Website must-have's

Do you have a website for your business? Have you considered how it can work for you, bring you a return on your investment and earn your business money?

If you have a website for your business, there are a few things to consider. Your website is a big investment, financially and potentially your time but it shows your customers that you're serious about your business and assures them that your business is legitimate. As it's an investment, for your business, it needs to work for you – growing your business and introducing new customers to your services/products.


How do you do that?


You start by planning how you want to convert users into customers, browsers into curious potential customers; do you want to introduce browsers to your services/products and encourage them to contact you or sign up to subscribe to your email campaigns.


Website goal setting/objectives:

Here are some examples of website objectives you can set for your business:

  • Driving more traffic to your website

  • Increase email subscribers

  • Selling online / converting browsers into paying customers

  • Drive traffic from your website to social media platforms

  • Search Engine ranking – getting your website to the top of Googles search results

  • Build brand awareness

  • Position yourself as an expert in your field

  • Increase page clicks

There are so many ways to get your website working for you, read more about goal setting here > If you're looking at rebranding your website and want to start by setting your objectives first, read more here >


Now that we realise how important it is to set objectives for our website, we plan out our content – every thing that's on your website is there to serve a purpose! You menu links are to help your user navigate around your site without feeling confused and overwhelmed so reduce the amount of menu links. An email subscriber list box is there to attract email addresses to use for email campaigns further on down the line, try to attract users interested in your service by offering a free download in exchange for their email address. Chances are, if they download something specific then it can give you an idea on campaigns to build in the future. For some ideas on how to run a successful email marketing campaign, click here > Every time you put something on your website, ask yourself, will this help my ideal customer? Will it enhance their experience on my website and encourage them to take action to either contact me or buy my service/product.


Navigation

Don't be scare to repeat information and links – different people browse in different ways so by catering for a variety of browsers will ensure your content is found. Have a look at the following example:

As you can see here, there are 3 different ways to get to the items page:

  1. Clicking services > items in the header menu

  2. Clicking services link in the footer then, presumably, there'll be another opportunity within that page to select the items page via a button or link

  3. I've also shown you how, by having a map link menu (services > items > specific link) the user can backtrack to the main menu in increments so as not to disrupt their browsing journey. The idea here being that on the items page there can be further links that don't need to be included within the drop down menu but can sit within the page the the map link menu can help users navigate back along the journey to a specific point. Always think about navigating the site through the eyes of your user


Website Site Plan

Before you start building your website, you need to plan the content that will go on there, then you can review it to see if it aligns with your objectives. Start with your section headers – for a website it'll form part of your Site Plan and look something like this:

As you see, you're not only planning the content but the journey. From the Landing Page your user can navigate to the menu links then they can navigate through your drop down menus. In this case Services has 3 drop down menus: drop, down, and menu (I have no imagination, I know!). Create your content along with any notes and observations like this?

  1. Draw out your Site Plan

  2. Write/type out all your content for each of those links

  3. Where will your subscription box go – is it relevant to have it appear on every page or a selection, it needs to be relevant otherwise it'll be seen as a pushy sales device

  4. If you're having a Blog on your site, be sure you can commit to blogging regularly, your site will look inactive if your only blog that's showing is one from 4 years ago and Google will drop your ratings in their search engine

  5. Note down the products and prices for your shop (if you have one) and plan a photoshoot so your product images all look professional and uniform (part of your brand)

By planning the content out in advance, you can start collating missing assets while your website is being built, like information and photographs. You'll have a list of photographs you'll need to take, information you need to obtain and remember, most site building platforms (like Wix) allows you to 'hide' pages until you're ready for them to be revealed. This is especially helpful when planning on creating content for a blog in advance, perhaps you don't want that page to be seen (go live) until you have at least 5 articles published? If you want to read more about planning your website, click here >


Website don'ts

There are just a couple that I want to highlight to you so that you have a professional website

  1. Don't have Home on your menu, users are wise enough now to know that they click your logo to navigate back to the landing page, don't take up valuable space with this redundant link

  2. Testimonials don't need their own page – no one is going to read it! Testimonials are important but they need to be relevant to the service so have about 3 testimonials under a section to validate the service you're talking about and try to update testimonials every few months for repeat browsers otherwise they lose their authenticity

  3. Update your site regularly (this is where a blog is useful), Google will recognise it as an active site and it'll be ranked higher than your competitors the more frequently you update your site

  4. Create an experience, think of adventurous ways to present your information, be memorable and interesting, create curiosity and joy for your customers


I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog, I'll be adding a digital download shortly with printable plan pages for your Site Plan and goal setting so keep an eye out for that. If you want to receive a notification when it's ready then fill out your email address in the subscription box on the home page here > and if you want to talk to me about getting your own Wix website built for you, then contact me here > and check out my prices here >


Until next time, take care and stay safe.


#branding #websitedesign #smallbusiness

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