- Posted June 2, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
How to Build a Profitable Website
Far too many businesses put up a website thinking it will automatically generate customers. It is a “build it and they will come” mentality. But there are many factors that make a website profitable or not.
First, if nobody sees your website, then you won’t generate any income from it — period. It won’t matter how pretty it is, how low the prices are, or how unique the merchandise is. It will fail.
So before you build a website, it’s imperative you understand what it takes to get it seen by actual people who are looking for what you offer. Getting your site findable is done with a process called search engine optimization. Mastering SEO takes much time. If you decide to tackle it yourself, prepare for several months of extensive research and study. What’s more, you will find conflicting opinions on what works and what doesn’t. Worse, what one expert emphasizes may not work on all sites. Thus, you will want join communities that are heavily involved in SEO and learn from them.
If you decide not to learn SEO, then you will need to hire someone. This too is tricky because there are many charlatans claiming to know how to do SEO yet they have little success. Having an SEO expert help you won’t be cheap. Before you decide on one, call several of their clients to make sure your SEO expert can really do what they claim.
Now that your site is findable on the Internet, your next mission should be to get it selling for you. Your site shouldn’t look cluttered. It should be easy to navigate. It should look attractive. And it should immediately communicate what it’s about.
Usually, it’s hard to know where to begin. Unless you’ve been creating websites for a while, you’ll likely be stumped as to where to start. Your two choices are to hire a designer or learn how to do it yourself. If you’re not in a hurry, you can learn it yourself. However, a designer is more likely your better choice. It has become even easier and cheaper to hire a designer because you can buy templates to provide your framework, making the process easier.
Before you do this, you should review your competitors’ websites for ideas. See what you’re up against and how you can beat them. The best way to do that is to search on Google for the best keyword search term you’re considering and look at the top 3 to 5 websites. Study them. See what they’re saying. Look for things you can do to emulate their success. Look for where they’re hurting themselves so you can avoid it.
As you look over your competitors, you will find stark differences in how sites look and interact with visitors.
To learn more, please continue reading How To Build A Website From Scratch