What you really need to think about when creating a website for your business
There are many different elements to creating a website for your business, but in today’s post I’m sharing my top 4 elements you should focus on. After designing and creating numerous websites, I see a number of similarities. So I wanted to share my expertise.
There is always a mixture of excitement and overwhelm. You’ve got your business idea sorted. You’ve got your business name sorted. Woohoo. So now it’s time to think about getting your website sorted.
The writing is on the wall.
One the biggest areas where I see people falling down is the copy. AKA the words on your site. This may also be referenced to as content. Often people think they can knock out some copy in a shot amount of time, even if they haven’t done this before. But often people come across a barrier. Selling themselves with words is hard. In the same way that people struggle with writing a resume or ‘selling’ themselves in an interview, writing engaging and persuasive copy can be a challenge. While you can hire a website copywriter, if you a DIY’er, my suggestion is to start with one webpage at a time. Create an overall theme, heading, a few subheadings, some bullet points under each, and then expand from there.
Writing copy for a website is a skill. Although I am not a copywriter, I see so much content that I can tell when someone has rushed it. Trust me, it will take some time, probably a lot longer than you think. So ensure you give yourself enough time so that you don’t feel rushed. It will be worth it in the long run, and it will help you meet the deadlines your designer sets.
Depending on your needs, don’t be afraid to contact a freelance writer, editor, or proofreader.
You: The time you plan for writing, multiply it by 4.
Designer: Every designer is different in the services they offer. Most will be able to suggest a copywriter or two, and some will give you writing prompts for the key pages on your site.
Get clear on who you will help (and how)
It sounds obvious, but taking the time to clearly understand whom you help and what benefit they get from working with you will make the process so much easier.
Again, this is an area many people struggle with. When starting out, people often say that they can help anyone. Which technically may be true. But what is more useful is to connect to people who have a particular need and can know you are the expert solution. You may want to narrow or niche down based on your audience demographics, i.e. women aged 40 – 55, based in Florida, working part-time, with at least one teenage daughter.
Or you may narrow down based on their need or ‘pain point’, aka women who want to build their knowledge and self-confidence on how to maintain their car.
This will help with your copy. With your branding. With your messaging. Having a clear, ‘I help …’ statement throughout the copy of your website will allow the reader to understand that you are the person to help them. It will also help to define and refine your services and products. Go and ask, interview, question clients or potential clients. Allow yourself to get crystal clear.
You: Write a clear ideal customer profile
Designer: Share website examples that have been successful because the offering is super clear.
A picture paints a thousand words
The old adage of a picture paints a thousand words is still true today. And maybe even more so thanks to the power of social media. Think about the style of images you want. Think about what pictures and styles will be attractive to your audience. This can be a complicated area to get right. If you don’t have your own images, then there are various ‘stock’ images that you can buy from image libraries. But the key is to get images that look not only great but also look realistic.
This is so your ideal client can actually imagine themselves in that situation. Or that they make a more authentic connection to your site. Not too picture perfect. Not too polished. Aspirational, yes, but not unrealistic. Depending on how much your designer is helping you, allow yourself time to get lost in the world of images. You already know what a rabbit hole of time ‘just looking on Pinterest’ can be. So set yourself a timer.
You: Create an image board of appealing images that you would like to include in your site.
Designer: Can make suggestions for suitable image libraries.
What’s the story?
When planning a website, remember it is part of your overall sales and marketing strategy. What are the key themes, key stories, key messages that you want to share? Identifying these will help you in a number of ways, especially in creating connected content for social media, blog categories and themes.
Again, remember you are taking people on a journey. Allowing them to get to know you and what your business is all about. I’m sure you have heard people talk about being consistent. Having a consistent brand story and message with your audience will help them identify with you. It will help them to remember who you are and what you stand for. Help you to guide your audience through the website.
You: Identify 4-6 brand stories and messages you want to share with your audience.
Designer: Incorporate the visual story aspects throughout your site.
These are really the 4 main areas I see people struggling with when they are doing a website themselves, or when working with a designer.
When working with a designer, the best advice I can give is to approach creating, designing and building your website as a partnership. Your designer will be guided and support you. But at the end of the day, the website will only be as good as the thought you put in, the information you share and being realistic with the work you need to complete (as to the agreed deadlines).
Being clear on the areas I outlined above will place you 99% ahead of most people when creating a website for your business.
If you would like a FREE Strategic Website Consult Call, schedule it here. Our calls are totally no-pressure. We are trying to help you solve problems in your business, not sell you stuff you don’t need.