The Building Blocks of a Successful Website | Audrey Buchanan | Skillshare

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The Building Blocks of a Successful Website

teacher avatar Audrey Buchanan, Founder, Let's Bee Social

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Your Domain Name


    • 3.

      Where Are You Hosting Part 1


    • 4.

      Where Are You Hosting Part 2


    • 5.

      Creating a Site Map


    • 6.

      Branding Your Website


    • 7.

      The Parts of a Homepage


    • 8.

      The Footer


    • 9.

      Your Website Content


    • 10.

      Tips for Basic Search Engine Optimization


    • 11.



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About This Class

The objective of this class is to help small business owners, entrepreneurs, and bloggers understand the inner workings of a website. The goal is to provide them with a working knowledge of every part of a website and how each part functions within the site altogether to create a successful representation of their brand, products and content.

Students will learn:

  • How to choose and purchase a domain name
  • Where to host their website
  • How to create a site map
  • Proper website branding techniques
  • How to design a engaged home page
  • How to write engaging content
  • Basic search engine optimization techniques

Once you have your website complete, be sure to take my next class to learn How to Grow Your Local Business Online

Meet Your Teacher

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Audrey Buchanan

Founder, Let's Bee Social




Hi! I'm Audrey, a digital marketing specialist with a passion for helping small business owners and entrepreneurs hone in on their online presence. I specialize in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Management, Content Creation, and Online Branding.

I'm also the owner and founder of Let's Bee Social, a digital marketing agency where small business owners can work with social media and digital marketing specialists to organically grow their brand’s online presence. 

