Everyone, regardless of industry, needs a website. It allows you to establish yourself as an expert, grow your influence, and demonstrate your achievements, especially if you are in the digital, media or creative fields. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get your own website.
Launching a website has never been easier. In fact, hosting, coding or design experience isn’t even necessary. Just invest some time into exploring different website building tools, and you can easily get your own website with photos, work samples, links and content.
Once you’ve created your site, you’ll need to promote it, too. In this article, we’ll cover why a website matters and provide simple useful tips on getting it out there.
Five reasons to get your own website
Influence what information others find.
Increase awareness and build reach.
Stand out from the crowd.
Improve your chances of landing a job or contract.
Boost creativity and learn new skills.
Concern for privacy is often a roadblock for those interested in creating a personal website. You might not want to leave personal data online, yet you probably have multiple accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The truth is, a lot of social sites collect personal data, so starting a website of your own doesn’t jeopardize you like you’d think. Plus, the benefits outweigh the potential privacy cons.
1. Influence what information others find.
When you apply for a new job, the first thing recruiters and HR people do is examine your resume and perform a Google search on you. Because social media has such a strong online presence, you run the risk of having your personal profiles pop up first.
If recruiters come across a site that displays things you want to share (e.g., a short bio, portfolio, achievements, testimonials), they will form a different opinion about your personal and professional qualities.
2. Increase awareness and build reach.
A website can become your most efficient brand management tool, regardless of your business. When you meet someone new, first impressions make a huge impact. In terms of the online world, your website becomes that first impression. The better the impression, the better your brand in terms of awareness, reach, projects and jobs.
3. Stand out from the crowd.
Your site, like a high-quality resume, definitely helps you stand out. It demonstrates your creativity and experience, highlights your strengths, and focuses on your positive attributes.
Do not miss a chance to wow your prospective manager with your bio, display your projects and volunteer work, captivate with professional stories, and more.
4. Improve your chances of landing a job or contract.
If you control your own identity on the internet while building awareness and reach, potential managers and companies will notice your efforts. They’ll be able to find you easily and immediately build a connection with you.
Your website puts you on the map for people all over the world. Over time, you’ll foster more connections, one of which could become your next big job. More exposure means more projects and contracts.
5. Boost creativity and learn new skills.
Aside from highlighting your positive qualities, building your site can round out your skills and make you more appealing as a potential hire. Even the simplest website building tool promotes creativity! From formatting the layout to picking images and writing content, your site is an opportunity to showcase your value.
Editor’s note: Want to create a beautiful website in under an hour? Try GoDaddy’s GoCentral Website Builder. No matter your business niche, you’ll be able to wow visitors with a sleek and professional design.
How to promote your website
Now that you understand why you need to get your own website, it’s time to touch on how to promote it. It’s not enough to simply build one and leave it. You’ll have to actively work to get eyes on your creation.
1. Use a unique, name-based domain name.
Choosing a custom domain can make a big difference in your site’s odds of being found on Google. Not sure where to start? Consider these examples for domain names:
If possible, incorporate keywords into your domain name for a stronger SEO impact. If you’re using your site as a resume, your name acts like the keyword.
2. Keep your site neat, clean and user-friendly.
A personal website’s structure is rarely complex. It should include five basic web pages:
- About Us
Depending on what you do for work, you could use a blog, portfolio or products/services page accordingly. Good news? Most website building platforms let you create those with the snap of a finger. Filling in the content is up to you, though, so don’t take website content creation lightly.
Your home page should feature a short bio, visually appealing photos, selected work samples and snippet testimonials. Mentioning media — using logos of Forbes, Entrepreneur or Business.com — never hurts, either.
Your portfolio should demonstrate your best work. Provide detailed descriptions and create individual pages for each work sample. Use search- and user-friendly URLs, like: www.sergey-grybniak.com/portfolio/x-company-project
Your blog can become your site’s most important element (assuming you post useful and engaging content). Go for niche-specific articles that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. And don’t forget about testimonials. The more, the better. But don’t cheat — only real testimonials matter.
Your contact page should feature your email, phone number and social media accounts.
3. Post, optimize and share content.
Once your site is up, fill it with content by applying these tips:
- Invest in your bio. It should tell your prospective employer or client about your mission, goals, values and experience in just a few sentences.
- Use industry-specific keywords, placing them in each piece of content, but avoid keyword stuffing.
- Place tags and add meta descriptions, especially on your blog pages. Pay specific attention to title, header and ALT tags.
- Post blog articles consistently, but post only your best stuff — mediocre content will not work.
- Share content on social networks to help build brand awareness and increase reach. Sharing is also good for SEO.
Writing your own web content doesn’t have to be difficult. Make it relevant, engaging and stay true to your audience.
4. Register at relevant directory listings.
While the previous steps deal with on-page SEO, this tip is about off-page optimization, specifically backlinks. Building links from relevant, trustworthy resources is key to your site’s ranking in search results.
Fortunately, there’s a solution. Directory listings provide a simple and legit way to point several links to your site. Here’s what you need to do:
- Locate relevant directories in your niche (e.g., web-designers-directory.org, aiga.org, designerlistings.org — provided you’re a web designer, of course).
- Research selected directories to sift out authoritative ones (use tools like Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, SEMrush to check traffic).
- Create unique profiles with photos, descriptions and social media links.
- Place a link to your personal site.
Directory listings build up valuable links that increase your site’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract prospects — be it recruiters, hiring managers or clients. A definite win-win!
Ready, set, launch!
It’s time to get your own website. Building from scratch can seem like an impossible task, but I encourage you to approach it as an investment. Hard work now will reap rewards later on. It’s absolutely worth spending several days to choose a proper platform, create a compelling design and structure, and get the whole thing going.
And when you’re ready to promote, you’ll have options. Even if you decide to postpone starting a blog, you can launch a site with just a Home, About Us, Testimonials and Contact page. Your website is your ultimate weapon. Create one as soon as possible!