You know you want your website to be easily found by current and potential customers, but before you worry about finding the right graphics or picking a catchy domain name, you have to figure out who your audience is and what you want your website to accomplish.

How to Plan and Build Your Website
Choose a domain name that will be easy for your ideal client to discover and remember. This name should also reflect, and help to build, your brand and credibility. Are you directly selling products/ services or information? Your answer will help determine where you should host the site, how it will look, and what functionalities you’ll need (shopping cart, online calendar for reservations, ability to host a blog, etc).

You can outsource building your website to a web developer, or you can build it yourself by using platforms like Wordpress, SquareSpace or Wix. If you hire someone else, make sure to negotiate who owns the content, as well as matters such as customer service support, editing and updating capability.

Important Steps Before Going Live
Use website graders to evaluate your website’s efficiency. These free tools evaluate criteria like: Is your website updated frequently? Does it have contact info? Is it mobile-friendly?, so you can make all the necessary corrections before going live.

Make sure your website is responsive (meaning that it is compatible with computers, laptops and mobile devices). Test it out with different browsers to verify whether your images and content functions are adaptable. Currently, Google favours websites that are mobile-friendly, so this is very important for maximizing your visibility.

The next step is finding a server to host your website. You want to make sure it can be visible 24/7, so shop around for companies that fit your budget and provide good service. Link your website to social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) and vice versa. And if you’re selling online, e-commerce plugins are available to help you get started.

Getting Your Target Market's Attention
Now that your website’s live, you want to make sure the right people are seeing it! There are paid and non-paid ways to improve visibility. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a non-paid way to organically drive more visitors to your site. On the creative side, it’s important to write original and relevant content. You should also strive to use keywords strategically (but not too much, or it will sound fake). On the technical side, label images and parts of your website with keywords.

Connecting to other important sites in your field will give you more credibility and make your website rank higher. With the right combination of creative content and technical know-how, you will be on the path to connecting with your ideal client in no time!

Unsure where to begin? Start by asking one of the Business Coaches at YES! Call 514-878-9788 ext.316 or visit yesmontreal.ca