Raise your hand if this sounds familiar.
You search online for a company that can help you solve a problem, and voila – a list of potential options populates on your screen.
Gone are the days of the big bulky phone book where you actually have to call each business to shop for the right match. – what did we ever do without the internet?!?
So that long list shows up and you click on Cat Cuddlers (totally random name that popped into my head). Maybe you‘ve heard about Cat Cuddlers from a friend, or you read about them in a flyer that was delivered to your home. Their homepage opens on your screen and to your disappointment their information is wildly disorganized, the bright fluorescent green background with white text has given you an instant headache and to top it off, you land on the dreaded 404 Error page after you clicking to view their services – YIKES!
You find another company in what appears to be an online business directory, but they don’t even have a website – double YIKES!
If you’re anything like me, I don’t bother phoning a business if they don’t have a website. Why? Because the internet is the first place I go to shop. It’s simply the way it is nowadays.
Bottom line, your website is your digital storefront, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a positive first impression!
Whether you already have a website or planning to start one, consider these ten important steps that could help you impress and attract new customers.
Establish your Goals & Needs for the site
First clarify why you’re doing this? Is it to share your knowledge, communicate your experience, generate leads or showcase your abilities?
Next, and most important, define the key action you want your reader to take on each page of your site.
Solidifying your goals will help to clearly map out the ideal customer journey, which is essentially the path readers take as they navigate through your site. For example: A customer that clicks on a ‘learn more’ button from the homepage to a sales page, then clicks on a ‘buy now’ button to purchase a product/services – this is a customer journey. On a side note, I love consulting in this area, so feel free to book a consulting call if you need some help 🙂
What do you need on your site to accomplish your goals? Below is a list of ideas to get you started:
- homepage to highlight your main goal
- contact info/company information
- services/product page
- email newsletter signup
- resource page
- sales page for specific product/service
Organize your content.
Take time to organize all the information you plan to publish on your site. Keep your customer’s journey top-of-mind when mapping out how and where your information will be displayed. It might help to create a spreadsheet to match topics with their respective pages or blog categories.
Use the KISS theory – Keep It Simple Silly!
If you have a lot of information to publish, think of creative ways to separate things into sections. Less is more.
For example, on a page with long chunks of text you can break it up using images and graphics. Don’t have those? No problem! Try highlighting certain paragraphs with a coloured border or reverse white text on a coloured background. Use sub headings. Pull notable points and feature them in a stylized box with larger font size.
Write Quality Content
Having a copywriter is pretty handy, but if it’s not in your budget use the points below as your basic guidelines:
- define what you want to communicate
- make an outline with sections – heading, details, summary etc.
- use spell check!
- ask a colleague/friend/spouse to be your second pair of eyes – spell check doesn’t catch everything
Make Yourself Easy to Contact
Make your contact information easy to find and available in several places (like above the menubar, in the footer, on the contact page) so viewers can find it no matter where they are on your site.
May I also suggest that your Contact page have a contact form PLUS your email and phone number? It’s a pet peeve of mine when there is just a contact form. People like options, let’s give them options! 🙂 See my contact page as an example.
Be Colourful & Consistent
Decide on a colour palette and how each colour will be applied to headings, buttons and other site elements. Once you are happy with these details, be consistent in using these styles throughout your site. For example: If your button style on the homepage has white text on a purple background, use that same styling throughout the site.
Use Quality Images
Always incorporate good quality, high resolution images on your website. Crisp, clean imagery takes your site from looking amateur to PRO.
If shooting your own photography, use a consistent backdrop for product photos, good lighting. Choose distraction-free backgrounds for team portraits.
Be On Brand!
Your entire website – the content, typography, colour scheme, imagery and overall design – should be On Brand, meaning everything should be cohesive with your brand image. If you want a great exercise to help clarify your brand image, download a Brand Discovery Worksheet.
Be Mobile Friendly
Make sure your site is mobile friendly – meaning the information is formatted to fit all screens sizes, including tablets and smart phones.If this part gives you nightmares, we can help!
When in Doubt, Get Help from a Pro
If all this feels too much for you, don’t fret! