If you are looking for a new website this probably means you just started a business or your current website needs a renovation. First, you start searching online and it seems these online ‘make-your-own websites’ are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Unfortunately, it’s exactly the opposite! You end up having an “interesting” looking website and you’ve wasted hours trying to learn how to work the thing! If you need a website up fast and don’t know where to start, you have came to the right place. The following are your next steps to get in going in the right direction.
Research your Competition
First, research other businesses in your industry and area. Take note of your favorite designs, colors and wording on each of your top picks. List what you do and don’t like on these websites. Get on Google and start experimenting with a few search terms people could use to find your website. What local businesses are showing up at the top? Consider these your top competitors online. Make a mental list of these businesses and the terms you used to get there. This will be extremely important later when adding content and optimizing your website for searches.
Make a list of features you have seen on other websites that could benefit your clients and your online marketing efforts. For example, if you own a hair salon you might need an online booking form so your clients could easily schedule an appointment online.
Some other available features include;
- Facebook “Like” and share boxes, Pinterest, Twitter feeds.
- Contact forms
- Shopping carts and checkouts
- Live audio and video feeds
- Newletter sign-ups
- Membership to content on the website
It’s never to soon to start writing content for your website! I recommend all websites who are looking to rank on Google need at least 9 pages of content before the website is launched. The following are the basic pages you can start writing today:
- Home (1 page)-Contains an overview of the company listing the products/services.
- About Us (1 page)- Describes the business, owner(s), experience in this industry and value proposition.
- Meet the Team (1 page)-This is for your staff bio and will be one of the most looked at page on your website. Each staff member will need a picture and short bio.
- Product/Services (2-10 pages)- Each product/service will need at minimum one page each. If you have many products/services each will need to be categorized and even the category will have its own page, description and pictures. This is be the bulk of your website.
- Contact Us (1 page)-Phone, email and location. Each location will have a different page on the website.
Many are overwhelmed with these content demands but after 4 cups of coffee and looking at your previous website examples you’ll be able to take their wording and make it your own very quickly. If in doubt, you can always write about current topics in your industry.
Download the Get Started Web Design Questions 7-2-2014