I love helping people recognize their potential,... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Audrey with Let's Be social digital marketing. Welcome to my first-class, the building blocks of a successful website. This class is geared towards small business owners, entrepreneurs and bloggers who are looking for a better understanding of the inner workings of a website. Throughout this class, you'll learn how to choose and purchase a domain name, where to host your website. The importance of a sitemap, four main elements for branding your website. The six parts of the homepage. What to include in the footer of your website. How to write great copy for your webpages and basic search engine optimization techniques by the end of this class, my goal is for you to have an understanding of all the different parts of the website and how they come together to create a successful site that portrays your brand, your company, your services, and your content. Whether you're just getting started or you think your site needs a facelift. I know this information will be exactly what you need to build a successful website. So what are we waiting for? Let's get started. 2. Your Domain Name: Before we begin, let's go over some of the basics. First, your domain name. This is the URL that people will type in when they're looking for your website, when you're trying to figure out your domain name, you're going to come into contact with a lot of different options. We're gonna go over those options now, the most popular among the extension options Traditionally, these top-level domains had specific was meant for commercial businesses. Dotnet was meant for technology-based companies. was meant for charities and non-profits. Among these is the most popular because it's the easiest to remember. So that should be your number one choice when you're trying to figure out what domain works best for you. If that doesn't work, then try to go with dotnet if you are a business. But let's for the charities and non-profit organizations that this domain was intended for. But what happens when these extensions don't work today, there are more than 350 different nontraditional business extensions. These come in the form of dot biz Start by making a list of all the potential domain names that you would be interested in purchasing. I recommend starting your list with top-level domain names. You'll see why in a moment. Here's an example of the list that I created when I was starting my digital marketing company. Let's take a look at some of these options. Will start with LBS As you can see, let's be social digital or LBS is already taken, but here are some other potential options. Lbs digital dotnet, another top-level domain name is available, as well as LBS Let's do this search one more time so we can get a better idea of what other options we may have. When I searched LBS digital, you can see that the domain is available so I could purchase it. Should this be the one that works best for me? If your heart is set on having domain name, then you're going to need to be a little bit flexible with the name that you choose because they're already are so URLs available. Here's a look at some of the other domains that are available. Should you not like or should the dot-com be unavailable? Keep a look at the price as you want to make sure you stay in your budget. As you begin searching, you'll quickly see which names are available, which names are already in use, and which non-traditional domain names might work instead. If you decide to go with a nontraditional extension, try to exhaust all your other options first. And at the end of the day, remember, keep it catchy and easy to remember. The key to a great domain name is one that's easy to remember and one that people can easily share with others. Now, last but not least, let's talk about your purchasing options. You have a couple of different options when it comes to purchasing your domain name. You can either purchase it directly through your hosting platform or through a third party website. If you're planning a third-party purchase, the two most popular third-party sites to purchase on our named and I suggest taking a look at both before you make your final decision. The most important thing to remember when it comes to purchasing is this. Invest the extra money for information protection. Otherwise, your phone and e-mail will be flooded with spam. Because domains exist in a public space, your information will be readily available to anyone who looks for it. So it's best to stay protected and keep your name, number, address, and email address safe from any potential scams and unwanted spam. If you're not sure which purchasing option works best for you, don't panic, you'll have a better idea of where you should purchase your domain after we discuss hosting platforms, which is coming up next. 3. Where Are You Hosting Part 1: Now that you've got your domain, the next thing that you're going to need to figure out is where are you going to host your website? Your website host is going to be the platform that allows you to access the backend of your site and allows you to build and create the way your site will look on the front end, there are many different places you can build your website, but these are the four most popular sites. Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. Today we're gonna be talking about two out of the four most popular hosting platforms, WordPress and Wix. Throughout this class, I'm going to go over the pros and the cons of every platform that we discussed so that you can get an all-encompassing idea of what each offers depending on your design capabilities, your vision that you have for your site, and also how you plan on designing. This is going to determine which platform is best for you. Not all platforms are going to suit your needs. So you just need to make a list of which pros you can live with and which cons you can. That will better help you to decide which platform is going to be the best. First of all on the list is WordPress. Wordpress is one of the most popular open-source content management systems. I know what you're thinking. What is an open-source content management system? Basically, this is a platform that allows you to have full access to the coding of your website. So if you have some knowledge in HTML, CSS, and PHP, you're going to have no problem designing and building out a customized and amazing looking site on this platform. But for now, let's go over some of the pros and the cons of WordPress. The benefits of WordPress are that it's free to use, build and edit on. You'll only have to pay to host your domain, being that WordPress is an open source content management system. You'll have access to an extensive list of designs and features, including plug-ins for additional functionality like safety, search engine optimization, and social media integration. Within this portfolio of features, you'll also have the ability to incorporate an e-commerce section of your site through the