3 Components of a Website That Sells

creating-a-websiteAt one point, when I was fresh out of college, I was really excited to learn how to build websites. I studied HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, MySQL, AJAX, and a lot of other acronyms I have since completely forgotten about. My short-term obsession was probably a residual effect from studying engineering for six years. Plus, I’ve always loved taking things apart, breaking them, and putting them back together.

Looking back on that time I spent studying coding, I see it was a total waste of my time.  No one (except hardcore developers) needs to know any of those things. In fact, the technical side of building a website is actually the least important thing to understand. Yet, that’s where many of us get hung up. When you think of a website, you immediately think about complicated code and technology. It sounds scary and expensive.

But it doesn’t have to be! If you’re thinking about building or redesigning your website, here are the three components you’ll need:

  1. Technology
  2. Design
  3. Copywriting

These things are listed in order of least importance. I’ll briefly touch on the first two, but you’ll want to spend the majority of your time focused on copywriting. Your website copy is ultimately how you’ll convert visitors into paying customers.

Technology

There’s only one tool you need to know: WordPress. I can’t think of any good reason to use any other tool to build your website. Most hosting companies like GoDaddy give you the ability to install WordPress by literally clicking one button. You may have to enter a username and password, but you essentially just click a button and you have a website.

No coding is required. Click install and you’re all set. If you can use Microsoft Word, then you can use WordPress to create webpages.

Design

Go to themeforest.net and pick a design you like. This will set you back between $3 to $50, so it's not a big investment. If you’re just getting started, then use something already available and don’t spend money customizing it. Design is important. You want your website to look professional, but again, the most important component is the copywriting.  So let’s move on to that final step.

Copywriting

Think of your website as one of your sales people.  That’s really the purpose of your website — to make sales. The reality is that an ugly website with compelling copy, a strong offer, and a lead magnet will always generate more sales and return on investment than a fancy, flashy, slick website with weak copy. Therefore, the words on your page are much more important than the technology and the design. And like I said, there really isn’t too much to worry about when it comes to technology and design, thanks to WordPress.

So if you’ve been putting off building or redesigning your website because the project is too daunting, I hope you now see it’s not as hard as it seems.  First, focus on your copywriting and the offer you’re going to present on your website. Then pick a professional theme and install WordPress. It will save you time and money.

A version of this post originally appeared on the author's blog. 

Phil Frost is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Main Street ROI in New York, NY. Main Street ROI teaches internet marketing strategies that actually work for small businesses. Click here to get the Ultimate SEO Checklist to help you rank higher in Google.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons. 

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