The technical elements every website needs

The technical elements every website needs

From functionality and appearance to navigation and coding, a lot goes into creating an eye-catching, and user-friendly website. In this article, we discuss some of the important elements that Google, and the other search engines take into consideration when deciding on where to place a site in the organic results for a given search query.

These are some of the technical elements all websites need:

Encryption
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a global standard security technology that enables encrypted communication between your website browser and the website server. In other words, SSL allows for a private “conversation” amongst both parties and is used to decrease the risk of sensitive information (e.g., credit card numbers, passwords, emails, etc.) from being stolen or tampered with by hackers.

Google search supports encrypted websites and automatically ranks these types of websites higher in the search results pages. When visitors see that your website is secure, they are more likely to do business with you, because having an SSL certificate will deem your business as credible. Also, remember that there are browsers that can detect insecure websites and these browsers can send warnings to discourage people from visiting insecure sites.

Installing an SSL security certificate can be a complex task for non-website designers, so it is a good idea to request this during your website design process.

Security
Cyberattacks can damage your reputation, discourage visitors from returning to your website, and are expensive to fix. Making sure that your website is safe and secure is an essential part of managing your website. Create strong and unique passwords that are difficult to crack on your website server and admin areas.

It’s important to keep up with the latest software updates too. It can be frustrating because every time you log in, there are new updates but remember that those updates are released for a reason and a lot of times, it’s to make your website more secure. Don’t miss them.

Search Engine Marketing
There are over a billion websites online today. How are you going to compete? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of trying to attain more organic (not paid) traffic to your website through improving your content and keyword relevancy. Many technical elements fall into this category, such as meta descriptions, image captions, header tags, and page titles.

Content also plays a major role in SEO. It is important to create content that is original and engaging and with specifically-chosen keywords.

Spam Protection
Everyone hates spam, but it’s not going away anytime soon. Prevention is the key. Not only will your pages and posts get hit with spam comments, but even worse are spam submissions on your forms.

Many companies choose to use a CAPTCHA to prevent spam through their online forms.

Support/Maintenance Plan
Keeping your new website fresh, accurate, and working well will maintain your company’s strong online presence while increasing visitors and activity. If your website isn’t working properly or is out of date, you may lose out on significant opportunities, such as new leads and sales.

Website maintenance refers to the tasks required to keep your website functioning properly and up to date. It involves regularly checking your website for issues, correcting any issues, performing backups, and executing updates.

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“Good website practice and optimizing for conversion usually makes for good search engine optimization. These work together to ensure you drive quality traffic and can persuade that traffic to help you meet your business goals.” – Marc Ostrofsky

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A step-by-step guide to building your website

A step-by-step guide to building your website

So you are thinking about building a website, but you are new to this whole thing. You do not even really know where to start. It can be easy to find yourself frozen before you get started if you do not have a clear list of steps to guide you. To help you out, here is a step-by-step guide to what you need to start a website.

Step 1: Register your domain name

A domain name is what people type into their browser to view your website, for example, www.yourcompanyname.co.za. Domain registration is the procedure by which you can secure your website address. Once you have completed domain registration, the domain name becomes yours for one year. Before registration expires the domain must be renewed, else the domain reverts to being available to the public.

A benefit of creating a custom domain name is the ability to create custom email addresses. For example, info@yourcompanyname.co.za. A custom domain email address reinforces the credibility and professionalism of your brand. Also, in this digital age, many people do not want to do business with a company that does not have its own domain email address.

There is a wide range of domain name extensions available, such as .co.za, .com, .org, .net, .info, .biz. The extension that you select, will depend on the type of business that you have.

Step 2: Sign up for a website hosting package

After your website is designed, you will need to publish it using a web hosting service. Web hosting services store your website files in high-powered computers connected to a very fast network. When a user types in your domain name (www.yourcompanyname.co.za) in a browser, the Internet connects to the web host and then transfers your website information so that the user can browse your website. 

The hosting service provider charges a monthly fee to host your website. The type of hosting package that you select depends on the type of website you are creating as well as the design platform you are going to use. For example, a large website or a website with lots of images and videos will require more storage space compared to a smaller website. Or, if you are going to design your website using WordPress, you are required to have PHP and MySQL.

Remember: Some providers register your domain name for free when you purchase a hosting package from them.

Step 3: Plan your website

Once you have decided on a domain name, it is time to think about your website. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the purpose of my website? i.e. sell items, showcase products, provide information, submit articles, etc.
  • What are the goals of my website? Drive traffic, capture leads, raise conversion rate, build email database, etc.
  • Does my website require special coding? Or can it be designed using WordPress? Do I hire a website design company?
  • Review your competitors or industry-related websites, see how they do things, can you do it differently or better?
  • What pages should I create? i.e. Home, About, Services, Contact, etc.
  • What content, images, videos, and graphics can I use?
  • What are my website priorities? Can I start with a simple site and build more over time?

Step 4: Design your website

This step is the most fun as you get to be creative and build your website. Make sure the following aspects are included in your design:

  • Your website is responsive. i.e. your website looks good on all mobile devices.
  • Your website follows the best practices for design and user experience.
  • Your website is search engine friendly.
  • Your website is set up for Google Analytics (an analytical tool to find out how many people visited your website, when they visit your website, which page was visited the most, where did they arrive on your website from, etc.).

Step 5: Go Live

After you have added content, reviewed, and tested your website, it is time to make your website live.

Step 6: Promote your website

How your visitors will find your website? Include your website address on all of your marketing efforts such as business cards, social media, business directories, and paid advertising. 

