Website Planning for eCommerce: How To Plan Your eCommerce Website

This article is all about Website Planning for eCommerce and Affiliate marketing business.

In this article, I’ll provide you with all the necessary information on structuring and planning your website which gets you the conversions.

WE all know that, online presence is crucial for today’s businesses. If you are not online, you are leaving so many business opportunities on the table.

Here in this blog, we help businesses, especially small businesses like affiliate and eCommerce websites to build their online presence, so that they could leverage the power of the internet to expand their business.

When you are online, the sky is the limit.

spocket ad

From Amazon to Alibaba there are several examples where businesses were started in a garage but the internet transformed them into global businesses.

That’s the power of the internet.

If you use the tool INTERNET wisely, you will open the door to limitless success.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommended. Read more about Affiliate disclosure here.


 

The Internet makes us able to sell our product to the person sitting on another side of the world, without getting out from your home or office.

So, how can you leverage the internet in expanding your business?

The first step is, by CREATING A WEBSITE FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

Just as the brick and mortar business, you need a website to showcase your business to customers where they would come and purchase your product and services.

Website is just like your office, the only difference is it’s not built with bricks and mortars, but with virtual elements.

The building blocks of a website are, programming codes, domain name, web hosting space, server, IP addresses, programming languages, CMS, images, texts, videos, and other virtual elements.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a programmer to create your website. There are several CMS’s (Content management systems) available that you can use to create your website with just DRAG AND DROP facility.

We come on “CMS’s” later in this article where I will also share with you the articles I’ve already written about the installation and maintenance of the most popular CMS WordPress,

But first off…

Domain Name

domain-names

Every business needs an address where customers could find and reach you to buy your products and services. Without an address, you can’t do the thing “business” in the physical world.

If you are already in business, you can easily imagine what I’m telling about. Without an address how would anyone know, your business exists?

Right?

The same law applies in the online world. Online business also needs an address where internet users would reach to buy your products and services.

But online business addresses are a bit different from the physical address.

A physical address may consist of flat/house no, area, pin/zip code, city, state, etc.

While online addresses consist of 4 parts.

  1. http:// or https:// which is the short version of “hypertext transfer protocol”. (Common in all web addresses.)
  2. www – World Wide Web (Common in all web addresses.)
  3. The web address you have chosen for your business such as “ebizsutra”. It can consist of alphabets, numbers, etc. (But always stick into just alphabets so that your customers could remember your web address)
  4. Domain Extension – com, co.in, org, net, etc

Domain names or web addresses can be borrowed from domain registrars by paying a yearly rental. Just as a physical property for which you pay yearly rental to the local government.

Now, let us see the work of domain name in the online world and your online business.

Suppose, you have a shop in your locality. Customers come and buy your products directly from your shop. Now, imagine you want to set up the online version of your shop. So what is the first thing you need?

An online address where people can land and buy your products. Here domain name comes into play.

After your website setup on your domain name, anybody can open your website by just typing the domain name in the search field of any internet browser.

For en example, to open E-Biz Sutra you’ve to type https://www.smartincomesutra.com or simply ebizsutra.com in the address bar of any internet browser. See the image given below

web address domain name

Choosing a domain name is an art.

You can’t just choose a random domain name and extensions. To understand why I’m telling you that choosing a domain name is an art, Imagine 2 scenarios.

  1. www.smartincomesutra-26.com
  2. www.smartincomesutra.com

Which one is more attractive and memorable? Obviously the second one.

Just as the main part of the domain name, extensions have their own value. Some extensions such as com, net etc are called premium extensions. People can easily memorize them.

Not just a catchy domain name and extension, There are several criteria you should follow when choosing your domain name.

Here is a whole article on finding the best domain name for your online business, which can help you out in finding the best one for you.

Web Hosting Plans For Startups

web hosting plans for businesses

The second most important thing which you should have is “WEB HOSTING”. Web hosting is as important as a domain name.

You can consider a domain name as a piece of land and web hosting is the building built upon the land.

Just as in real-world we need built-up space to store our assets, in the virtual world the same is web hosting space. We host our website files on web hosting space provided by web hosting providers.

Web hosting space is a hard-disk space on hosting server (special computers always connected with the internet) you can rent from the server owner called web hosting provider.

In real-world customers come to our shop to see our product wherein the internet world they open our website hosted on the rented web hosting space to see our products and services.

Even they can buy those products by ordering and paying online via Debit/Credit cards and other online payment options.

From basic to advanced, there are many types of web hosting plans you can choose from. But for starting up a business online, you don’t need advanced hosting plans.

You have to pay monthly rent to host your website on the web hosting server. The costing varies with the plan to plan.

Following are some of the basic plans that you need to start and scaling up your online business.

Shared Hosting: For Starting Up

Shared hosting is a very basic hosting plan where you share your hosting space with other website owners. Don’t worry they can’t access your login area.

It’s fully protected by the server owner (Web hosting provider).