WordPress plug-in, WooCommerce. This is an all-inclusive plug-in that doesn't charge you per listing or setup fees and has the ability to process all payment methods. You'll see why this is a major benefit later on. Another benefit is that WordPress also offers full backup and export capabilities. So you'll always have a copy of your site at all times and you can move to another platform at anytime. That way, your work is never lost and your site is always safe. Wordpress allows you to create a site that is 100% mobile optimized. This is a huge plus, as you won't have to design a separate site that's optimized for mobile. And with the increase in mobile search, your site will already be in the correct format to help you easily reach mobile users. Now that we've got the pros, let's discuss some of the cons. If a lot of the initial terminology used when describing the benefits of WordPress confused you. You may be in for a bit of a rough time trying to navigate this content management system. Navigating WordPress successfully requires an understanding of sight terminology, like the difference between tags and categories, and even themes and plug-ins. For proper customization and utilization of this platform, you'll need to have some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. Otherwise, your site will look exactly like the theme you chose during the initial setup. The other two setbacks of WordPress closely relate to the need for this knowledge as WordPress does not offer pre-built, are built-in effects. You'll either need to code them in yourself or find a plug-in that helps you. It also doesn't support what you see is what you get editing, which is very common and other drag-and-drop platforms, what this means is that you'll design an edit on the back-end and then save and preview the page on the front end, rather than seeing the design as you build it. All in all, WordPress is ideal because it has the most capabilities. But for someone who's just starting out, it may be a little bit overwhelming. There are tons of resources online that gives you the ability to learn how to code or solve any of the coding problems that you may have along the way and to better navigate the site. But if you're looking for a quick and easy build-out, WordPress is going to be one of the most time-consuming hosting platforms. If you don't know what you're doing. Next up on the list is Wix. Unlike WordPress, Wix is a drag-and-drop hosting platform and it's one of the most innovative drag-and-drop platforms that's available on the web. If all that talk about coding, how do you stressed out Wix will definitely help you calm your nerves and be able to see how a drag-and-drop platform is very different from an open-source management system. Let's go over some of the pros and cons of Wix, other than it's drag-and-drop capabilities. Here are some of the other benefits of hosting through wicks. It offers an extremely user-friendly interface with an easy functionality and gives you the ability to bring your website to light as if you were seeing it from the outside looking in. It also offers an extensive list of site extensions and plug-ins for both interactive site applications and e-commerce capabilities. Within these extensions and plug-ins, There's also hundreds of free website themes that are completely free of charge. Unlike WordPress, which charges for the bulk of their themes. This is beneficial because you can find a theme within your industry or area of focus and use the template as a base for building your site rather than starting completely from scratch. Wix sites are also optimized for a mobile and you have the ability to edit how your site will appear on mobile devices. So it looks great on any device. This is different from WordPress and that you can adjust the size of the texts, the appearance of images, the layout of the page, and also hide some content that might not appear the same on mobile as it does on desktop. With the purchase of a Wix premium websites subscription, you'll also gain access to a support team who's available 247 to help you with any technical difficulties you may encounter while building and managing your website. Now that you got all the benefits, let's talk drawbacks. Since Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder, you won't have access to your site source code, which means you're limited to customizing, optimizing, and designing within their specified settings. This can be limiting later down the line when you are trying to optimize your site, improve page speed, or even add custom elements that might not be offered through one of the Wix extensions. Additionally, once you choose your template for your site, you're stuck with it for good. Any changes of your template down the line will cause for all of your content to be lost. Lastly, if you're looking to budget with Wix, you won't be able to go for the free plan as there are visible advertisements that show At the top of the page. That's all for WordPress and Wix. Take some time to research these platforms and get a better idea for what they have to offer when you're ready, join me in our next class where we'll be discussing the other two major hosting platforms, Squarespace and Weebly. 4. Where Are You Hosting Part 2: Let's continue with our in-depth review of the top four major hosting platforms. Today we're gonna be going over our last two platforms, Squarespace and Weebly, let's begin. Squarespace is a widely known hosting platform that allows you to create a stylish and professional website that's built out and a drag-and-drop platform. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of hosting on Squarespace. Firstly, the platform is very easy to navigate, create on, and use. Like the other two platforms we've discussed so far. It's also mobile optimized. But like WordPress, you won't have control over how the site looks on mobile, but the layout will be tailored to appear properly on a mobile device. Another major benefit is that you have the ability to change your template without losing your content. Should you want to access the coating of your website. There's a developer mode that allows you to do so, like Wix, you'll also have access to 247 support to help you resolve any problems and answer any questions you might have. Last but not least, the overall design and appearance of a Squarespace site is uncomparable to other drag-and-drop platforms. Design and styling allows for you to create a site that looks really crisp and clean and very professional without having to know how to operate any of the back-end. Now let's take a look at the cons. While the templates available through Squarespace allow you to create a professional website, the overall access to designs and additional features is quite limited in comparison to other major hosting platforms. This includes both template options and third-party plug-ins. Also, the e-commerce capabilities available through Squarespace are very limited in comparison to other platforms. There's a cap on how many products you can list depending on the plan you're paying for, and not all payment methods are supported through their purchasing platform. Lastly, there's a limited back-up and partial export capability. So if you ever plan on moving your website to a different host, you may lose some of your work and you're likely to lose the majority of your design. