Overview of Building out your Website
After you have done your market research, you are now ready to move forward and begin the construct and development of your website. Armed with all the information you gathered in the market research phase, you will be able to build a design based on a sound structure.
There are many components you will want to keep in mind as you build and design your website. I see so many websites that are pretty but are seriously lacking a good SEO foundation based on solid market research data. This is a huge mistake. You want to utilize solid Silo and SEO structure, so your website will be found by people and indexed correctly in the search engines.
Additionally, your market research will come into play based on what you found through your competitors as well. Your design should fit the audience and market you are targeting. This goes for not only colors and fonts, but also content. What kind of content does your market prefer? However contextual content must be utilized as part of a long-term content plan on your website that allows search engines to crawl your website and rank content quickly.
Each Page On Your Website Has It’s Own URL
One of the misunderstandings of a website is that people think of their website. What I mean by that is it is important to think of each webpage and content as its own standalone piece. Each page and post on your website are a separate webpage on the internet. Yes, they are all tied to your website and it is important to the overall theme to connect your content for rankings, however, treat each piece of content as an individual webpage when building.
As we go through the pieces below, we will tie all of this together, so you will see how to build a website that will be highly effective and engaging to your audience as well. You must consider how both the search engines will respond to your website and how your audience will respond as well.
Laying Out your Silo Structure
To lay out the structure of your website, you will want a home page that gives an overview of your major sub-topics. Now if this is a local design then this would obviously be different. The same goes for corporate websites, however even they could be constructed the same way. The appearance may be a little different, however the same principals will apply.
Here is an example quick layout.
Major Subtopic 1
Major Subtopic 2
Major subtopic 3
Major subtopic 4
Major subtopic 5
Your Major subtopic content will all be pages and not posts. These pages need to be of the highest quality of content and cover a broad enough topic that it will allow you to develop content under them. You will then create ongoing posts on that specific topic that will connect back to the page.
The initial content is critical to the whole foundation of your website. This is where we are taking all the hard work, we did in the market research phase and now applying it to our design.
The idea of a silo structure is you stay focused and organized with your content. When your subtopic content is written, we will be linking this to your home page to reinforce your home page.
These initial pages should be of the highest quality and they should be based on keywords that have lots of traffic as well. This is a very important aspect. You do not want to box yourself in by having sub-topics that do not have enough traffic.
We will talk more about content development on a separate page. However, it is closely related to your website structure so pay attention to this as you design your site.
You will also be developing a blog on your website. Remember content is king and ongoing content development is going to be necessary for multiple reasons.
Major Subtopic 2
Major subtopic 3
Major subtopic 4
Major subtopic 5
WordPress and SEO
Today, over 50% of websites are built with WordPress. WordPress is an open source CMS platform that has been in ongoing development for well over 15 years now.
WordPress is the choice of many people as it is highly flexible to use both as a main website and as a blogging platform. It has components to it that allow the search engines to crawl your site. There has been incredible development of this platform over the years and it is always continuing to get better.
Today there are literally tens of thousands of themes to base your site structure on. Themes are being built all the time. It is important you pick the right theme coming out of the gates when designing your website. There are several factors that go into picking the right theme.
In my training on Website design and construct, I discuss several themes and why you may want to choose them when building. I have over 12 years of experience working with WordPress and have seen the amazing development of this platform and what it can do.
One of the reasons WordPress is the choice for building your website out with is its ongoing development and plugins. Plugins are specific functions that are designed by coders to give additional functionality to your website.
Usually, these are very targeted to do a specific thing on your website. There are again tens of thousands of plugins today and there are some core plugins you will want to include in any website construct. I cover these plugins in detail within my WordPress courses.
One of the major factors that make WordPress so powerful is the ability to put in a plugin that will allow anyone with basic knowledge of SEO to be able to do your on-page SEO efficiently and effectively.
I do highly recommend you take a course on WordPress SEO to grasp a good understanding of how WordPress and SEO work together.
Utilizing your research to lay out your website content
All your market research is going to be utilized not only for your main theme and subtopic site structure but also moving forward within your content marketing strategy.
We will discuss this in much more detail in the content marketing area, and in my content marketing strategy courses. Just know that the keywords will be individually used to reinforce all your subtopics. It will be important to organize the keywords based on how they are related to your individual sub topics. Being organized with your keyword research as you are doing it will save you hours and hours down the road.
Once your initial site is built, the focus will turn to your blog and adding content based on the questions we found in your market and various keywords that were found with the tools discussed in the market research phase.