Shared hosting only cost you a few dollars monthly to host your website on shared servers.

However, there are some limitations with shared hostings, such as limited space, limited upload download bandwidth, limited hardware resources, etc, cheap price makes it more popular among the new businesses.

But you should always choose a reliable shared hosting provider, otherwise, you can suffer several problems including loading speed(which matter a lot in SEO), data backup, etc.

There are several web hosting providers out there though I always recommend Bluehost Shared hosting packages. Sitegorund is one of the most reliable hosting providers in the world and you can get their service with just $3.95/M.

See The Plans

VPS Hosting: For Scaling Website

If you already have your website up and running and getting a lot of traffic, it’s time to upgrade your hosting plan. So, in which plan you should upgrade?

“VPS hosting”

In VPS hosting, you get a virtual private server with dedicated IP address which means you are not sharing your web hosting plan with anyone. It’s a very safe, secure and fast version of web hosting.

Here you can ask, why the word virtual joined in the name? Because physically there are one server hosts many VPS hosting partitions, but virtually all partitions have their own IP address and control panel. So you get the whole admin permissions of your server.

The only downside of VPS hosting is it’s much more costly than shared hosting. The lowest plan from a reliable host starts from $19.99M.

Dedicated Hosting: For Established Businesses

The third option is dedicated hosting where you get the whole physical server to host your website. As you get a whole server, there is no limitation in use. However, most of the small businesses don’t need dedicated hosting.

If you have millions of traffic and data downloads on a monthly basis then you can consider upgrading your plan to dedicated hosting. Otherwise, VPS hosting is best for all small businesses.

As in dedicated hosting, you are provided with a whole physical server with dedicated IP address, obviously, it costs more than VPS hosting.

Dedicated hosting from a reliable web hosting provider such as BlueHost costs minimum $79.99/M but it worths.

The world of web hosting is very confusing and as a new startup, you’ll be really confused about roaming across several types of web hosting plans and providers.

So, you should read my articles on web hosting to choose the best plan and a reliable web host for your business.

So, you have a well-chosen domain name and a web hosting plan from a reliable hosting provider.

Now what?

Now, its time to create your website where your customers land and purchase your product and services.

In the next few sections, we will read about how to develop a website which really converts and give you better ROI.

So, let’s start…

Web Development Platforms For Businesses

cms for business

Website development is such a techy process.

Right?

Wrong…

It was techy…in the old days but today any non-techy person can easily create a data-driven website without touching any code.

There are tons of tools and resources available online to create your website without the knowledge of coding. These tools are called CMS, or CONTENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE.

Content management systems are pre-programmed software run on the server and provide you the facility to create your website with easy drag and drop feature along with word editor to create written content for your website.

They can be easily customizable by using templates and plugins. You just need to install that CMS software on your server and you will be able to create your website with drag and drop feature.

Some of them are paid and some are free to use. Paid ones provide more features though don’t underestimate the free ones.

Do you know, the most popular CMS software is also free, named…

WordPress

wordpress-cms

If we call WordPress the backbone of the internet it’s not the superlative. Today over 34% of websites run on WordPress.  Do you know, how many websites are on the internet?

1.5 billion

and WordPress alone powers 75,000,000 websites. Such a huge number. Right?

I, too have my all websites running on WordPress. There are a number of reasons which make it the most popular CMS.

  • Free to use.
  • Easy to use.
  • Highly customizable
  • Tons of plugins and themes.
  • Very secure.
  • Can be used as a blog and website under the same domain name.
  • Multiuser facility.

The above features make WordPress the most popular CMS software of the world. If you want to learn WordPress then you can refer to this step by step guide to install it on your hosting server and other resources listed below.

This video can help you install WordPress on your server.

Joomla and Drupal

joomla cms

Joomla and Drupal are the second options for open source CMS’s.

You can also use them to create your website though they are more complicated then WordPress.

As well as if we compare the functionality, plugin and themes library, etc WordPress is far better then Drupal and Joomla.

I remember, 4 years ago I’ve developed a website on Joomla and it was such an overwhelming experience for me.

When I switched to WordPress, first I took it lightly thinking that it’s just for creating blogs, but with time I came to know the power of this amazing CMS software.

Though, if you want to give a try, Joomla and Drupal are good options after WordPress.

Shopify and Other Online Store Tools

ecommerce-online

Apart from the open-source free CMS, there are some paid options available on the internet, especially for the businesses who don’t have time to design their website.

Tools like Shopify provides the plug and play feature that means you can create your website with just clicking on some buttons.

They have a wizard-based development platform so you don’t even need to do much to create your website. Just follow the wizard and done.

However, these tools are not highly customizable as WordPress and cater to a specific type of businesses.

For example, if you want to create a shopping website, Shopify is the best option for you. But you can’t create a portfolio website on Shopify.

There are other tools such as Wix and Squarespace who offer web development for in a broad category, including portfolio, shopping, blogs, review websites, etc.