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what makes for a good hosting platform. But remember, the best platform is going to be the one that suits all your business's needs. As you keep those things in mind, Let's take a look at the pros and cons of our very last hosting platform. Weebly, Weebly Wix and Squarespace is an easy to use drag-and-drop website builder with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. It offers pre-designed page layouts and plenty of pre-built templates that you could use as is or as a base to build your site around. It will create a mobile optimized version of your site for you. So your site can be viewed from any device. And unlike many other drag-and-drop website building platforms, we believe allows you to access your templates, HTML coding for further customization. You can also switch between templates without losing content. So if you ever decide that your chosen theme doesn't match, you can easily change it later down the line without losing any of your work. This can be crucial when you're just starting out and your brand is still in the experimental stages of creation. Some pretty good benefits if you're considering a drag-and-drop website builder. But let's take a look at some of the drawbacks. Because you have access to your templates, HTML coding, the template customization on the drag-and-drop n is very limited. You'll only be able to change the font and the overall color scheme. Any other customization requires coding knowledge. Additionally, some of the other features such as the blog, are still in very basic stages of design. The blog page doesn't allow you to showcase popular or latest post or highlight related content. This can be a big problem if your site will depend heavily on blog content. Lastly, the drag-and-drop capabilities on Weebly are more restrictive than both Wix and Squarespace. Meaning you can't put everything exactly where you want it and you still have to follow the preset template guidelines for page layout. All in all, these are the four major hosting platforms for a reason. They offer a host of opportunities for you to build your website. But remember, not every single platform is going to work for you. Take the time to evaluate each one of the pros and cons from each site and really do your research before you choose the site that's going to be best for you. Remember, it's better to feel confident with the site that you're building than overwhelmed with trying to figure out all the nooks and crannies of your hosting platform. That just about covers all of the basics for building your website. Now we're going to get into the creation process, the design process, and the organizational stages that you need to start building out your website pages. In our next video, we're gonna go over how to build a sitemap. 5. Creating a Site Map: I hope you're as excited as I am to get started with the design process of your website. Today, we're gonna be talking about sitemaps, what they are, how many pages on your website you should have, and how to build out a more robust navigation bar when you're just starting out. So are you ready? Let's get started first things first, what is a sitemap? A sitemap is a list of pages on your website. It's a tool that you can use for planning your site, and it's also used later for search engine optimization purposes to allow Google to properly index all the pages that exist on your site. Typically, sitemaps are organized with your most important information. First, you will see how to organize your sitemap better at the demonstration at the end of this class. But for now, let's continue with how many web pages your site is going to need. Other than the homepage, you're going to need to figure out just how many pages you need to portray all of your sites information. Usually this is in the form of an about page, a services page, a contact page, and even a blog. If you're planning on including blog content, then from these four other pages is where you can start building out your site to include more information. So maybe you want to add your blog. Maybe you need to add your rate so that people know how much you charge, or maybe you need to add some work sample pages. All of this is totally fine to add into your top navigation, but the key takeaway for building your site map is that you want to keep it as simple and concise as possible. So you don't want to overwhelm the viewer as soon as they get on your page. Since this is the first thing that they're going to see. If you feel you're going to need a lot of pages. Consider adding some of your secondary pages that maybe aren't as important to your footer. Let's take a look at some examples and how you can build out your sitemap. We're gonna do this together. Are you ready? Let's go. Let's briefly build a site map together. We'll start with the initial required pages and then I'll show you how you can branch out from there. So starting off, you'll always want to list your homepage, followed by your About page, your main service page, and then a contact page. If you wanted to add a blog page later on, I would suggest adding it after your contact page. Your service page will vary based on the type of business that you have and the type of website that you're creating, for instance, and e-commerce page would probably want their layout to look something like this home shop about or size chart, followed by a contact page. And you most likely wouldn't have a blog page. But sticking to our initial four pages, here's how I would suggest branching out from this initial layout. Add onto your service page by creating initial pages that would link below this menu. Something like this. And so on and so forth. This is the best place to add pages in your menu bar without adding additional pages to the top navigation. However, if you didn't want to add additional service pages, but maybe you wanted to add more pages about yourself. For instance, testimonials, or even a team page that lists the different people you work with. You could easily add that to the About page to link down. This is another great way to add additional pages to your top navigation without adding pages that would cloud up your initial look and feel of your site navigation bar. Don't be afraid to add these three pages underneath you're about. And also don't be afraid to give your services their own pages. But if you're just getting started and you want to start simple, I suggest starting with these top options and then building out as you continue to build your brand. Let's go over some examples so you can see other top navigations to give you a better idea of what to include in your