As I worked on this website with a designer, I learned a lot about how to be more prepared to have a new website and will share it with you.
Know what you want to say by having your content ready. Personally, I used a copywriting professional, Sudden Monkey, to properly craft the wording of my site.
Have high quality pictures ready or be prepared to pay for some. Websites need to be visually appealing in order to keep the audience’s attention.
Find a good designer. I recommend getting a referral from someone who has a well put together website. Even with the referral, make sure to look at other sites they have done to make sure what they are providing will match what you want.
The first draft will need improvement. Even with clear communication and having all of your content ready, the first draft of your website will most likely not meet you expectations. Be candid and clear with your designer and make sure to have someone besides you look through the site and tell you how easily they navigate the site and understand the content.
Make sure you have a plan for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Just putting a site on the internet does not cause it to show up in search results. You need to make sure your site has lots of words that describe your business as well as optimized meta content: keywords, title, description.
Use interactive content that changes. For most this means a blog. A blog is an opportunity to keep your audience informed of industry trends, weekly specials, or reviews on new products among other things. It will keep your site fresh and tell the search engines & your audience that your site is interesting.
I would like to thank my web designer, Mendatech, for being patient with me as I learned these lessons. I would also like to thank Sudden Monkey for helping me refine my copy to be more readable to my audience. Both were great to work with and I recommend them without reservation.