If you are in the retail sector and want to sell your physical or digital products online Shopify is the most reliable and easy to use tool for you.

It provides the hosting space, SSL and other basic needs of a website so you don’t need to worry about the basics.

You can only focus on your sells and inventory management and all the basic work is done by Shopify.

To create a shop on Shopify you just need to provide your domain name and select the template by following the wizard. Your website will be created in minutes.

To provide this kind of service, Shopify charges a reasonable monthly rental from you.

Want to try Shopify? Click here…

Other Platforms

As I have mentioned above there are other platforms too which you can use to create your website. Some of them are open source while others are paid.

Paid platforms like Wix and Squarespace provides all the basic needs of a website so you don’t need to buy web hosting and SSL certificate separately.

You just need to buy a domain name for your website and connect that domain name to Wix or Squarespace account.

Now you are ready to develop your website with wizard-based drag and drop feature.

If we search for open source CMS software there are tons of options available. From forum software like bbpress to social media network creation software like Elgg you have the wide range CMS’s to select from.

Now you are aware of the “non-techy web development platforms” on which you can develop your websites without any programming knowledge, its time to discuss how to structure and design your business website that visitors really like.

In the end, every business needs conversion so how you design and structure your website that CONVERTS well.

So in the next sections, we will discuss all of the factors that make a website attractive and user-friendly that converts well.

Read on…

Website Structure and Theme For Businesses

website structure and theme

Whatever effort you are using in advertising your online business, all vanished when your visitors land on a poorly optimized website.

Always remember,

First impression is the last impression.

If your website is not optimized for users, nobody is going to buy from you.

Let us see it with 2 examples.

Example 1: Poorly optimized website

poorly optimized website
  • Too many ad banners
  • Buton color and size is not appealing
  • Not so good fonts used
  • The logo is not attractive
  • Fonts going out of the module

Example 2: Well-optimized website

well optimized website
  • A clear call to action
  • Search bar
  • Visible login option (Best for lead generation)
  • Product menu is not confusing
  • The logo is very attractive
  • Beautiful and readable fonts are used

I think now you are aware of what I want to explain yourself. The goal is to build a website that looks beautiful as well as doesn’t confuse your visitors.

It should have a clear call to action for more conversion rate and looks a branded website.

Well, it looks complicated but not really. You can build a beautiful and user-friendly website in a couple of hours with the best CMS WordPress.

The whole game is choosing a perfect theme for your WordPress website. If you become successful in finding the right one, the only effort it needs from you is to configure that theme on your website.

Choosing a perfect theme for a WordPress website is not really easy, However, Themeforest and Elegant themes can make it very easy for you.

Where Themeforest can allow you to find the most suitable theme from the ocean of themes, Elegant theme allows you to customize your web pages with their drag and drop feature and dozens of templates.

Now let me explain to you the factors you should take care of when developing your website.

The  first one is,

Homepage

Each and every website has a homepage. So, what is the homepage of a website?

Here is the definition

The homepage is the name of the main landing page of a website where visitors can find hyperlinks to other pages on the site, such as about, products and services and contact pages. If a user types the domain name on the browser’s search bar, he first lands on the home page of the website.

So, you can easily imagine how important is this page for any online business. If this page is not user-friendly and optimized for conversion, you can lose potential earning from your online business.

Now you could ask, what factors we should care about when designing a homepage?

I will discuss all the factors below but the most important factor is hyperlinking all the important pages of your website with the homepage. 

Here are other factors described, read on…

Navigation or Menu

The second important factor when developing a website is its navigation. Navigation is like a roadmap drive the visitors to their desired location on the website.

Without a navigation menu, we can’t go anywhere from the homepage. As I have described above, a homepage should have hyperlinks to all important pages, these hyperlinks should be placed inside the navigation menu showing the page name.

Depends upon your need, you can to create more than one navigation menus as you can see on the shopping websites.

For example, let us see the different navigation menu on a shopping website.

Top menu

Top navigation

Main Menu

main menu

Footer Menu

footer menu

Here you’ve seen 3 types of menu with different placement on the website.

However, navigation menus complement the homepage with hyperlink to the other pages, they should be visible on all pages so that user could navigate from page to page without landing to the homepage repeatedly.

Here the concept of Header, Footer, and Sidebar comes into play. In most of the websites, headers and footer are same in all pages except some pages such as landing pages where the more user attention is aspected to the product.

In some websites especially blogs, sidebars are common in all pages and blogposts do that the reader could directly navigate to other content without repeatedly landing on the homepage.

So here are some basic things you need to keep in mind when designing a menu.

  • Main menu or Header navigation is the most important menu so you need to make it user-friendly and not confusing.
  • If you have a different call to action for different features such as login function, its better to create a top bar login menu separately.
  • If you have a range of products, create a separate menu and search bar for it.
  • For other important but less visited pages such as privacy policy, terms and conditions create a footer menu.
  • Keep the header, top and footer navigation same in all pages so that user could navigate to anywhere without overwhelming.

