How to build a great website

Here are ten steps to creating a website for your start-up sportswear business to ensure that your brand will get found.

1. Get a good domain name (website address)

Your domain name is what people will type in when visiting your website for the first time, so it needs to be easy to read, type and also represent your brand.

When thinking of your start-up’s brand name, you’ll need to think about whether you will be able to buy the domain name, as it is a significant part of your brand identity and will be seen across all of your marketing campaigns.

Try to think about the suffix (e.g. .com .co.uk .cc) it is very rare that you will see a sportswear business with a .org .app or even .store as these are not commonly used by brands and .org is for organisations that do not run to make a profit.

2. Choose a website platform

There are quite a few website building platforms for start-ups to choose from, whether it is an all in one solution like Shopify or Wix where you will pay them for their online builder and their hosting, but you’ll have less flexibility and expandability in the future. Alternatively, there are platforms like WordPress.org where you will be able to build your website for free but will need to find hosting for the website.

Due to Shopify being an all in one solution, it makes it easy for you to create your online store, accept payments and manage your stock all from one platform. As it is an all in one platform, you don’t need to worry about setting up the systems and then getting them to work with one another as they all come as one piece, you just need to pay Shopify for its complete setup.

Wix is an all in one website building platform which is very easy to use and has some great interface features to make your website really pop, however, in our experience there can be many different teething issues when trying to get your eCommerce features to function all the time and some applications can become out-of-date and there will be no replacement for the one which you were using.

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS and the majority of the website you visit will be built with it. There are many big names who use WordPress; Vogue, BBC America and The Sun to name but a few. Due to its vast usage, it has a high range of available applications to add to your website and if you can not find an application that suits your needs it is easy to find a developer to build one for you.

Are you wondering which solution is right for you? Unfortunately, we can’t tell you the answer to the question, however, if you want to have full control and expandability in the future, then WooCommerce is the best platform for you. If you want something that is hassle-free and you don’t want to pay a developer for the moment, then Shopify is the platform for you, as you will be able to maintain the day-to-day running of the website by yourself. 

3. Write a description of your start-up

Add a clear description of your sportswear brand for people to read and for website crawlers to find and display information about your start-up. You’ll also want to add a read more link to a separate page for users to navigate to and for you to add links in your menus. This will help your users, as well as help, improve your search engine optimisation.

4. Create an excellent website user interface

Whatever website building platform you use here, we can help you with this. You will just need to think about what represents your brand; the font/s, the logo, the images and research the competition to see how they have designed their websites and how you think your website could be better than theirs.

Users will be used to navigating through websites in a certain way and their eyes will naturally gravitate towards certain areas to look for certain things, so ensure that your website follows these patterns so that users can find what they are looking for and checkout without running into issues.

5. Test your website 

Before you publish your website and try to get anyone to buy anything, ensure that everything works. From people being able to find your website through a search engine and landing on your homepage to checking out and you get their order, you need to make sure that everything works and orders go through correctly.

6.  Optimise your Website

Search engine optimisation or SEO is a practice to ensure that your website appears when people are searching for what you offer. We spoke earlier about having a website description, so that website crawlers can find appropriate information about your business, this is just that but to great detail.

Some common things that SEO practice includes; 

Keywords – adding appropriate words to your pages so that your content appears in search results e.g. product descriptions including the sportswear fabrics that customers are looking for.

Fast loading speed – ensuring that users aren’t waiting for an age for your website to load and going elsewhere. This means downsizing images to the appropriate sizes and not having videos running unless you are running a server that can handle it.

Mobile-friendly website – the majority of visitors to your eCommerce website will be via mobile, so it is essential that they can easily navigate and buy your products on their mobile devices.

New content – Old outdated websites will become stale and unfresh, so search engines won’t rank them highly. You need to add new blogs to your website so that the search engines can find fresh new content. This also helps you post content on social media and allows social media users to navigate from social media to your website, which will hopefully result in a sale for you.

These are just a few small tips to help you understand the process and SEO is an ongoing process, just like keeping a blog updated. 

7. Create backups

Whether you are using an all-in-one website building solution or using a website platform, you will need to create backups of your website for technical and human errors, as both happen. The last thing you want to happen is to build a whole new site and not be able to restore it if you have an issue with it. If your website goes down for a long period of time, then your Google ranking will be lost and you’ll have to work to restore it.

Whether you manually back it up or set up an automated setup where you’ll pay a little more for peace of mind, ensure you back up your website.

8. Analyse Traffic

Adding tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster to your website will help you analyse and evaluate the traffic heading to your website to see what your website users are doing and where they are navigating to. This can help you know where you can improve on traffic and also monitor the success of advertising campaigns.

9. Social Media Marketing

Use your social media presence to direct traffic to your website, if you have spent hours working on creating a great website with great online content you don’t want it to just sit there.

You can share your blogs, products, sales and a behind the scenes of what is happening with the business. Social media users a more likely to follow people online than brands, due to connecting with their personalities. So if you share what you are doing behind the scenes, your content is more likely to get more likes and you are more likely to get more followers.

10. Implement an online marketing maintenance plan

Often websites and online marketing becomes stale and need a refresh. This is where sitting down and analysing where traffic has gone down and where traffic has stayed true to see what needs to be worked on a refreshed. It could be creating a small new marketing campaign to give things the boost that they need or it could be giving the website an overhaul, as a rule of thumb is to redesign your website once every three years.

If you would like help with your sportswear start-up from tech packs to eCommerce setup, then contact us today to hear about how we can help you.

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