If you’re on the lookout for new web design projects and why your business needs a blog , the following guide will help you take your next website to a whole new level. This is an overview of the entire process, including how to think like a consumer and how to find potential niches.
So let’s get started! First thing’s first: you’ll need a long-term plan. Once that’s in order, it’s time to go hunting for ideas. We’ll discuss how to generate meaningful keywords and use them as criteria for your next project search across every major platform imaginable (with some emphasis on Google).
Then you’ll learn about various types of page designs that you can apply to your new website as well as other common pitfalls in the design process. There’s also a lesson on making your very own mockup and visualizing it. But wait, there’s still more! We’ll later review how to utilize user-testing, the different stages of usability testing, and finally conclude with how to conduct a traditional usability test in a lab setting from start to finish.
At this point, you should be well-equipped for whatever website design project(s) lie ahead. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Chapter 1 – The Long-term Plan
The long-term goal of any website design project is to increase your client base. Sure, making a bank is nice and all, but you also need to plan for the future. What happens when you run short of designs? Where will you go next? If you don’t already have a long-term plan in place, it’s time to create one.
It’s never too early to start building relationships with potential clients. They will help you generate new leads and spread the word about your services.
Here are some tips on how you can start doing exactly that:
Post Links to Your Site On Your Social Media Accounts
One of the easiest ways to start generating new leads is by posting links to your website(s) on various social media sites. The key here is not to spam people with links, but rather share interesting and relevant content. That way you’ll also create a positive reputation for yourself in the community, and others will be more likely to come to you for help when they need a new website. If you want other people to link to your site, first make sure that it’s interesting and easy to navigate.
Write Blog Posts
Writing blog posts is another effective way of generating leads. If you want to write more, or simply want to learn how to do it the right way, make sure to check out this blog post about creating blogs that get a high amount of traffic and SEO value.
Connect Your Website With Your Personal Blogs & Social Media Accounts
To help you with your blogging efforts, here’s a simple guide on using WordPress plugins for social media sites (you can also use Tumblr and other services). You can also link your website (and other sites through it) directly from your Facebook profile or Twitter page.
Guest Post on Relevant Websites
Guest posting is another great way to generate leads and improve your SEO. However, it can be difficult to get accepted on popular sites. So you may want to start slow by contributing articles and blog posts to sites that are specific to your industry or even just locally-oriented blogs. Find the websites that have a high amount of traffic in your area, then pitch an article idea through their info pages or email. If they agree, create an article that relates to the focus of their website and submit it for publication. Make sure your writing is easy to follow and at least somewhat interesting (brevity is key). After your content is published, make sure to promote it on your social media accounts and anywhere else that’s relevant.
Chapter 2 – Generating Keywords & Potential Niches
Now that you’ve got a long-term plan in place it’s time to find a great niche and generate some keywords. The first step in this process is to identify the needs of the consumer: on which common problems or tasks are people looking for solutions? Armed with that knowledge, you can create a review of all possible solutions and rank them from most favorable to least favorable.
Brainstorm Keyword Phrases
To get started, brainstorm a list of potential keyword phrases along with their definitions. If you want to go the extra mile, use an online keyword tool (such as the Google AdWords Keywords Planner) to see how many times people are searching for that phrase every month. You can also use tools like Ubersuggest or Long Tail Pro (both particularly useful in conducting niche research). The key is to find phrases that people are interested in but haven’t been discussed at length on other sites or blogs yet. And if you want to make sure your keyword research is effective, follow these simple steps .
Review Adjectives & Verbs
Next, review all of the definitions and find any adjectives that describe the keyword phrases. Then list every verb in those definitions that you can think of. Go through each individual definition (there should be roughly ten or so), and write out every possible verb associated with them. Remember to stretch your imagination by using words that relate to your industry if you’re a plumber, or words that relate to computers if you’re an IT specialist.
Narrow It Down To Three General Topics Per Niche
After generating all of your keyword phrases and finding all of the necessary related words, it’s time to narrow down your focus onto three general topics per niche, or six in total. If you want, you can continue down this path and refine it even further to ten or twelve, but six is usually a great number to start with. With the three topics selected for each niche, it’s time to move on.
Review Your Keyword List
Next, review your keyword list and choose which ones will be included in your website design’s content and overall SEO strategy. Make sure that your keywords are relevant to a particular page on your site (like in the Meta Title) but don’t overuse them (this may actually do more harm than good). Also remember that certain pages will rank better if they contain highly-searched keywords (you can find that out using the Google AdWords Keywords Planner ).