Keeping these small things in mind you can create a high converting navigation menu.

Now let us see the 3rd important factor of a website.

Logo

A logo represents your company so it’s important to design it professionally so it could appeal to the audience.

The first thing in a logo is to see is it representing your work? It’s very tough to represent your work in a logo, however, you can hire a professional logo maker to make your company’s logo.

Fiverr is the best place for it. In this platform,  you can find professional logo makers with just $5 to $100 per logo.

The quality of the logo depends on how much you pay for it. Here are some ideas and other things that should help when you are ordering to create your logo.

  • A logo representing your work is the best one.
  • The first letters or the whole name of your company can be used in the logo.
  • Illustrations that are copyrighted can create trouble so ask your logo maker to use copyright free material.
  • In websites generally the dimension of a logo is rectangular, but in social media profiles and pages, it is circular. So ask your logo maker to create a circular logo or create a different version of your logo for social media.
  • However, we will discuss the brand colors in the next section, just remember here, your logo should have the color of your brand.
  • Finally, a logo should be attractive that could grab user attention in the first look.

Now let us go discuss the colors.

Brand colors

We all love colors.

Right?

But what if a website is designed with all the seven colors of the rainbow? Is it digestible?

No, however, we love rainbow, if it will be present in front of our eyes for a whole day and on the computer and mobile screens, you can easily imagine the condition of your eyes.

If we go deep within, there is a whole psychology of human behavior about colors.

But don’t worry I don’t teach you that psychology. I just want to let you know why using a colorful website will affect your visitor’s eyes. And ultimately your conversion.

See this color wheel for 1 minute.

color wheel

What did you feel? I’m confident you are feeling overwhelming.

Now close your eyes. What did you feel? The wheel is at the front of your closed eyes. Right?

So, here is the reason why you should use a single or not more than 2 to 3 colors on a website, social media channels, and other places.

The other reason is a single color that you choose for your “company branding” should be used on your website too. So that your visitors could relate to your brand and website.

Every company should have its own color signature

So, always try to use not more than 2 or 3 colors in which one should be your company’s primary color signature.

The secondary colors can be used in the call to action buttons, navigation menus, borders, footer colors, etc.

Now, let us come to another important factor of a user-friendly website

Brand fonts

brand fonts

When it comes to branding, choosing primary fonts you use around all places such as website title, description, content, blogs, or even in images is crucial.

Suppose a website where the content written in different fonts in different paragraphs, titles and other places compared to a website in which a few primary fonts are used throughout the content.

Which one you’ll like?

The 2nd one…Right?

Because the second one creates a professional look which is the main criteria when it comes to branding.

So, choosing primary fonts for your business is in one of the first steps you should take.

The second thing you should keep remember is always to choose a font which is clearly readable. Don’t choose a cursive or something else.

A clearly visible font help users easily read your content which increases the retention time of user on your website and ultimately help your SEO.

Here are 2 tools which will help you choose the best fonts for your website.

Iconography and Illustrations

iconography

Along with images we need icons used as a part of the content as well as call to action.

There are several types of icons we use on the websites including, icons of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc, Products and Services icons, Navigation icons. There are many.

Using icons on a website not only enhance the beauty but also help user understanding the content easily. 

So, most of the professional businesses use icons on their websites.

I know you are excited and going to search on the internet for your business-related icons on your website. But wait, before using any random one, here 2 things you need to remember about them.

  • You can’t use any random icon as most of them are copyrighted. (Exceptions are always there)
  • You should use branded icons for your website to enhance your branding.

So, how can you do that?

Iconography…

However, if you are not familiar in creating logos and illustrations, transfer the load to the professional and ask him if he can design branded icons for your website.

Branded means the color used in the icons is the same as used throughout the website.

This approach enhances your branding one step further.

Though you can use a set of pre-designed icons from websites like icons8.com it’s better to hire a professional icon maker for this job.

Photography

photography

Professional websites require professional images. You’ve already listened to this word…

A picture is worth a thousand words

The above saying is 100% true with websites. A professional website needs professional images otherwise no-body will show interest in your products and services.

Let’s take 2 examples.

Example 1

professional image example

Example 2

images for websites

If the price and other features will be the same, which one you’ll buy?

I know, you’ve chosen the first option. Why?

Looks attractive right?

So, you need to understand human psychology, no matter whatever medium you use to sell.

In online business our website is the first place where people land. So, understanding your company and products and services with professional images will help them take quick decisions.

Here was the importance of professional images for websites. Now its time to know two more features which directly deliver your products and services to the website visitors.

Product Listing

Product listing is an essential feature for shopping websites.

If you have more then one product or services to sell, it’s better to create a product listing page for your website and hyperlink that page to the navigation menu.

Also, if you have products in more then one category, it’s better to create a separate navigation menu for each category so that the visitor can navigate from one product category to others easily.

