In this post, I’ll break down the 10 key things you need to consider to create a website that pays you and that will create a return on your investment.
I’ve been working in software development, web development and website creation business for over 18 years. I’ve seen a lot – the good, bad & (really) ugly. Turns out, there are rules to the website creation game.
We’ll break down the keys to success in these top 3 areas:
- Hosting & Availability
- Design & Accessibility
- Marketing & Authority
While the essentials of these 3 areas have not changed much, the tools and platforms have.
The goal with creating a website that sells and ultimately pays you, is to allow the buyer to a) easily find you, b) engage with you (product or service) and c) instantly respond and buy from you. – Jon Rognerud
Watch the video that shows how to create a website that pays you
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When a visitor comes to your website, answer this question: “What do you want your visitor to do as soon as they visit your website?”
For example, do you want them to:
- Set up a phone or office appointment?
- Submit full /quality contact information on a capture/lead page?
- Join an upcoming event, workshop or webcast?
- Register for a FREE online training course?
- Purchase products directly and with an opportunity to buy more at the time of sale? (up-selling and cross-selling strategies ala Amazon)
Knowing how to set up a web site that sells is the key to increasing leads and sales for your industry.
#1 – Purchase a Domain name
Do you already have a name in mind? If you haven’t registered your business name with the state – this is a good way to test what the name of the website should be. If you have already chosen your organization name, then simply put it into GoDaddy’s or NameCheap’s search bar and begin. (GoDaddy orNameCheap)
Hint: Keep in mind that GoDaddy upsells a lot during the domain registration process – if you do not want extra features, NameCheap.com has a more streamlined process.
Here are some tips when trying to find a great name for your high performance website:
- Aim for a “.com”
- Don’t worry too much if your first domain name idea is taken.
- Hold off on GoDaddy’s “website builder offer” for now – we have a great tutorial on how to make a great website that sells!
- Find a name that you feel your audience will trust. Do some research in your market. You can select from 18 domains tools here to get more ideas.
#2 – Get a Hosting Account
Now that we have purchased a domain name, we need somewhere to “host” this domain name. Think of the domain name as the “sign of the store”, and the hosting as building that contains the actual “store”. By purchasing a hosting solution, we will have a platform that contains your business’ identity! (Popular hosting: HostGator, but also like Bluehost and SiteGround)
Once this information is completed – we can go ahead and re-direct the GoDaddy’s name servers towards your HostGator account. For name servers, HostGator will e-mail you this information. This step is easier than it sounds as HostGator has a beginner’s guide on how to accomplish this .
#3 – Create an Easy To Manage Website & Blog
There are many website hosting platforms out there. Why did we choose HostGator? Besides their excellent customer service, you will also gain the ability to create a WordPress website quite easily. While WordPress is associated with blogs it offers you, the entrepreneur, the ability to create a high quality website, and give you the ability to easily update it without hassle in the future. Not only that – but theprocess is streamlined on HostGator so that you can do it with minimal instruction.
Hint: You do NOT have to go to WordPress.com in order to create a WordPress website. You can do it directly from HostGator’s website. Just a quick summarization just in case you are confused on how to accomplish this:
- Buy a domain name
- Purchase hosting
- Forward domain
- Install WordPress
After these brief steps, you are good to go! Now it’s time to get a great looking website designed!
#4 – Let’s Get the Website Designed – 99Designs.Com
You want to have everything in place before you go to 99designs.com. By having a domain name, hosting platform and WordPress already installed – you will set the foundation for your online vision.
Just think of 99designs.com as EBay for web design, only, graphic designers are bidding their work for your money. This competition means that you’ll receive a top notch product. If you like the design, you can pay them, if not, then delete and move on to the next project!
Hint: if you do not want to go through the bidding process, you can just go to the “winning designs” section and find designs that you like.
After that, just go to the winning designer and ask for their business.
