Building a website can be daunting, especially If you aren’t familiar with the technology or the different website platforms or if you aren’t a designer. Whether you are going to do your website yourself or if you are going to hire a designer, we’ll be discussing points that you’ll want to know either way.
Your website should work for you and there are strategies that you can implement to make sure that the website is helping you gain clients and sales. There are many strategies that help visitors have a better experience on your website and build their trust.
We also created an in-depth website planner for you to strategically plan your website. We didn’t mean to go into so much detail but we got carried away. You can download the website planner below.
If you’re reading this post, then we’re going to assume that you already know why you need a website but here are some reasons on why it’s important.
- Websites build credibility
It’s a great way to get discovered through Google or Pinterest
It gives you the opportunity to show people what you do and how you’re an expert.
Social proof: your website can show testimonials and who you have worked with which builds trust with your audience.
Email List: It’s not smart to rely on just your social media platforms & followers. If social media platforms go down, you will still have your website and email list to lean on.
.01 | Goals and Intention
Before you jump into designing your website, you have to set your goals and intentions behind your website. What is the purpose of the website? For example, do you want the website to give people a way to contact you, work with you and view your services, learn more about you, make a purchase, book a consultation call, etc? Your goals are going to be the driving factor in the way you plan out the site.
As you are deciding on your goals for your website, you are going to think about two different visitor perspectives. One perspective is going to be visitors that don’t know who you are and are landing on various pages on your website and then you are going to have visitors that are coming back to your site. Keep this in mind while you’re planning out your website.
There may be a lot of goals that you want your website to accomplish but narrow this down to three goals. The more focused you are, the easier it is for your audience to understand what you do and for you to serve them.?Many people get decision paralysis if you give them too many options.
When people land on your website, you don’t know if they are going to see your homepage first or if they land on a different page such as the blog post. You have to consider your customer’s journey from any page on your website. I love a good homepage design and it’s probably by favorite page to design, but realistically, it’s probably not the first page that your customer is going to land on.
.02 | Pages and sitemap
Now it’s time to actually plan out your website. It’s best to decide which pages you need before you start building out and the structure of the site.
You will decide your primary navigation pages first which usually include home, about, services, shop, blog, and contact. These are the top level pages that are on the main navigation and easy to click on. While these are the main changes, it also depends on your business.
Once you understand the goals for your website, you can plan your pages accordingly to the goals. If you are a service based business then your services and portfolio are going to be more important. If you are an online shop then your shop is going to be more important. Some creative businesses need a portfolio and some don’t. That is why knowing your goals are important. Once you have your top level pages decided, map out your secondary pages. Secondary pages are ones that might take two clicks to get to or you can place them in the header.
Examples of secondary pages can include the 404 page, the password protected pages, sales/landing pages, FAQ page, Single blog post page, etc.
Tip: you should only have 5-6 links at the most inyour navigation.
You can map these out on paper or you can download our website planner to help you.
download your website planner
.03 | Content
The next step is to plan out the actual content for your page. We’re going to walk you through your homepage to help get you started on the possible sections. You can then use the same steps to create the rest of the pages. Our website planner walks you through setting up 5 primary pages.
The homepage establishes an introduction to your brand. Consider that this page will be viewed from people who are already aware of you and brand new viewers who don’t know what you do. The homepage is a summary of the most important parts of your brand.
Sections of your homepage can include:
1. Hero + Biz Bio: an attention grabbing hero image plus your biz bio. Your biz bio is the bio that tells people what you do, who you do it for, and the results that you help them achieve. This can also be considered your mission statement. Having both of these things above the fold of your website (before anyone has to scroll) allows you to communicate quickly to your audience.
2. Your call to actions: This is the section that you can add up to three primary call to actions. If you are a client based business, one of your call to actions can be to view your services, book a consultation call, and view your portfolio. These are all actions that will help your visitors decide if they want to work with you.
3. About/Your Story: Most people like to know who they are working with or who is behind a product so this section allows you to give more of an introduction about the person behind the brand. If you are not the face of the brand, then you can focus on your brand’s story more than your personal journey.
4. Content Upgrade: a content upgrade is a free resource that you give out to your audience in an exchange for their email address. Content upgrades are a great way to grab your visitor’s attention, grow your email list, and provide really great value to your audience for free. The more valuable a content upgrade is, the more likely your audience will trust you or trust your paid products.
5. Featured In: People like to see social proof to know that they aren’t going to get scammed so adding the logos of companies that you have worked with gives people proof that you are telling the truth. This section might have to come later if you are just starting out and don’t have notable clients yet.
This is a very simple homepage but we want you to keep it simple for now. The goal here is to get your website up so it can start working for you. Don’t overthink every section and remember you can always go back and edit later on.
.04 | Wireframe
Action step: Wireframe each page that you plan to create.
.05 | Build Out
Once you have the wireframes, you can pick a platform to build your website on. We highly recommend Squarespace to get started on. However, other popular platforms include: WordPress, ShowIt, and Shopify. We recommend staying away from Wix and Weebly.
If you need help deciding on a platform, visit www.brandblitz.co/websiteplatform
search engine optimization
In order to show up in Google, you will want to make sure your website is optimized.
• Make sure your images load quickly
• Images should include an Alt tag description
• Have a mobile responsive site
• Post quality content to your blog
A great way to make your website look professional is by using high quality stock images. Our favorite stock image sites are:
We use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create our websites but another option is Canva which is very user-friendly if you aren’t a designer. Illustrator and Photoshop are a little harder to learn but they if you plan on designing your own graphics then we highly recommend using them. They offer a free 30 day trial as well.
.06 | Launch Your Site
You made it! If you already have an email address or a social media following let them know that your website is about to launch. Create a hype and have fun with it.
– Continue to edit
Your website will be an ongoing project. You can try out different copy or different call to actions, you can take professional branded photos and replace stock images, etc.
– Google Analytics
Make sure you are using Google’s SEO tools so you can make sure you’re ranking high in Google search and you can also see where your traffic is coming from. You can see which blog posts are getting more traffic and make sure those pages are optimized for new traffic coming in.
– Get Traffic to your site
The number one way that we get traffic to our website is by using Pinterest. It drives majority of our traffic and where we get most of our inquiries. We also just love browsing Pinterest as well. Once you create a blog post, share it on Pinterest so that it can be seen. Make sure your pins are branded to your website so that when people see your pin they start to recognize your branding. You can also use Instagram and Facebook as platforms to drive traffic to your website. You will have to analyze after some time which platform drives the most traffic for your business.
– Hire a designer
If you find that you don’t have the time, software, or you’re ready to let someone design your website for you, we offer website design for Squarespace and WordPress. You can view our services here.