Here is an example of the product listing page.

product listing page for businesses

As shown in the image you need to create a product category navigation bar tat should be visible throughout the website as well as a sorting feature so that people can sort your product range as per price and other criteria.

When you create your website on Shopify or Woocommerce(WordPress plugin), you will get pre-designed product listing pages in their package.

Landing Pages

Another important page for shopping websites is landing page. Landing pages have all the details of a particular product and the navigation menus as well.

Though the main goal of the landing page is to convert the visitor so you should always provide as many details of your product on the page.

It should be optimized to convert the visitor into a customer so you should carefully design the landing page for your product.

Here is a well-optimized landing page you can see.

well optimised landing page

In the above example, the main goal of the website owner is to capture the email of the visitor, so she optimized the landing page for his sole purpose.

As per the need, there are several types of landing pages you can design. some of them are,

  • Product landing page
  • Lead capture landing page
  • Social Follow landing page

However, you can design your own landing pages on your website, it’s better to use well-optimized templates from online landing page creation tools and services.

There are tons of that kind of services but only a few out of them have high converting templates and hassle-free design environment.

The one which I use on my websites is Lead Pages.

In lead pages, you get tons of tasted high converting templates and a user-friendly design environment. As well as they provide 14-days free trial to the new customers.

Try Lead Pages

So, here were the main factors e-commerce or business websites owners should always consider before starting to develop their website.

Keep in mind, A professional website can sell.

Whether its homepage design, navigation menus, colors, fonts, images, landing pages, the main goal is to make all those things perfect so that you can increase the visitor’s retention as well as the conversion percentage.

The next one is CONTENT PLANNING FOR WEBSITES…

Website Content Plan

content-is-king

In the last sections, we have discussed “structure and theme for business websites”. But just a good design and userfriendly structure are not enough for a website until it been able to deliver the information people seeking about your business.

Right?

Here, comes the “Content Plan for Websites“.

Someone said,

Content is king.

And it’s true because, without the valuable content, neither anyone visits your website nor Google will rank your site.

Do you know, the importance of content for websites and other channels formed a separate industry called CONTENT MARKETING INDUSTRY. Today every 2nd digital marketer is a content creator too.

Big-budget companies especially hire content creators to create and manage their online content.

So, if you wanna dive into the online business world, its crucial to aware of the content types, as well as how to create and publish the right type of content to grab the attention of customers.

Here I want to tell you a more. Don’t treat the internet as any traditional channel such as TV and Radio. It’s far different from other types of content channels. People generally come into internet seeking for information.

Apart from the traditional channels they have tons of information to choose from if they don’t like your content.

So, when creating content on the internet, outperforming your competitors is crucial.

On the Internet, the thumb rule is, create the best content to sell more.

Now you know the importance of content on the internet, its time to know which contents types you should create and publish on your website.

Blog posts or articles

The first and very reliable content type for websites is blog posts. A blog is not a new concept.

It was started in early 2000 to share one’s thoughts with others on the internet, just as a newspaper column. But with time its evolved into the main source of income for many entrepreneurs.

Apart from the old days when it was just a way to express your thoughts, now evolved into a money-making machine by presenting you and your company as a niche expert.

As you know, the written content is the most reliable source of information throughout history. Whether it’s a printed book or a blog post, people love to read.

That’s the main reason behind such popularity of blogs on the internet. The most amazing thing about blogs is search engines really love blogs and rank those websites higher who have blogs attached to them.

Search engines neither read images nor videos (Google AI read videos). They only read written contents. So a website equipped with a blog is more search engine friendly than others.

NOw how can you create a blog section on your website?

As a non-techy person, use WordPress which already have blog feature attached. When structuring your navigations menu, attach the link to your blog page too.

That’s it.

Here is an article by WP Beginner to setup blog on WordPress site help you in that.

Setup WordPress Blog

Guides / How-to articles

Guides and How-to articles are very popular among internet-savvy people, especially those who are seeking a solution to a problem.

Through guides and how-to articles, you can prove yourself and your company as a niche expert. These type of articles and how-to guides can be published as blogs, ebooks, and PDF.

To understand the importance of Guides and How-to articles in selling your product, let us imagine 2 scenarios.

Scenario 1

Imagine a website showcasing products and services. But there is no information about how to use those products and services.

Scenario 2

A website showcasing products and services and each product or service has a special link to a blog post on how to use that product.

Which one you will choose to buy?

Obviously the 2nd one.

The second website not just focusing on hard-selling of their products but also helps people on successfully use them.

Apart from the product how-to guides, there could other how-to articles too. Let us take an example.

Suppose you have a dog training business and created a website for it. Now you can write a details guide on,

“How to train dogs to not bark unnecessarily.”

And at the end mention your own training business so that people could contact you.

Reviews

reviews for products

Reviews are one of the most converting content as in review we can direct pitch our products to people. And the cool thing is it’s not limited to written content. You can create video reviews too.