sitemap. Here you'll see a very basic site navigation. The home about services and contacts are present, as well as an additional testimonials and blog page. Here we have another example of a very simplified site navigation. As you can see again, the home about and contact are present as well as a services page and some to additional pages for more information. Here we have an example of a more robust site navigation. As the services page is built out to give each service its own page on the site. There's also the about contact, blog and a shop. While this is a little bit more robust of a site navigation, it's still very concise and focuses in on exactly what this company offers and orders things from most important to least important. Lastly, we have an example of a site navigation that's a little bit too cluttered for my liking. The home about and services are present in the top, which I feel is very important, as well as the Contact Us and the blog. But things like special deals, customer reviews, and frequently asked questions or things that would better be suited for the footer of the page. As you begin to build out your own sitemap, remember to start small and branch out from there, but always keep your main navigation as simple as possible after you're done outlining the framework of your website, the next step is going to be to start putting together the branding of your site. In our next video, we're going to talk about the four main elements that you should include when branding your website. 6. Branding Your Website: Today we're gonna be talking about branding. This is one of my favorite things for both website design and building a business because it really allows you to get creative and show the personality behind the brand. In this lesson, we're going to discuss the four main elements to consider when branding your website will cover font, coloring, imaging, and most importantly, consistency. You'll want to keep your font variations to a minimum by using a maximum of three fonts to be used in the headings, subheadings, and body of your text. Within your three fonts, you'll want to dedicate a font to each area. For instance, your flashes font should be used for headings. Your secondary font should be used for subheadings. And your most legible and flexible font should be used for the body. The key to choosing fonts that work together is by finding a balance between unique and readable. Overall, you want to make sure that the fonts complement one another, but even more importantly, is legibility. Do your research before choosing and compare each font next to each other. If you can't find three fonts that work together, stick to two and use the same font and the subheading as you will in the body. If you're having a hard time picking a font or two and you already have your logo design. Use this as a basis for building your font selection. It always looks cohesive when your fonts on your website either match or compliment your logo to help you narrow down some of your options. A few of my top recommended body fonts are open, sans are Vo, and Lato. Remember, legibility is key. It's better to keep it simple so that your message is easily readable by everyone on any device. Next up on our branding list of elements, color. This is easily one of the most memorable and impactful parts of your brand and your website. What you're trying to convey will determine which colors you should use. That's why it's especially important to pay attention to the tones you're using and the emotions they evoke. For instance, blue represents trust, security, and stability. But royal blue will attract more impulsive shoppers. Navy blue will attract shoppers on a budget, and sky blue will attract more traditional buyers. Moral of the story here, color matters. The process of choosing your color is similar to choosing your fonts. You'll want to pick one primary color, one supplementary color, and one complimentary color. Also like your fonts, your colors will have a specific usage and placement on your website. Let's briefly go over where to use each color. You'll want to use your dominant color in your logo, on call to action buttons, on titles and headlines, and to highlight important information. You'll want to use your supplementary color in Subtitles and to highlight secondary information. Lastly, your complimentary color. This color will usually be used as your background color of your website. Be cautious when choosing your website's background color, as it usually depends on the type of site you're creating. For instance, a content heavy website that is informational and e-commerce websites should have a white or neutral background. As you want to put the focus on the products or information rather than the design of the site. Corporate or business websites revolved more around promoting your brand. So one way to create brand recognition is to use a less intense shade of your primary brand color as the background to highlight your services. Now that you've got your font and color scheme, your next step is to choose your images. The images you choose should complement the coloring of your website and tell the story of your brand. High-quality images are key no matter what industry you're in. And please try to avoid cheesy stock photos at all costs. People can see right through them. And it really brings down the quality of your brand. Some quick things to keep in mind when choosing photos for your site. If you're selling products in an e-commerce shop, make sure to include photos of your product from all angles and make sure that the images are high-quality enough to be clear, even when zoomed in. If you're selling a service, don't overload the page with photos. Rather, use them to complement the text instead of dominating the page. If you're trying to convey an ambiance, it's better to use the photo as the focal point of the page and keep text to a minimum All-in-all. The best way to get images for your site is by hiring a photographer to take some for you. But if that's not in the budget, try these free stock image websites. In the meantime, last but not least, let's talk about consistency. Consistency is key to a successful website. It starts with your font and colors, but it continues through the overall layout of your site. You want to make sure that all your pages have a similar and complimentary feel. When it comes to your design, less is more. So if you're ever in doubt, keep it simple. You can never go wrong with a minimalist approach. Be consistent, stay concise, and keep it crisp. At the end of the day, you want your website to portray a clear vision of who you are, what you do, and most importantly, what makes you different. In our next lesson, we're gonna go more in depth on how you can truly bring your website to life by talking about the most important page on your site, the homepage. 