Content and structure of your website
Once you have chosen either a website builder or a hosting provider and a suitable program to create your website, the next step is to look at content and structure.
Visitors to your site will appreciate good structure, a clear menu, an attractive home page and good content.
Firstly, it is important to create an attractive home page. Your home page should consist of a more than just a “Welcome to my website” message, but should not be so cluttered that it turns visitors away.
Take a look at this website for example. We’ve tried to make the navigation menu distinct from the rest of the content. A quick look tells you exactly where you are on the site. We have also gone for a 14px font size, which is relatively large but easy to read on a screen. Of course, our website is not perfect - we could do with a few more images to perk things up, for example - but we're working on it!
In contrast, take a look at this website or this one. It is hard to get an overview of what these sites are about, and they don’t make it easy to find information or buy products. So you do need to think carefully about your website’s design.
Make your menu items clear and interesting. Visitors should immediately know what to expect, so avoid any vague terms.
Remember too that a URL that looks like this: www.yourwebsite.com /and-so-on-and-so-forth does not exactly encourage visitors to look at the corresponding menu item for this page.
The same applies to URLs with a random structure. For example www.yourwebsite.com/ 090782340asdlfo72 is not very inviting.
Go for relevant URLs instead, such as www.yourwebsite.com/appointments or www.yourwebsite.com/opening-hours.
Using terms like this in your URLs is also search-engine friendly, and can help optimise your website for search engines.
Tip: Take a look at some other websites and make a note of what you like and don’t like. Use this as inspiration for your own site. Look at your competitors’ websites too, but don’t limit yourself to your own industry. Other sectors may be even more innovative!
Content of your home page
Use your home page to give your visitors an overview of your area, what they can expect from you, your offerings, or if you offer free quotes, etc. You can also use this space to highlight any free newsletters or such information, for example.
Of course, you can also educate your visitors about what you do not offer, if that makes sense for your business. You will have to decide for yourself what is useful for your audience.
One more point: If you want to use your website to sell products or services, then you should also provide additional information about these offerings. This will communicate your level of expertise to potential customers. Of course, the quality of your web design will also play a role here.
You can use a newsletter or a blog to achieve this. Here you will find more information about email newsletter services and what you have to look out for when choosing one.
Tip: Download a free ebook with lots of ideas on creating content for your website (requires registration with an email address).