A review is what you will share the pros and cons of a product with your audience after using that. After reviewing the pruduct you can add a direct call to action to purchase. That’s the main reason why reviews best convert.

If you wanna go with video reviews, Youtube is the best platform for you. Even, many entrepreneurs are already creating and producing products review videos on Youtube and getting a good sell convention.

Just create a video review, publish on your company’s YouTube channel and embed the same on your website.

If you want to write a review for your products then the best platform is your own blog attached with your business website.

Although you can reach out other blogs too for guest posting, not all of them like to publish other’s reviews on their platform.

The best part of this content type is you can directly pitch your audience to buy the product or service.

If you don’t want to publish reviews yourself, you can reach out the Youtube and blog influencers to review your products on their platform for money. It’s called influencer marketing.

Interviews

influencer interview

Interviews are another useful content type you can publish on your website. Suppose you are in a particular industry.

Then, reach out the industry leaders or influencers who already have the targeted audience. Take their interview about the niche and publish on your blog or Youtube channel.

However, interviews can be published as written content on your website’s blog but it’s better to create video interview and publish on your Youtube channel.

After then, Embed that Youtube video on a blogpost on your channel as well as the video transcript as written content. Publish that interview on your blog and you will get user retention as well as SEO benefits too.

Infographics

Infographics are very useful for providing solutions in the form of graphics.

We as busy people don’t have enough time to read a whole blog, especially when we look for a quick solution to a problem.

In that case, infographics are very useful to entertain your audience with useful information in the image form.

Another reason for the popularity of infographics is images grab more attention than the written form of content.

As I mentioned in the last sections that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, an infographic is worth ten thousand words.

Infographics have both images and written content in short format. So, if we want to educate our audience in a shorter time period then Infographics are the best way to do that.

Here is an example of an infographic.

Components-of-Web-Hosting-infographic

Here you can see how I have described the core content of a web hosting in a simple format that any people can understand.

The other benefit of infographics is people love to share this form of content, especially on Pinterest and their own blogs.

So, if you spend your time to create valuable infographics its far more useful then begging for backlinks from other website owners.

Ultimately, when shared more, infographics increase your domain authority and Google ranks your website well.

So, how can you create infographics, when you are not familiar with image editing software? Here is a solution to create infographics without such knowledge.

Canva.com provides tons of free infographic templates you can use for your website.

You can embed infographics with your blog posts to show your audience, as well as share on social media channels such as Pinterest to reach tons of potential audience.

Videos

youtube video marketing

When Youtube was introduced in Feb 2005 nobody aspected that it is going to be the second biggest search engine in the world and one of the largest social media channel as well.

With the evolution in the speed of the internet, now everybody enjoys videos on their mobile devices and computer without buffering.

Videos are a very useful form of content marketing, as they can educate people without boring them out.

Today we don’t have time to read written content.

That’s the main reason behind the popularity of videos over written content. We all love to be entertained. Videos can be used to deliver educational content with the form of entertainment.

You can create product reviews, interviews, audience testimonials, other types of content in the form of videos and publish on your Youtube channel.

After then you can share those videos directly from your Youtube channel to your other social media channels.

As well as you can embed those videos on your blogs and other pages of your websites.

To embed Youtube videos on your website,

just open Youtube sharing feature below the video >> click on Embed Video >> Copy the embed code >> and paste that code to where you want to embed that video on your website.

If you are using WordPress, its very easy to embed Youtube videos on your blogs and web pages. Refer to this article by WP Beginner 

Updates

Updates are very important for every website if you are serious in SEO. Google and other search engines love updated content.

So, if you regularly update your existing content by adding new information they rank your website higher.

Here are the areas which you should update regularly.

  • Website pages
  • Website themes and plugins
  • Blog posts with new information
  • Replacing broken links
  • Product menu
  • Testimonials
  • Customer reviews etc

If you regularly update these areas of your website, Google and other search engines rank your website faster and once ranked, keep it up.

Case studies

If you are selling services or products which benefits customers after a time period, it’s good to create case study materials around your product and customer satisfaction and publish them on your blog and Youtube(If its in video form).

Case studies are very useful and reflect the benefits of using your products and services by the eyes of your customer.

FAQ

A FAQ is useful if you know what people could ask before purchasing your products. Might be you have already encountered FAQ section if you’ve bought any online service.

The full form of FAQ is Frequently Asked Questions.

You can design the FAQ section by mind storming the questions what your audience could ask before purchasing or by running a survey on your social media channels.

Podcasts

When Youtube was not there, podcasts were very popular as the audio form of content. However, several people use podcasting in video form, audio format is much more familiar in contrast to podcasts.

Even today, many internet users like to listen to podcasts in their favorite topics.

So, if you create them and embed on your website, just as the Youtube videos it can help people to understand your company and your products.