7. The Parts of a Homepage: Today we're going to be talking about the most important page on your website, the homepage. The homepage is the most important page of your website because it's the first thing that visitors see. You want to make a great initial first impression. So let's go over how you can put your best foot forward and build a homepage that people will remember. So in order to make sure you put your best foot forward, Let's go over what you should include on your homepage. Firstly, you want to give viewers and all-encompassing screenshot of what your site offers, from products to services and everything in-between, It's best to give your audience a little bit of everything. You'll also want to include crisp, high-quality images with engaging texts that complements your imagery. The best way to approach your homepage is to think of it as the only page that visitors are going to see. You only have about 30 s to capture their attention. So make it count. You'll wanna put your most important information first and make sure you include multiple call to actions. In doing this, you're making things easy to find, an even easier to navigate. Your audience has a clear vision of who you are and what you offer to better understand how to build your homepage. It can be broken down into four parts. The main headline, the initial part of the body, the supplementary texts, and your final call to action. We'll go over all four of those in detail. Now, let's start with the main headline. Within this section, you're going to have your primary headline, sub-headline, and your primary call to action. Your headline is the first thing people see when they visit your site. So it should be clear, simple, and captivating, while also telling the visitor what your site offers within this area, you'll also have your site navigation bar, but even more importantly, you should have your logo in this section as well. Below your headlines should be a sub-headline that complements the information mentioned above. It can be a main service that you offer or your tagline. Sub-headline isn't always necessary. But if you feel your headline could use some additional text, It's a great tool for giving more information below your headlines. You'll want to include your primary call to action. This is the first prompt to encourage visitors to dig deeper and learn more about who you are. I don't advise making the first call to action and AC now button, but rather a learn more button to draw them in before pushing a sale. Your next section is where you'll start providing more information. The initial part of the body is where you'll want to include your most important information complemented with strong imaging and your second call to action. This will be the first book of texts that your visitors see after the headline. So you want to talk about what makes your brand special. This would be a good place to mention the services you offer, showcase why you're trustworthy and create a solid expectation for the rest of the site. Try to keep this section short, sweet. And to the point, you also want to make sure that you're keeping your visitors visually engaged and interested, which is why your imagery in this section is very important. You supporting images or even video content to hone in on what you offer and what your site is about. Now that you've explained more of who you are and you've built some trust, it's a good time to include your secondary call to action. This is where you can grab potential leads, give the option to register for an upcoming event or subscribe to receive email updates and newsletters. As we near the end of the homepage, you'll want to start including supplementary information that reinforces everything that was stated in the initial part of the body. This area will vary depending on the type of website you're creating. But here's some potential information you could include, no matter what industry you're in. One of the best things you can include in this section is testimonials. This gives you credibility beyond your own voice. Furthers your credibility with viewers. Choose short yet powerful reviews about your business and be sure to include a name and photo of the reviewer if possible. If you do include the photo of the reviewer, make sure you ask them for their permission before posting. You could also use this space to expand upon the services you offer, brands or industries you work with, or any other information you want to direct potential clients too. Last but not least, in this section, you'll want to end the page with your third and final call-to-action. This will be either in the form of a contact box or an act Now button to get your visitors to engage with you. This is your last chance to capture an email address or contact information. So make it count. Let's take a look at some homepage examples to compare and contrast what we just learned today. As you can see, this is a good example of a traditional banner homepage. You have their main headline at the top. Some supplementary information about their location, as well as the schedule Now button. Usually I don't recommend having the schedule now button at the very top. But for this specific business, it works because your main goal is to get clients scheduled for your services. As we scroll down, we'll see the supplementary information, which is her menu of services, a brief about a more in-depth look at her services, a link to some supplementary information, some reviews, and last but not least, her other service that she offers followed by her contact. Next, we have a website that has a very similar layout, but it has a very different goal. This site is geared towards providing people with information about a service. We have the main headline, the main call to action. And as you can see here, there's no sub-headline. But in the initial part of the body, we have some of the most important information about this company. We then have our secondary call to action and then some supplementary texts and more about the services who they are establishing credibility, a contact, and a list of who they work with. Let's take a look at one last example. Here we have a floor care company. They have their main headline, a supplementary headline, and their primary call to action, which is to get customers to schedule with them. Next we have they're supplementary information, who they are, establishing credibility, followed by some more explanation of what they offer their other call to action, which is the same as above. And that's totally fine as well. You need to remember that when it comes to your call to actions, you want to go with the best thing that's going to work for engaging your audience. They've also included some specials and deals here and some testimonials, which is great because it's giving visitors exactly what they're looking for. In our next lesson, we're going to talk about one of the most overlooked parts of your website. Click to the next video to see which part I'm talking about. 