Deciding on Colors and Fonts
When you did your market research, hopefully, you were able to identify the top players in your market. I recommended you save those websites and bookmark them. You will want to follow what they are doing and keep on eye on them.
Additionally, you should review them and look at their design from a colors and fonts standpoint. There is a cool Firefox browser extension that allows you to find out what fonts they are using.
Also, there is a wonderful free tool on Adobe’s website that allows you to put colors together in a very appealing way. I utilized them when deciding on colors for this website.
So, between your competition and your own preferences, you should decide what overall fonts and color schemes will be used on your website.
Be consistent in what you do. Make sure from a user’s experience point of view that it is pleasing to them and easy on the eyes. Keep your website clean, not overcrowded. The idea is that you want you visitors to be able to find what they are looking for. This is accomplished by keeping a highly structured and focused website.
Images and how to use them on a website
Plan on using images on each page and post you do on your website. The adage a picture is worth a 1000’s words hold true for website design as well. Pleasing images that convey a message brings an appeal to the user who is visiting your website.
You must be aware of image sizes as it pertains to your website. I have been guilty of these many times and using images that are too big. Even though they may get formatted correctly for your webpage when you insert them, if they are large when you upload them, it will put a considerable strain on your hosting which will eventually impact the speed of your website. Using optimized images is very important because of this. I cover this in detail and show you tools and plugins that will help with this inside the Website Construct courses.
Images cannot be “read” by a search engine, however, there is something called an Alt Tag within WordPress when inserting images. All images should have an alt tag and be labeled based on the keyword you are targeting for that webpage. All pages and posts should be somewhat singularly focused on a keyword and then utilizing semantic structure within that content to reinforce that keyword.
Additionally, Google is favoring longer content today. Plan on most of your content being at least 2000 words. Quality on your website is much more important than quantity. Always utilize the most expert content on your website.
Mobile Responsive design
Today, mobile is dominating the market. Most people all over the world are on their mobile devices and NOT on a laptop or computer. In 2017 Google announced it was going to penalize sites that were not mobile optimized.
It is a critical factor that your website looks fantastic on a mobile device. 7 out of 10 people are going to access your website on a smartphone or iPhone. Your website MUST be mobile optimized. Luckily today, there are many fantastic WordPress themes that are mobile responsive and look great on these devices.
Make sure the theme you choose is flexible enough to be able to look at your site as you are designing it from laptop design, tablet, and mobile devices. You will want to make sure all 3 look great on their respected devices. You may still have to do further design work that allows flexibility in creating your website to look great on mobile.
Logos and Site Favicon
As you build your website, you will begin the process of branding. Branding is important as it is the identifier that people will associate with your content and who you are.
Creating a professional logo that will be used in all your content marketing is a very to creating your brand. You can get a very affordable design done online at a site called Fiverr. Your logo should also match your color scheme on your website as well. When you have your logo designed, make sure you get a logo that is done in multiple image formats including a transparent png image and retina image size as well.
Also, have an icon designed as well. This will show in the browser bar and is another identifier for your brand as people bookmark your website.
Thememaker For Your WordPress Web Design
Thememaker is a brilliant WordPress theme that allows you to customize your design any way you like and looks fantastic on mobile devices. Your creativity is unleashed to its fullest potential when using thememaker
There are many fantastic WordPress themes on the market today. WordPress has come a long way since I started using it many moons ago. Back in the early days, I had to learn some coding to be able to manipulate the design features and colors and other aspects.
Today there are many excellent drag and drop website builders that allow you to use blocks of preformatted design components to quickly build out a page. I will be discussing in detail more of these within the website construct courses.
One of the best on the market that I have used now for over 3 years is developed by a coder in the UK. Last year he came out with an upgrade to his original theme and created an incredible way to build websites.
It is called Thememaker and you can find it here.
Thememaker is a very advanced WordPress framework that allows you to build out custom themes of your own choosing. It utilizes drop and drag technology and goes beyond any other website builder on the market. It allows you to easily stay consistent across your website and pre-build out pieces you are going to use repeatedly. There are many time-saving elements to utilizing this theme.
His training is excellent, and he walks you through how to use this theme from the very basics to advanced techniques. There are really no restrictions on how you can design your website with Thememaker. Whatever you can dream up, you can do it with Thememaker.
Also, built into Thememaker is the ability to customize all your layouts based on devices, such as desktop, tablets, and phones. With this ability, you have tremendous flexibility on what your final design looks like on a page by page basis as you are building. You can turn off certain elements that do not look good on phones, and the level of customization within all your design layouts is head and shoulders the best on the market.
Thememaker is a one-time investment and one that is well worth the investment.
