Everyone can create a website on WordPress, at least that’s how the story goes. In fact, most average people can do that. However, you can’t create a WordPress website without any knowledge whatsoever.
The knowledge you need is not rocket science, and everyone can learn it. But it’s crucial for your site’s success.
Here are 11 step that will make your website great.
Get a great domain name & hosting
This may not seem important but having a good domain name is always a benefit. There are so many sites that have a generic name or a name like buystuffhere.com that you will stand out instantly.
You may have heard that having a keyword in your domain name is always good. But let’s think about. When you google “buy iPhone,” do you see buyiphone.com? Most likely you will see apple.com, amazon.com, and bestbuy.com.
This is why you have to get a name that sounds great as a brand. This is especially easy considering that today, getting a free domain name in less than a minute is not a big deal.
Getting a good hosting is essential as well because page load speed influences your SEO. If you get a cheap or even a free hosting, your pages will load for ages.
Besides, cheap hostings can easily be penetrated by hackers and malware.
Start making a website
Do you know the main controls that you need to use in WordPress? Great, you can make a site!
However, you have to follow certain guidelines to make a WordPress website that converts visitors well. Here’s where you start.
Know your audience
The first tip is a bit unconventional because it’s not about WordPress itself. The thing is you can’t sell anything if you don’t know who are you selling to.
Imagine a car salesman who can’t see his customer. What would he say? That he’s got nice cars? But it’s not what the customer needs to hear to go on with the purchase.
With a website, you are essentially a blind salesman. So the only thing you can do to get to know your audience is to try getting that information from the web. Here’s what you can do:
- Look at your previous encounters
- Look at Google and Facebook data
- Conduct surveys
- Conduct personal interviews
Create user personas and user journeys on the basis of the information you get. Just don’t let your own ideas about the audience get in the way of data.
Once you know who are the people on your website, you can make it easier for them to browse, learn, and buy.
If you are a complete beginner, you’ll have to rely on your intuition, market research from your competitors, and analysis that you do later on.
Choose a template
Choosing a template is a no brainer. It has to look fun and have many customizable elements. Nice looks is not all your customers want, but it’s essential for retention – people don’t stay at ugly websites for long.
You have to know that many templates are tailored to a specific kind of business. If you run an e-shop, you’d be better off with an e-commerce template, whole bloggers can do with a simpler all-purpose one.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, but many templates are very multipurpose. If you need special features that regular templates lack, you may want to pay for a premium one. It’s a good investment, especially if you plan on making a profit on a website.
Get plugins ready
WordPress is by no means short of features, but plugins make it the versatile instrument we all love. The amount of WordPress plugins you can use is huge, so is the amount of features.
Some plugins give you an opportunity to make more advanced contact forms, others – connect with Google Analytics better.
At the bare minimum, you will need Yoast SEO plugin to make your site SEO-ready, and WP Rocket to make it faster.
For online stores, there is the well-known WooCommerce plugin, which is very powerful but can be complicated to set up. With BigCommerce’s plugin, there’s also a slightly simpler solution available where personal support is included and infrastructure elements being taken care of (such as hosting and security).
Put content in categories
Google runs bots through your website to understand how to rank it. And robots just love when everything is orderly and in place. You should silo your content as well as you can.
What is silo? Silo means putting content in categories. For instance, this is how a path to your services page would look like when siloed: buymystuff.com/los-angeles/services/plumbing.
This is how the same page looks without silo: buymystuff.com/plumbing-in-la.
Create clear-cut paths to all of your pages. It’s a bit of hassle at first, but it pays.
The right words for the headline
Your headline is the ultimate attention grabber on the website. If a person has five tabs open when they are looking for something to buy, they don’t read the whole copy. They only look at the screen above the fold and decide what tabs to close and what to read further.
This is why your headline must catch their attention. Brainstorm a couple of variants and test them.
Do you know that most people do not read the text on the page? Most of your customers only look through trying to find some key information.
This is why you should make your text copy easy to understand for those people. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Use simple language
- A maximum of 20 words per sentence
- A maximum of 3 sentences per paragraph
- Use bullet point lists
- Use visual storytelling
Clear calls to action
For the same reason, you should make CTAs visible and clear. There will be some people who are just searching for specific information. They are not interested in your text, they just want to buy and will leave if they don’t find that button.
Make sure these are always visible:
- Primary and secondary action button
- About us page
- Delivery information
- Contact page
Build a contact page
Having a good contact page is good both for your customers and for ranking in SERPs. Making a minimalistic but effective contact page is a craft in and of itself, but here is some general information that Google and your customers will like:
- A contact form with multiple topics
- A thank-you message
- Your phone number
- Your social networks pages
- Your address
- A map with your address
Record the gains
No great WordPress website was made overnight. It’s easy to make one, but making one work is a harder task.
To be the first among your competitors, analyze your website’s performance, conduct experiments, and change. The quest for a perfect site is long one, but there’s going to be a lot of new knowledge and fun along the way.