8. The Footer: Now that we've covered all the parts of your homepage, Let's talk about a part of your website that may seem small, but hold some of your sites most important information. I'm talking about the footer, you know, that thing at the bottom of the page. That's the one the information you put in the footer matters because this is one of the only parts of your website other than the site navigation that's going to be the same on every single page. So any information that you feel your visitors will need access to no matter where they are on the site. This information should go in your footer. But be warned, not everything goes in the footer. Here's some things that you should consider putting in your footer, your contact information, especially your company's name, address, phone, number, and email. This may not seem necessary, but for search engine optimization purposes, it is. You'll also want to include your social links like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn. These should always be either in the footer or at the very top of your page. With social media playing such a major role in a business's success, you want to make sure that people can easily find you on any major social platform. Another thing that you could include in your footer is a secondary navigation. This gives your viewers easy access to some of your important pages that might not have made it into your top navigation or include information that should be easily available on your website, e.g. you could include your rates, your service area, or your return policy. You should also include a subscribe option. If you're trying to collect emails, then make sure you have a subscribe option in your footer so that visitors may subscribe at anytime and you don't lose a potential lead. I also recommend including your privacy policy and terms of service. These aren't necessarily the most important pages, but they are required by law in some states. If you do need to add these two pages, you can easily have them generated for your site for free online and then linked to them in the footer of your website as more of a formality than anything else. I usually put them in the footer because I don't want them to clutter the top navigation. Last but not least, you could also include a brief summary of your company if you have this space, this is another great little piece of information that you can include in your footer. Because like your contact information, It's another consistent stamp of your brand that appears on every page and can help you with search engine optimization. While this is a comprehensive list of everything that you could include in the footer. It's in no means a requirement to have everything in there. But at a minimum, you should have your contact information and your social links. That way, people can always find you on other platforms. And they also know your name, address, and phone number at all times. Now that you have an idea of what to include in the footer, Let's quickly go over some things that should definitely not be in the footer. Firstly, you should avoid anything that is heavy in text. You want your footer to remain crisp, clean, and organized. So avoid adding in things like sliding testimonials or in-depth descriptions of your company. Also stay away from putting any subscribe offers and your footer as you want to use the other parts of your homepage to include your call to actions. And you don't want to appear too salesy by putting it in the footer too. Last but not least, avoid putting images in your footer as it will make the area look too bulky. Logo was the only exception to this rule. But all in all, remember, keep it simple. The most important thing to remember is that the footer is the same on every single page. So you want to take advantage of the opportunity to include the most important information that you need your visitors to have access to no matter where they are on the site. In our next video, we're going to take an in-depth look at how you can write some engaging content that both your visitors and Google will love. I'll see you there. 9. Your Website Content: So far in this course, we've talked a lot about the structure of your website. But today we're going to be talking about the content on the page and how you can use that content to bring your brand to life. We'll also be discussing the major call to actions that you can use to engage with your visitors. But first, let's go over some tips for content writing. Headlines and sub headlines are your friends. In a world where the average person's attention span continues to dwindle. You have to find a way to grab their attention as they scroll through your site. And you have to do it fast. Use headings and subheadings to draw attention to important information, services, results, and especially guarantees. This makes your website easy to navigate and make sure your most important information is easy to find. Another way that you can draw the attention of your audience is through your imaging. Make sure that you're wording compliments your imagery and does not leave your audience feeling a disconnect between what you're saying and what you're showing when crafting the copy for your website, try to keep sentences short and simple. Stick to using 20 words or less. This will keep your content easily readable and believe it or not, readability is actually a small part of Google's search engine optimization score. You'll also want to keep your wording on the homepage to a minimum. Even though this page holds a host of information, you still want to use your supplementary pages like you're about and service page to go more in depth. So try to keep your homepage to a maximum of 500 words. And for SEO purposes, make sure your supplementary pages have a minimum of 300 words. Keep these tips in mind while you write your content and remember, stay genuine and honest. This is what people will respond to most. So don't overthink it. Just be yourself. Depending on the type of website you're creating. Not all four of these will apply to you, but most likely, you'll use two of these call to actions to engage with your target audience. Let's briefly go over all four and where they should be placed on your page. First, there's the learn more call to action. This will take visitors to a supplementary page where they can get more information on either you or your company or maybe even your services. As we talked about in our previous lesson, I recommend including this call to action at the top of your homepage and suggests linking it to either your About page or your main product or service that visitors will be looking to learn about. Next, there's the subscribe call to action. This is a way to capture email addresses and start building your email list to send out targeted messages to potential customers who have expressed interest in your brand. If you're heavily focused on growing your email list, I suggest having your Subscribe button in the footer of your page and also as a popup feature on your page to prompt visitors to stay informed right away and make signing up easily accessible from anywhere on your site. Then there's the contact now call to