Building a Website? Pay Attention to These 3 Things

Website development once meant little more than making an extended, online version of the company’s business card and brochure. Understatement: today’s websites aren’t that shallow anymore. Your website must be a sophisticated communications tool that will show up in the right Google searches, reflect the digital experience you want for your site visitors, and communicate your brand strategy, offerings and advantages. In other words, building a website requires concepting, engineering and continual adjustment and maintenance. Let’s take a look at all three:

Concepting and Setup

Regardless of whether you’re updating an existing website or starting fresh, treat it as a new project.  If you haven’t already, choose a domain name that can improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking in Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. You can use a do-it-yourself site builder like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. Or you can build a more tailored site with a hosting service that can handle the traffic that you expect as you grow. If you choose a hosting service, you’ll also want a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress(great for information), Magento (great for e-commerce), Drupal (useful for higher security).

Think strategically about your audience and their needs to present your brand and core values with a clear, concise and consistent message.  Now ask yourself: What content will support this strategy? Create a site map and hone it to lead people to the most critical aspects of your core business. Design wireframes that reflect your ideal customer’s journey, including the information and images that will appear on each page and where they will link.

Pro tips for better SEO: Include a minimum of 150 words on each page with links to outside sources and pages within your site.  Keep your primary message as consistent as possible. And do so while avoiding clear duplication of content within your website.


Making your website look good should be part of your design mission – but more than that, your site design should make the customer journey easy to follow. Draw attention to the path that visitors should take when moving from general information to more specific content. Start with one of the many templates available in most do-it-yourself platforms and CMS systems.  Choose a design concept that reflects your brand image and is mobile-friendly, since these days, most people view the web on their phones or tablets. Of course, hiring a web designer can help you better customize your site.

Integrate social media channels with your site and use social media to reach out to your followers. Create a blog to share thought leadership, valuable industry information, announce products and promote events.  And remember to test every link to save visitors from the frustration of being sent to a 404 page.


Keep your website alive and growing as a reflection of your business as you optimize site performance.  A small snippet of code allows Google Analytics to track who is visiting your site, how long they spend on pages and even where they live. The Google Search Console can give you even more detailed information.  Bing Webmaster Tools also can help you understand what’s working and what isn’t on your web site. Using information gleaned from these tools, you may find that your customers are not spending time on something you consider vital. Are they uninterested, or is the path to that information not as clear as it could be? Armed with this information, you can adjust your website, giving it regular tune-ups and updating your content regularly to align with your customers’ evolving interests.

Use these basic principles to guide your efforts, whether you’re building a new website or updating an existing one. However you proceed, move forward with intention to design your site as a “must-have” business presence that produces strategic results, as well.