Every day, we learn from the things that others do. In one way or another, whether right or wrong, we take what we see and use that information when making our own choices in life. We look to our elders and we ask our peers. What would they do? And with the web at our fingertips you can 'Google' just about anything or watch a video on YouTube on How To:.. So, why should building a website be any different?
If you are the do-it-yourself type, there are a number of places on the web where you can find helpful information for building your website. With this, I'll try to point out at least a few basic facts, maybe some unknowns and a couple of links to get you pointed in the right direction. If you need help with building your website, there are also a number of services and people such as myself that can help you with your individual needs. (So don't hesitate to Contact Me)
If it isn't immediately obvious, I've used Weebly to build my site so the examples are going to revolve around Weebly and their website builder. If you're not using Weebly don't fret, as I've noted above you can take the information found here and apply it to your own website.
Three Basic Factors
How many pages should you create?
The answer is, it depends. It depends on how many pages you need to create to effectively convey the reason you are building the website.
You should start with 3-5 main pages. i.e. - Home, About, Services, Contact - but that should be expanded to include a few more pages. For example, it's a good idea to have a 404 'Page Not Found' page in case a user clicks a link to a page on your site that no longer exists.
List of page ideas: (some page ideas are links)
Use Title tags, and include at least one Paragraph of Text
When creating the pages of your website, remember to use Titles as 'Descriptive Headings' for your content. You should also include at least one or 2 short sentences describing the page or topic. Make sure to use words that are relative, for example: if I were building a website about 'Florida Oranges' I would make sure to include words like Fresh, Citrus, Fruit, Delicious and Juicy! But these are only a few of the words I might add to a particular page, and use as the Keywords in my SEO.
Because the content of your site is going to be different than the content of my site, and it should be, there really is no straightforward answer to what content you should add to your site.
Be descriptive. Try to include the information that your visitors will want to know. While at the same time, try to limit the amount of content you add to a particular page. In other words don't overdo it.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Nowadays having your phone number in a phonebook, or running an Ad in the paper really isn't enough. You need to be there when potential customers are looking for you online.
When building your site, one of the things you want to remember is to have textual content on your site. The text on your site should be backed up by 'meta keywords' ~ meaning the keywords that you add should be present in the text on your site or page.
Things you can do to drive traffic would be to create a Blog or Forum(for return visitors). If you have a physical place/location you can create a 'Google Places for Business' or 'Google My Business' account, aka Google Maps, and also Bing Places or 'Bing Places for Business' account will help drive your website to the top when people are searching those keywords when doing a Bing Search, Google Search, including being found on Bing Maps, Google Maps and Google+.
The other thing that helps is to have a link to your website listed on other websites, Google and Bing Business pages, and the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The more your site is linked the more relevant you become.
Recently Google made some changes that affect your websites search engine ranking. Your websites mobile-friendliness is now considered in the ranking of your website, so be sure to have a Mobile version of your site or use a Responsive Design. Google has also said having a SSL Certificate(HTTPS in the URL) for your website can have a positive effect on your site's ranking, although it's not necessary(yet).
This all helps increase your ranking with the search engines, and the likeliness that you will be found. If you would like to read more about SEO, things to do and not to do, I've linked a helpful article from Positionly below.
In Weebly, there's two important places that you can add this information. On the Settings tab of the editor you can add SEO for your entire website. Including a Site Description, which should be one or two short sentences that describe your site. And adding your Meta-Keywords that are the keywords(the important words) about your entire site.
Both Google and Bing provide Webmaster Tools that can help improve your site's performance in search results. To verify your website with the search engines, they provide an option for adding a Meta-tag which can easily be added to your websites Header Code section(shown in the screenshot above). You can find step-by-step instructions for setting this up on Weebly here.
The Advanced Setting section on the Pages tab of the Weebly editor, provides a place for you to add a SEO Page Title, a Page Description and Meta Keywords for the individual pages of your site. This allows you to have a unique description, and also specific keywords, for each individual page.
While on the Pages tab of the Weebly editor you can add SEO for the Blog page, remember that each individual Blog Post also has a place in the Post Options > Advanced section for adding a SEO Post Title and SEO Post Description.
If you are selling items on your website, the Store tab > Storefront and Category sections also have a place for Advanced Options, where you can add a SEO Title and SEO Description.
Three Places to Look
By: Jeffrey T. Kastner