action. This is usually a link to a contact form for visitors to reach out and request additional information. Some people place their contact now button on every single page. I personally think the best place is on the bottom of your homepage and on your main service page. Since you have a contact page and your top navigation, it's already easily accessible from everywhere on your site. Lastly, there's the book or buy now call to action. This is a prompt to purchase your service or product and will vary from business to business. For instance, a restaurant with online ordering would want their version of this button as an order. Now call to action at the top of every page to make it easy for visitors to place an online order. The placement of this button truly depends on your business and can really appear anywhere you see fit. Let's take a look at some of these call to actions. And let's take a look at these call to actions on a few different websites so you can get a better idea of how they'll look on your page. First, we have the learn more call to action, which can be found right here. As you can see, it takes you to the about page so that you can learn more about this author. Next we have the subscribe now. This Subscribe Now button is actually found near the top of the page because it's one of the most important things that this site is trying to convey. They want to capture email addresses and they want to capture them fast. Next, you have a great example of a Contact Us button. This is at the bottom of the page and can be found on a number of different pages on this site. But as you can see, it's usually always at the bottom. Lastly, there's the book or buy now button. In this case, this button is used to book an appointment with this S dietitian. Because she's trying to encourage online booking. She's including this book, your appointment now button on multiple parts of her website so that she can ensure that her visitors could easily book an appointment with her wherever they are on her site. At the end of the day when you're writing your websites copy. Remember one thing, what's your overall message? Tell people what they need to know about you and your brand. Be clear and specific and you'll be successful in conveying yourself online. Now that you know how to build your website and write engaging copy, we're going to talk about some tips for search engine optimization. In our next lesson, I'll be going over some basics of SEO to make sure that your site can get found online. 10. Tips for Basic Search Engine Optimization: In this class we're gonna be covering some basic search engine optimization techniques. These are on and off page strategies that you can use to better ensure that your site is easily found online. The first thing you're going to want to do to help better optimize your site is to identify your target keywords. Keywords are better known as search terms that you'll want to include throughout your website copy in both headlines and body texts. These are the terms your website will be associated with and will help your site to appear in searches pertaining to these words. For instance, if you own a Mexican restaurant in San Diego, one of your main target keywords for your site would be Mexican restaurant San Diego. To better identify some potential keywords to consider ranking for. Begin by searching within your industry as if you were someone looking for your business. What kind of words are you using in the search bar? And which ones gave you the best results? As you research began making a list of all the relevant search terms that apply to your site. After you're done, condense your list to ten to 15 of your top keywords that you'll include throughout your site. Don't forget to include some localized terms as well. Within this list, have one main keyword that truly encompasses your business. Next, let's talk about compressing your images. Image compression means that you're shrinking the size of the image without losing any of the images quality. High resolution photos tend to be bigger documents, but you definitely don't want a bunch of large sized photos on your site. So rather than uploading a four megabyte photo onto your site, you're uploading a 750 kilobyte photo. Instead. Most people expect websites to load fairly quickly, so don't risk losing visitors and compress your images so that your site loads as fast as possible. Now let's talk about some basic URL structure. This mainly applies to the extension pages of your site, like you're about, services, contact and blog pages. You want to keep your URLs short and concise and include keywords where appropriate. So e.g. if you're creating a services page for a digital marketing company in Los Angeles, your URL could be backslash digital marketing services Los Angeles or backslash digital marketing services. The most important thing to remember when you're creating URLs is you want to avoid stopwords at all costs. Stopwords are commonly used words like a then to. The search engines have been programmed to ignore. So it's best to admit them as much as possible. Last but not least, I want to emphasize the importance of having a mobile friendly site with the popularity of smartphones continuing their rise in society. It's no surprise that a large percentage of websites searches are now done from mobile devices. Google Now factors in your site's mobile optimization to impact your ranking in mobile searches. Most hosting platforms are now mobile optimized, but makes sure that you know what your site looks like on mobile so you can make changes if necessary. Please note that this is an entry-level list of the different things that you can do to optimize your website. It's in no way fully comprehensive, but it's a great place to start. That's all for this class. Please watch the next video for your instructions on your class project. And we can start putting these newly learned skills to the test. 11. Conclusion: Congratulations on finishing this course. You're now ready to start designing your website online. If you follow the steps that I outlined for you in this class, you'll surely create a successful brand and website while you're designing, keep in mind that your website should bring your brand and your vision to life. Use this as a platform to show why you're passionate about what you're doing. Tell people the story of who you are, what you do and what makes you different from everybody else on the web. Remember to keep your message clear, design simple, and your navigation concise. Before you go, Let's put some of this newly learned knowledge to the test for your class project. You'll be tasked with creating a rough draft of your homepage. It should include all the parts of a homepage, the footer, and top navigation to demonstrate an introductory sitemap, your layout should be well branded, include proper headers, call to actions, and a draft of the content that you'll be including on your actual homepage. I'm looking forward to seeing your projects. Happy designing.