Other WordPress Themes
Going with a premium theme, vs a free theme, holds advantages in which the developer will continue to support the theme. WordPress is always being developed and upgraded for many reasons, so it is important you pick a theme that will be supported as these changes in WordPress evolve. If you decide to go with a free theme, make sure they also have a premium version as you can be sure it will be supported.
As I mentioned above, there are latterly tens of thousands of themes on the market today that give you a great starting point when building out your website.
The 2 biggest factors when picking out a theme is being mobile responsive, and the other is how it is coded. Many great looking themes may be appealing to use, however, if they are coded heavily then it is going to cause loading and speed issues.
Speed is a huge issue today. Load time is now a ranking factor. Also, a site that loads slowly will be quickly abandoned by your visitor. You must have a site that is optimized for speed as well as usability and design.
I have a whole training dedicated to optimizing your website for speed.
Domain and hosting
Typically, you will want a dot com website if possible. A Dot.net website would be next. If you are doing a non-profit website, then Dot.org is fine.
Your domain is also a part of your branding. When building a site for the long term, be very cautious about what you pick. You want something that Is easy to remember and or catchy as well. This is YOUR brand so take your time and choose wisely.
Domains typically only cost around 10-12 dollars a year. I have used both Godaddy and Name.com for my domains and both are fine. Both have search functions where they allow you to search for a domain to see if it is available. You will need a domain to have your own website online.
Picking the Right Host is Critical
There are lots of free hosting sites out there that will allow you to build a website on their platform, however, I highly discourage the use of them for a professional web presence. Get your own domain and your own hosting that you control. Also, there may come a time you need to move your website.
Speaking of, hosting is another critical component to your website construct. After 15 years of trying many hosting companies, I have settled on one called Insty.me. One of the greatest aspects of Insty.me is their customer service. Things will go awry with your website hosting and there are going to be times you need help. The customer service at insty.me is the best I have ever found. There are thousands of hosting companies out there, but insty.Me has many aspects built in that others don’t.
One of the components of your website as you move forward is you will want to have an autoresponder system, so you can build a mailing list and contact them. Insty.me has their own mailing system built within the hosting service and utilizes Amazon SES. Their autoresponder system comes part of their hosting. This provides great savings as most autoresponder systems can get quite expensive. It also allows you to be within one interface to control both your website and your autoresponder.
Additionally, the servers that Insty.me uses are fast. There may be faster servers, however when you combine all the aspects of what Insty.me offers, they are head and shoulders above the competition and they are who I recommend for all your hosting needs.
As your website grows and the traffic to your site grows, you may need to upgrade your hosting. Insty.me will do this seamlessly as well. When you start getting a lot of traffic, you will want to have a dedicated server that is NOT shared with anyone else. However, when you are starting out, you will not need a dedicated server. There is lots of flexibility with Insty.Me. Check them out here.
One last thing about hosting. There are cheaper options out there, however, I have tried these cheaper hosting companies and I had lots of issues over time that became a major headache. Choose a great hosting company out of the gates to avoid headaches and hosting issues. For me, when something goes wrong and I need help, I need it now, not in 3 days. This factor plays a huge role in who I go with for hosting.
Internal Linking structure
The last component I will be discussing about website construct and design is internal linking. There are basically 2 types of links that will be used on your website. Internal links and external links. You will be using both.
One of the advantages of building out a silo structure is when you utilize proper internal linking tactics, it will allow you to outrank your competitors. You will have to do much less link building off your site to rank your content.
The internal linking structure is a very important aspect. You should use internal linking on each piece of content to support other related content. Try to keep your internal links within a specific silo structure. When you are talking about Market Research, link to other content on your site about market research. It is ok to occasionally link to other silos however most of your internal links should allow the search engines to index your content in a structured way. Also, your visitors will appreciate supported links around the content they are reading.
Your internal links will basically work from your blog content to support your major sub-themes, and then your subthemes will mostly point to your overall themes and your home page.
To not “bleed out” your links in a haphazard way. This can cause confusion for the search engines and hurt your overall rankings.
The goals of your website are to be a great experience for your user and a website that continues to climb in the search engines.
By having a highly structured website, you will see greater success in the search engines. And by linking specific content together, the user experience will be higher, and you will keep them on your website longer. Which is important for several reasons.
One final word about your website construct. You are building for a great user experience. It has many components to it. You are also building in such a way that the Search engines and primarily Google will be able to know EXACTLY what your website is about and how to place it in their search index.
Your web design should be clean, appealing, high functioning, responsive, excellent structure and always kept on target.
Find out much greater details by taking our website construct and design courses.