It takes atleast 3 years to really see the effects of search engine rankings. That's three years that the sorting algorithms are trying to figure out if your website is better than the competition. Your website could seem like it's ranking up but actually be finding it's place in lower ranks. If you start with a cheap or free website it's going to hurt your chances of hitting it big. You're going to miss your best window of opportunity.
Doing a little research before building a website (even if it's seemingly free) can save you from figuratively shooting your business in the foot. Taking things further to form a website strategy will pave your way to success. Here's a few things you really need to know before starting a business website.
Websites take years to reach organic traffic, investing that much time in an inferrior host or free website is going to limit your traffic growth.
Someone offered to build you a wordpress site for $1000? You can easily do this yourself in hours for free. Just download wordpress and follow a 5 minute tutorial. Not recommended for your business websites.
Your domain name is important, it's effectively what's going to be ranking up in search engines. Free websites are just domain extensions of the platform you make the free website in.
You always have to pay for website hosting if you want an actual website domain, so even free websites have ongoing costs.
When your website has a link at the bottom to a website platform like 'website made with wix' it detracts from your brand. People wil associate your business with cheapness, not a great look.
You need to maintain a website well to keep it secure and comply with the frequently changing search engine algorithms to keep pages ranking high. You should also test website performance a few times a year.
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Like any other investment, the payout could be huge but it's going to take time. You need to invest either time or money to get them climbing in search engines. No matter which one you choose to invest you need to be smart about it and focus on efficiency - not cheapness. Or you could end up sacrificing your time on a cheap website that's not going anywhere.
Before you even build a website you should have worked out the most efficient website build, a marketing strategy that maximises profits, budgets for SEO, and what forms of marketing will benefit you more. If you don't know yet then build and test at the same time.
It's really hard to compare all of the different options and make a decision. There's no way you're going to know which is better in the long term until you try them either. So it's really easy to make big decisions on a whim and waste a lot of time and money.
If you want to reach more people with less money your website needs to be built specifically to rank high. First of all content needs to be optimised to load fast as well as cover SEO best practices. For example images need to be compressed and sized correctly, 'Alt tags' need to be added, then source set code and Google's AMP can speed pages up even further for different devices. Even with all this done correctly it's really not easy to make a page meet Google's latst target page speed of 3 seconds or less on 3G mobile connections.
Websites shouldn't just sit there and look pretty, they need to serve a function. That's why businesses hire UX/UI designers like myself to structure a website and make changes on the fly. If the objective is to make sales the goal is to find the highest converting option using user testing and analytics. Every single thing on a page needs to be there for a good reason, generic 'cookie cutter' website builder sites don't have the flexibility to move things around.
Website performance is integral for ranking up in google which can have a massive impact on your business. Skip the stage most business owners take of buying a cheap cookie cutter website. Stand out with a custom coded website using the newest web standards to get your website performing well on search engines. Get a high converting website one built just for you.
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