How to Start Your Professional Website in 2022
Statista explains that the internet has a growing influence on individual consumers and businesses, with internet users worldwide standing at 4.9 billion. As it is, more and more people are conducting their businesses online. Professionals should take advantage of this reality and introduce their services on online platforms— one way they can do so is through professional websites.
Of course, professional websites communicate beyond what your business offers. LHH describes how a professional website helps create an authentic, discoverable career story that can bolster the success of your services. Prior to becoming a success, you’ll need to evaluate the relevant elements of your website and which platform to build your story on. Setting up a professional website requires thoughtful planning after all.
Hopefully, the steps we’ve listed below can guide you into creating your professional website this 2022.
1. Choose your domain name
As a general rule of thumb, domain names have to be related to your offered services, especially with the rising popularity of personal websites in 2022. Unique domain names make it easier for prospective clients to recognize, remember and share your website.
To avoid confusion, exclude numbers, acronyms, and abbreviations in your domain name. Once you’ve settled on one, check its availability and purchase it on online registrars such as Domain.com, Squarespace, or Wix. Remember to review copyrights to ensure you aren’t infringing on someone else’s protected name.
2. Find the right web host
A web host is essentially the server in which you’ll build, publish and manage all your data for public viewing. For professionals on a budget, you may be interested in a shared web host which helps regularly maintain your website. However, this option presents a lack of customization options.
Amidst the growing sea of professional websites, you’ll want to elevate yours by using unique design elements, plugins or data integration apps for payment processes (if applicable). Consider working on web builders such as Squarespace or Wix as they provide highly-customizable themes and a diverse range of integration apps.
WordPress, in particular, has a plugin called Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode. This lets you run your site as it undergoes repair so you can still retain your site’s SEO while offline.
3. Build your website
In building your website (or simply a positive user experience), you’ll need to touch base with the following points. First, your navigation should be user-friendly. This means site structure, from your main menu to the internal links and pages, should be simple and intuitive.
Likewise, design elements like color, placement, and size should reflect your offered services. This means headers or buttons such as “Subscribe” or “Register Free” should be noticeable to visitors from the get-go.
Footers can also be beneficial in providing your visitors with the most pressing information. It’ll be best to include a brief description of what you do or your background in your specific industry. Nowadays, footers should also include any relevant social media links— just to ensure prospective clients can reach you through other channels.
4. Optimize for search engines
Optimizing your website for search engines can boost its visibility. Keywords, specifically, should correspond to any search queries that relate to your services. Meanwhile, Entrepreneur claims that meta tags still remain relevant in search engines like Google.
These tags affect Google’s indexing of your website and help the search engine prioritize your site in relevant searches.
Interestingly, alt texts also play a prominent role in your SEO. Each image you upload should have a short line added to it— this enables search engines to understand what the image depicts. So if you’re selling products on your website, do utilize alt texts to enhance their reach.
5. Maintain your site through compelling content
Once your website has gone live, the next obstacle lies in attracting and maintaining visitors. One way to reach more clients is to launch a content marketing plan. Newsletters (which include surveys and weekly updates) are a great way to invite traffic to your site, and an even better means to foster closer relationships with your current clients.
If you want to demonstrate your expertise in your field further, consider creating thought-provoking ideas that take a more personal approach. Blogs can provide a space that allows you to engage visitors with topics that relate to your services.
With the popularity of vlogs, you may be unsure whether there’s an audience for written content. Thankfully, there is — EarthWeb reports that 60% of internet users continue to read and enjoy blogs today, so this is your sign to start conceptualizing written pieces.
Building your professional website entails more than just following the above steps. Beyond showcasing your services, a professional website should likewise portray your values and vision.