Product pages

cms for business

When you are creating an eCommerce website, one of the most important page is Product Page. Without a product showcase page, you can’t sell your products to customers.

There are two types of product pages you will encounter in any shopping website.

  • Product listing page
  • Individual product page (Sometimes landing page)

Here are some basic things a product listing page should have.

  • Search feature.
  • Shopping cart
  • Products lists with images
  • Sorting and filtering system
  • Buy button
  • Add to cart button

Most of the feature of the individual product page is same as the product listing page. Addition to this there are some other features that should be included on individual product pages.

  • Customer review area
  • Bigger images of the product
  • Product details etc

As product pages are one of the last pages your audience encounter when decided to buy your product, its crucial to optimize them to convert well.

Here are the tips you can use when creating product pages on your website.

  • Use bright color on buttons
  • Add strong CTA (call to action)
  • Add as many details as possible for your product.
  • Use high-quality images and videos
  • Use sorting feature
  • Breadcrumb navigation

Utility content (e.g. privacy policy)

Any company should be transparent with the customers as well as the government. So, when you are starting a website, its crucial to add some important pages to it.

  • Privacy Policy page – In this page, you have to provide with the details about how you protect the information collected on your website. Such as credit card details, email addresses, phone numbers. You have to clarify that you won’t use that information in any illegal activity.
  • Terms & Conditions Page – In this page you have to provide with the details of your company’s terms and conditions when using your website.
  • Affiliate Disclaimer (If you are selling affiliate products on your website.)

If you are wondering how you can write these legal terms and policy then don’t worry about it. You can easily find several templates for those pages on the internet. Just copy the template text and change the details wherever you need to.

You can check out this website link to create a privacy policy of your website

About Us content

Do you know, on average before every purchase internet users encounter with the company at least 7 times?

Whether it’s through ads, blogs, email marketing or any other way, they want to know about your company and products as much as possible before making a purchase.

And when it comes to the company profile, you must be added an about us page to your website so that visitors who land to your website can read about your company profile.

An About Us page creates trust among the website visitors so adding this page into your website is crucial.

Note: Provide as many details as possible about your company on your about us page.

Customer testimonials

customer testimonial for business

The other thing impact on visitor’s trust is “Customer testimonials”.

WordPress and other CMS have several plugins to add customer testimonials on the homepage and other pages.

You just have to collect testimonials in written or video format and paste them on your website with their name and image.

A well-organized customer testimonial section will definitely impact on your sale.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews are a great way to build trust among new visitors. You can add a review section below your product page and start collecting customer-generated reviews about your products.

If you get a negative review, don’t worry about it. Just improve your product quality and try to collect a positive review to build trust.

Shopify and another shopping website CMS’s, as well as WordPress, have to review plugins to add below the product page.

eBooks / White papers

ebooks and white papers

Finally, you can present yourself as a niche expert by publishing eBooks and white papers on the topic.

You can either publish those ebooks on Amazon kindle and place the link to your website or you can directly publish them on your website in a downloadable PDF format.

People tend to buy from a specialist. eBooks and white papers can help you to present yourself as a specialist in front of them.

So, here where the content types you can publish on your website to get visitors via SEO and social media.

Now let us see some other essential website features that every website should have for better user experience.

Other Essential Website Features

Throughout this article, we have discussed several important features and content ideas for a website.

Now let us discuss some other feature that every website should have to maximize the good user experience.

First off…

Breadcrumb navigation

Have you ever bought a product from Amazon or any other shopping website? If yes then most probably you’ve seen this feature, or even used it. See the image below.

breadcrumb example

The menu surrounded by the red rectangle is called Breadcrumb navigation.

So, what’s the use of this type of navigation?

Simple, if you want to buy something else in the same category, you can just click on the categories on the breadcrumb navigation to return to the category page.

It’s very beneficial when you have a lot of products on your website. People can easily navigate around the products and categories without going back to the homepage just by using breadcrumb navigation.

Featured content widget

The other useful feature which is my favorite is called Features content widget.

Features content widget is a section where you can feature your hot products and list them on the homepage or suggested product categories throughout the website.

It’s useful for them who want to increase the sale of a particular product.

Popular content widget

Very similar to features content widget it also lists popular products on homepage and other areas of pages. However, the only difference is it’s operated by user behavior.

The product list changes according to the popularity of the products. As from the name, the most popular product grab the highest position on the list.

And the cool thing is that it all happens automatically.

Almost all shopping CMS have featured and popular content widgets which you can use to encourage your visitors to purchase more in one visit.

Email opt-in form

email opt-in form

As I’ve told you most of the visitors don’t buy from you in a first visit. Surveys show us that every user becomes a customer after at least 7 encounters with the company or the product.

Here, email opt-in form becomes crucial. You must capture emails of your visitors before they leave your website so that you can target them via email campaigns.

Email opt-in forms can be designed by plugins on most of the CMS including Shopify and WordPress so there is no worry of coding.

You just need to install the plugin and configure your email opt-in form on your website.