#5 – Fill Out the Information on 99Designs.com
Now, as the title promises, we want to create a website that sells! It is recommended to go for at least the silver package so that you can attract a fair amount of designers to your project.
Now, when you fill out your information, it is critical that you are extremely descriptive.
Here are some quick tips when filling out the information for your high performance website:
Briefly Describe What Your Website Does & Your Target Audience – The goal of this website is to motivate prospects to input their information. We are targeting people who are looking to _________ (insert your niche here). We may want to mention that we want a dedicated section for sub-areas of that niche as well.
What Ideas do you have for the style/theme of your design? – It’s a great idea to go visit other websites. You want your business to seem friendly, professional, and authoritative. Also, you want the website to go along with your company colors. Also mention that you want a place where your target audience has a place to input their e-mail & phone information.
You will also be asked to link to a website for inspiration. After you complete this information, you’ll be ask to input contest & payment information!
#6 – Take the Design to a “PSD to WordPress” Expert
The 99designs process can take about a week or so. After this process, you should have a high quality web design that blows people away! After this, you will receive designs in the form of Photoshop files. These aren’t that useful by themselves, therefore, you will want to have someone program this design and convert it to a website. Someone like PSD2HTML will do this for you, and for a small extra fee – they will install the programmed design into your WordPress website (remember the one that we installed in step 3?).
#7 – Attach a Blog to It
It’s quite easy to attach a blog to the WordPress website. We’ll use HostGator as an example: (Note: other services may do this for you without you doing anything!)
- Go into our CPanel.
- Find the “Fantastico” section.
- Go to the WordPress section.
- Fill out the information.
- Install the blog (we can even set the URL to say, “yourwebsite.com/blog”)
These two blogs are going to serve two different purposes. The 1st WordPress that we created in steps 3-6 are going to be used primarily to convert visitors into leads. The second blog that we’ve created is so that we can begin writing blog posts. By writing blog posts every single day or even weekly, we can actually attract more visitors to our website!
#8 – Get an AWeber Account
In step #5 – we mentioned that we wanted the customer to input their e-mail information and phone number. Why? A lot of our business is going to be based on lead nurturing, consulting, and last but not least, eventual closing. For this reason, it is critical that we use a tool like AWeber.
We can install this on our website and have visitors put in their personal information. We can also maintain a database of e-mail address/phone numbers to help keep track of all of our leads. This is why it’s critical in step 5 to ask the design to allow the user to input their information! You may not be in a business where sales are immediate (example: e-commerce). The sales cycles may be much longer. For example, in the consulting business – it can be from a week, 30 days to 6 months! So it’s critical that you have a way of keeping up with your customer base from one central location.
#9 – Make Sure Your Website is SEO Optimized (Google Friendly)!
Design is important and so is search engine optimization (SEO). To put it simply, SEO done right helps determine if your website ranks high in websites like Google, Bing, & Yahoo. This, along with paid search is a KEY way to beat your competition! Therefore, by using these strategies, you can make sure your website ranks high.
If you want to quickly rank your website, then it is always highly recommended to seek the guidance of anSEO expert. Search engine optimization is the single most important aspect of online marketing as it gives you an unfair advantage ahead of your competition!
#10 – Execute Your Online Marketing Campaign
You should have some ideas about this already. Just building a website out of the blue is not ‘planning’, that’s just ‘random’. As a professional business, a lot of your time is going to be dedicated to trying to close quality deals.
Your main goal is to be seen as “trusted advisor”, “knowledgeable”, “personal”, “innovative”, “different” to help buyers get what they need at a competitive price. That includes a good execution/ops team + awesome customer service.
This includes things like planning for workshops (online or off), producing and distributing quality content and information, establishing relationships with others in your industry, and much more. Therefore, when it comes to online marketing, it may be a great idea to outsource certain “busy-work” so that you can focus on your unique ability.
Finally – think about the 80/20 rule – what produces the best results (80%) based on 20% of your work? That outsourced work includes things like website development, direct response copy development, search engine optimization, content development, social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and more.