So you have a small business and you are ready to expand your business into the worldwide web. That’s great! Perhaps you have already reached out and contacted our talented web design team here at X(US) Hosting. Even better! But you’re looking to do more, to hit the ground running with designing your website. There are a few things you’ll need to prepare for a new website, from the visuals and verbiage you’ll use to the purpose of the site.
Think about your visuals
Does your business have a particular color scheme? Choose a color palette that feels right for the mood you wish to capture. Try using Coolors to create a palette of complementary colors, and get ideas. Don’t forget to save the HEX codes!
Does your business have a logo? A good logo is simple and eye-catching. Try using simple icons, shapes or typography, with the name of your business. Graphic creation sites like Canva have lots of icons, images, and text options to create a logo.
When creating a logo, make sure it isn’t too similar to someone else’s, to avoid infringing on an existing trademark.
Create an elevator pitch
When someone comes to your site it is critical to inform them who you are and what you provide in only a few sentences. This is where the elevator pitch comes in.
Use a friendly, conversational tone, and avoid jargon and business-speak.
Saying things like, “We’re the best” or “We’re number one!” is generic and meaningless. It doesn’t really say anything about you. A better solution is to describe a problem and how you can solve it.
Talk about specifics; Do you have better prices? Offer hours your competitors don’t? Operate in a location your competitors don’t? Have a unique product or way of doing things? Tell them why you are different from everyone else and give them a reason to want to know more.
Check out this article about creating a marketing plan to help get an idea for your elevator pitch.
Tell your story
It is a common feature to include an “About Us” page for your site. Adding this kind of personal information helps make you relatable and adds authenticity.
People like to know where you come from. Briefly tell the story of how your business began and what you did to get there.
Any information you would put on a resume is standard. Include things like the licenses or certifications you might have, how many years have you worked in your field. So long as it is relevant, this information can help you establish yourself as an expert.
A few sentences about your personal life are common, unless you prefer to remain private. You can mention things about where you grew up, your pets, your family, and your hobbies.
Check out our post on About Us pages for more information.
Know your purpose
Consider what it is you want to do with your website. Are you using it simply as a tool for promotion? Setting up an online marketplace? Trying to drive sales at a physical location? If your site includes e-commerce, it will have an effect on how it’s built. An eCommerce site’s main goal is to drive sales. A non-eCommerce site should be informative.
Think about what important information you want your site to highlight. What kind of Call to Action (CTA) are you looking for?
- Requesting a consultation or appointment
- Joining your email subscriber list
- Connecting on social media
- Reading your blog post
- Completing a survey
- Buying a product
Regardless of your CTA, it needs to be relevant to your products and services.
Consider potential customers
More people looking at your site is good, up to a point. The truth is you won’t be doing business with all of them. It is important to define who you serve and who you do not. For instance, if you are a local caterer specializing in birthdays and small events, you may not have the equipment to cater a wedding four hours away. Defining your customer base saves everyone time.
Eliminating potential clients can seem counterproductive, but being upfront in what you can offer will save you money and time in the end.
Pinpoint your style
When creating something new, sometimes the best way to get started is to see what else is out there. Draw inspiration from sites with similar purposes, take note of their layout, colors, fonts, and styles.
While our team will do a deep dive into what will make the most sense for potential clients, coming to the table with likes and dislikes will help avoid lots of editing later.
Provide social proof
People want to know what others have to say about you. Love it or hate it, social media is how people connect to each other in the modern world.
Create social media profiles for your business. You can then link those profiles to your website. Websites give your business legitimacy and the more connected your site is with social media the more avenues there for traffic coming to your site.
If your website is focused on you specifically, rather than a business, make sure there is nothing on your social pages that you wouldn’t want representing you.
You can never have too much social proof! A few places you can look to gather social proof:
- Ask for testimonials or reviews from your clients
- Provide links to positive reviews on Google
- Receive endorsements from your peers or other organizations
- Save links to websites or print publications where you have provided content
Getting started with a new website for your business can feel daunting, but letting your designer know what you’re looking for up front will help save time – and costly edits – on your new site.