Step 7: Analyse your website

It is important to understand how your website is performing and who is coming to your site. Website analytics can yield great insights into what you need to do more of, or what you need to change.

If you have chosen a website design agency to design your website, the above steps will be managed by the agency. It is a good idea to thoroughly go over step 3 with the agency and brainstorm ideas if required.

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“Getting a quality website is not an expense but rather an investment.”

– Dr. Christopher Dayagdag

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Tricks to building an effective landing page

Tricks to building an effective landing page

A landing page is a web page that displays after an advert or promotion are clicked on. These pages can be linked to email, social media, or search engine marketing campaigns.

Landing pages are built with one motive in mind

To persuade visitors to take one desired action. The action could either convert visitors into a lead or a sale. If the aim is to convert a visitor into a lead, contact details (usually an email address) are requested via a form. If the goal is to convert a visitor into a sale, a shopping cart or checkout out page is linked to the call to action.

The difference between a home page and a landing page

Landing pages are more specific than home pages and have a precise focus. Home pages welcome visitors to the website, showcases services, or highlight products. Also, home pages have links to the other pages on the site, several call-to-actions, and navigation bars.

An example: You may run an e-commerce store with many products to sell. Your home page may highlight your best-selling products or top sellers. The landing page will focus on only one product.

Creating effective landing pages

The best landing pages are crafted with enticing offers that the target audience cannot refuse. Think about the way your audience would and place yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself what would engage you most if you arrived at a landing page.

Here are some tips to create an effective landing page:

  • Effective call-to-action: It is important to use one clear call to action. The use of many call-to-actions will divert the reader’s attention from the main objective. Call to actions should stand out by using various design elements such as using a different coloured button. Place your call to action above the fold so that it is visible.
  • Highlight value and benefits: Customers do not care about your awesome product; they examine the value or benefit of the product as well as the need to solve their problem. Convince customers that your product provides the benefits that they seek.
  • Create a captivating header: The header is the first thing people see when they reach your landing page. Your header should grab their attention, be clear, concise, and without jargon.
  • Deliver consistent branding: After clicking on your advert, customers will expect to see a similar type of branding on your landing page. If your landing page branding is different from your advert, it will create confusion and they will think that they are in the wrong place.
  • Design engaging content: Content should be short and to the point. Longer content tends to disinterest people. Add images instead of videos to capture their attention. Videos are known to distract the viewer from your call-to-action. Make sure that your content is error-free. Nothing destroys credibility more than poorly written copy that is full of typos or grammatical mistakes.
  • Accessible contact details: Make it simple for visitors to reach you and include various contact methods. People get frustrated easily if they cannot find contact details.
  • Build short simple forms: Do not ask for too much information and do not ask for personal information. The lead form should be quick to fill in as readers may not complete a form if they see too many fields. The basics to request are full name, email address, and company name. Asking for personal information such as identity number or home address may ward them off and may cause distrust.
  • Test your landing pages: Create different landing pages and use A/B testing to determine which pages are converting or performing the best. Headlines, call to actions, imagery, and colour variations are elements that you could try testing.
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“When too many options are presented, visitors typically will just click on one of the first few links available, hoping it’s what they need. If not, guess what? They split.”

– Stoney deGeyter

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Does your business need a website or a blog?

Does your business need a website or a blog?

Confused about creating a website or blog for your business? Here are some tips that will help with your decision:

The main difference between a website and a blog is the format in which data is presented.

What is a website?

A website is a collection of pages that provide information. Examples of pages include home, services, products, about, contact, etc. These pages are designed in a professional and formal tone. Websites are best used for businesses to create their online presence, advertise their products, provide business information, and sell goods to customers.

What is a blog?

Blog, short for weblog, is a collection of content-related posts. A blog is informal, conversational, and provides informative content in the form of articles (posts). Blogs are intended for writing about compelling topics and new material consistently. This is why several news-oriented websites are moving toward blogs. A blog’s purpose is not to advertise or sell to anyone.

All Blogs are Websites, but all Websites are not Blogs.

Which is the best option for Search Engine Optimisation?

Google loves blogs. Blog posts are indexed faster than website pages due to the regularly posted content. Keep in mind that quality versus quantity, it is purely effective when you publish quality content that people are interested in reading.

Give your clients the experience of having both

Create a website with a built-in blog. Publish company information using your website and incorporate articles within your blog. Each time you write a blog post, it is one more indexed page on Google i.e. one more opportunity for you to appear in search engines and drive traffic to your website. It is important to host your blog on your website so that the domain name is constant.

Potential customers, who find your blog post on the internet, will be directed to your website where they can learn more about your business. This will, in turn, drive more traffic to your website. If you are consistently creating content that’s helpful and useful, people will return for more. This technique builds trust and authority. It will position you as a thought leader and not only a provider of services or products.

Define your online goals before determining which option is best suited for your business. If creating content regularly and lack of time is a concern, you should begin with a website. Blogs are more cost-efficient to build compared to a website and for this reason, people hastily create blogs then find out it is not always the best solution for their business needs in the long run.

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“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”

– Charles Eames

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Aiming to rank your website higher on Google? Looking to establish authority in your niche? Want to engage a steady stream of followers on social media? We offer impeccable digital solutions that are customised to your needs. Using a cutting-edge strategy, we deliver services that are guaranteed to exceed your expectations.

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Velocity Nine is a digital marketing agency powered by market research, digital technology, and analytics. 

Copyright © 2020 Velocity Nine. All rights reserved.

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