Note: Lead capture is the most important practice in digital marketing. So always use lead capture methods on your website.

Podcast feed

If you publish podcasts about your product and services then embedding your podcast feed on your website is great. Again you can do it via plugins.

However, the popularity of podcasts decreased after Youtube but you can also use it to educate your visitors about your product and services.

Survey forms

Suppose you want to launch a new product but unsure if it would be beneficial or not for your customers. Here you can use survey forms to collect information about your products.

Most of the companies conduct surveys to collect information about their products before launching. So that they can make changes according to needs.

Social media links/logos

social-media-logo

Today everyone is on social media, including companies. Social media should be a big part of your online business strategy.

Embedding social media buttons and links to your website encourage people to interact with you and your company.

The more engagement you receive the more authority you gain online. Adding social media buttons is not a tough task.

You can add them with plugins on your CMS easily.

Comment system

If you run a blog under your website, then implementing a comment system below your blog posts is beneficial for readers to add their comments about your posts.

In WordPress, a built-in comment system is added in default, however, you can personalize the comment area with the help of plugins and themes.

SEO settings

SEO is the food of search engines. And search engines are the most targeted traffic source for your website.

So implementing SEO features on your website is must to rank better on search engines.

In WordPress, you can use a plugin like SEO by Yoast to implement SEO settings on blog posts, pages, and product listing.

Site search

For a shopping website with a big range of products, its crucial to add a site search feature on the website.

Site search can help users searching a particular product by typing the search query directly on the search field.

However, if you have just a few products then it’s not required but for big websites where several products are listed, site searches can help users a lot.

Maximum shopping cart CMS includes site search in their theme. In WordPress, you can implement this feature via plugins like Advanced Woosearch.

Social media share (to share individual pages)

People tend to share blogs and other pages on social media. Social sharing makes a huge difference in your website traffic.

Implementing social sharing feature on your blog posts, product pages, and other pages in very beneficial in terms of traffic.

Each and every successful website use this feature to encourage people to share the pages and blogs on social media.

You too should add social media sharing buttons on blog posts and product listing pages so that people can share and become an advocate of your company.

Sitemap creation

create xml sitemap

Google and other search engines require SItemap to properly submit your site to search engines. A sitemap is an XML file contains the URL of all of your website pages and blog posts in an organized form.

Search engines read the sitemap file to recognize the website pages and index them which help in SEO a lot.

You can use Yoast SEO for WordPress to create a sitemap or if you are using other CMS like Shopify then you can find it by typing “yoursitename.com/sitemap.xml” on the browser’s search field.

Automatic website backup

web hosting for businesses

Internet is full of threats and hackers. There is nothing on the internet that you can tell is safe from the hackers. So safety is the primary policy for your website.

Suppose if your website is hacked and you don’t have any backup of your website on another server, then?

So, time-to-time website backup is crucial for serious business owners. Otherwise, you can lose your data and sit back with a deep breath to start from the beginning.

In WordPress, Updraftplus is a great plugin for Website backup.

Contact forms

contact-us-form

Finally, Contact forms.

Do, you want people to contact you about your product and services? Do you want to do legitimate online business that people can trust on? And, do you want to answer the queries of your customers?

Then you must implement contact forms on your website so that people can interact with you directly.

Again, it’s very simple to implement a contact form page on WordPress via tons of plugins. Apart from WordPress, in other CMSs such as Shopify and Bigcommerce, contact forms can easily be implemented.

Silo Structure

Before wrapping up this article, I want to share with you a very important topic about interlinking of the webpages. Interlinking is a great strategy for On-Page SEO because it helps search engines to quickly reach your web pages and crawl your website properly as well as frequently.

But, if you interlink your pages and posts in a wrong way then it only confuses the search engines and makes it difficult to crawl your website.

As a result, your SEO ranking won’t increase.

So, what is the right way of interlinking?

“SILO STRUCTURE”

Silo is a process to interlink your webpages in a pattern so that it helps search engine to categorize the topics you covered in your website and rank the pages for right keywords.

It also helps users to navigate your web pages properly and find the right thing that they want to reach.

Here is a block image of SILO Structure that helps you understand it.

virtual-silo

If you want to learn more about SILO structure, refer to my article – What is Silo Structure: How Silo Structure Helps in SEO [Ultimate Guide]

Conclusion: Website Planning For Businesses

Well, here was the whole procedure of website planning for businesses. I think this article will help you start your online business in an easy way.

I have covered all the necessary things from web hosting to website content ideas in this article. Now it’s your time to create your first website or if you already have one, to tweak that as per the recommendations.

Let me know in the comments how you’ve implemented the things I’ve discussed in this article. And share your website link in comment so that others could get inspiration from you.

All the best for your online career.

And don’t forget to share this article on social media. There are millions of enthusiastic people wanted to be an online entrepreneur but without proper knowledge, they can’t. This article will help them a lot.

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Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.  

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