelling online face.
Why Seek Out a Developer?
One of the most crucial hires for your online business would be the web development team. They will help you get an online presence which will have your company’s brand and image all glamorized up.
Even if you are familiar with WordPress or consider your technical skills as average to excellent, it’s still a smart idea to work with a professional web developer to get your business website (at least initially) up and running.
It’s the job of a seasoned, professional developer to be up-to-date on the latest acceptable practices and know how to implement them to the highest degree. Google can be pretty hard on sites that are not at par with their rules, and could even de-rank and penalize you if you’re not careful. About 200 factors are considered when ranking websites and it helps to have someone on board who knows every detail for this.
You’re starting a business and you don’t have time to learn all there is to know. There are a lot of things that you can focus your attention to and one of the things you can offload to someone else is building a website. Of course, you still have to learn the basics—getting a website markets your business, after all. But then again, overseeing the web development should already be good enough for you.
Key Website Elements to Ask from a Web Developer
#1 Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Having a responsive website is the trend nowadays due to the Mobilegeddon introduced by Google. People are on the go and almost everyone use their smartphones for everything. With this, providing customers the ability to view and interact with you through your website across different platforms and devices is absolutely critical to customer experience and satisfaction.
Any developer you work with must have an experience with either creating RWD or converting existing desktop-only sites to a mobile-friendly design. If your site doesn’t display properly on most devices like smartphones and tablets, you will lose a high percentage of potential customers.
#2 Site Speed
It is important that your developer knows how to smoothen your page loads to avoid customers getting impatient if your website isn’t loading properly. Consider using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze pages. It will give you a rating of X out of 100 on speed and user experience. Indeed, page loading speed is something Google looks at when ranking a site.
#3 Web Analytics
Be sure the developer intends to install it, and is familiar with its functionality. You need it to be able to collect valuable data on page views, leads, and customer base. What’s more, getting a Web Analytics tool can help you identify site problems and fix them, track web performance, convert traffic to paying customers and even increase revenue as a result.
#4 Basic SEO
Traditional SEO—keyword stuffing to rank—is out the window. Google ranks sites for useful information, not so much by keyword now, so stuffing your content is a no-no and really a thing of the past. However, strategic placements make keywords essential to how your site ranks. These include the ones in the title tag, H1 tag, description tag, and all throughout the content.
Also, the length of your content isn’t as important as the depth of it. Google ranks authoritative and knowledgeable content that provides the viewer valuable information much higher than anything else.
If your developer doesn’t know this, then you most definitely need to move on to the next candidate.
Be sure your developer is going to build a strong sitemap. In fact, when thinking about the pages you want to include on your site, creating a rough sitemap first as a guideline works well to keep you and the developer on the same page.
Google simply loves sites with active and organized sitemaps. If it were possible, Google might reach out and shake your hand for having a good one. Yes, it matters a lot, so make it a priority with the developer.
Making a website requires deep knowledge of how the web works and includes a lot of effort. A unique website made from a good content management system, it usually takes days or even weeks to get finalized. It’s not as simple as you think it could be and getting professional help to make it live is great, especially if you’d like to standout from the crowd.
Also, remember to find someone you can work well with—not just an expert—because if you’re planning to have your website maintained going forward, you need someone reliable who you can partner up for a long time.
After finding the best developer to create your new business website, you’ll now need to fill it with content—building a website is just a start.