Chapter 3 – Creating a Content Strategy
Now that you’ve picked the perfect niche and generated some keyword phrases, it’s time to develop a content strategy. The goal is to make sure that every page on your website is worth reading (and sharing) while also teaching your visitors something new. If you want to learn more about effective content writing, check out these tips for improving blog post topics.
Review Your Competitors’ Content Strategies
To help you formulate your own strategy, start by reviewing those of your competitors (including both sites and blogs). Make notes about what you like and don’t like about their approach so that you can incorporate those things into your own brand. Also, try and find content holes that you can fill in your niche. If no competitors’ sites are available, start by reviewing on-site content for your target audience instead.
Make a Keyword Analysis
Next is keyword analysis: sit down at the keyboard and write down every single word or phrase used in the body of content of a website related to your niche (use Google “define” tool to help). Then look at every word that shows up more than four times and find synonyms that people might be interested in. After you’ve gotten all of the words, rank them in order from most to least searched-for terms (and remove any negative keywords ).
Write For Your Target Audience
Once you have your list of keywords, review it and write down three or four content ideas per niche (don’t worry about including all 12). Then study the other content sources for your competitors and come up with original ideas for how to better communicate to your target audience. This may require a bit of creativity so don’t be afraid to use some keyword phrases that you’ve found in the previous steps, or those that you just came up with during your research. Create a list of topics and start brainstorming possible articles. Remember that you want every page on the site to be useful so don’t forget to rank the pages (or provide direct links) while you’re developing.
Chapter 4 – Designing a Site
Once you’ve put all of your content ideas into action it’s time to design your site. The first thing you’ll want to do is pick a website template that properly relates to the content you have coming up (and make sure that it’s not too large or difficult to work with). After creating your design, it’s time to start building your site. Here are some great tips on how to write an effective page description.
Use Images For Charts & Graphs
Whether it’s for powerpoint presentations, document packages, or anything else, use graphs and charts in order to be more interesting. Remember that your site visitors aren’t necessarily going to want to read through a lot of statistics, so if you can get creative with the visual aspect of your content you’ll be golden.
Write Easy-To-Read Posts
When it comes to writing content for a website, use familiar language and avoid overly-technical terms. Remember that this is meant to communicate with regular people and not fellow IT professionals. If you have any questions about what to say or how to say it, try asking other site owners or site users for advice. Their input will be invaluable and help make sure that nobody gets confused while they’re browsing your site.
Use Meaningful Headlines & Titles
When it comes to headlines, think about the age-old adage of “pitch and sell.” If you’re not a wealthy entrepreneur, then you probably don’t want your headline to be all fancy and flowery. Instead, use language that the average person can understand (and make sure that your title doesn’t contain too many keywords). Then when you’re finally ready to plug it into Google AdWords, make sure that your subject line is short and concise. A good rule of thumb for an effective subject line is to create one that’s only 60 characters long (unless you know how to read them all).
Chapter 5 – Organizing Your Site
The last step of web design is organizing your site so that it’s easy to read and navigate. The first thing that you’ll probably want to do is decide on what kind of site you want. There are two main options: a blog-style format or a portfolio-style website. Either one will work but according to Netdna, subdomains/websites that offer secure storage might be more successful (while also boosting your search engine rankings). You also can have multiple sites in different niches by using the same domain name (but make sure that you create subfolders for each domain in order to keep them organized).
Break Content Up Into Categories
The next step is to actually break up your content into a number of different categories. With blog-style websites, it’s usually pretty easy to just break the sites down by month whenever a new article is published (this will also help boost your SEO rankings). The portfolio format doesn’t need to be as organized but try and group similar content together in order to make things easy for visitors. Make sure that you have a category for each kind of post so that you don’t confuse your audience (and try using subcategories if possible).
Provide Search and Social Options
A web design should provide options for searching, sharing, and bookmarking. Whether it’s Google, Facebook, Twitter, or anything else, providing your audience with the option to share content will no doubt help get it in front of more people. If possible, you should also let users search your entire site (instead of having them all directed to one page). This will help keep things tidy while also making sure that as many visitors as possible can easily find what they’re looking for.
Have A Contact Page That Gives Your Website Address
This final tip is kind of a no-brainer, but it’s always a good idea to have a contact page where people can get in touch with you. This can be found on the bottom of the page or on pages that are dedicated to customer service (this is something that should be included in any site layout). And make sure that your contact page contains some information about your website (make sure to include your domain name and the ability to email or call you).
Hi. My name is Kathy Keeks. I’m a writer and digital marketer with a passion for content. I write blog posts, articles, and social media posts for others.I love to travel, Netflix and Beyonce. I love what I do! I help people find their voice and tell their stories. I love to write and am always looking for new projects. Now you know everything about me, too.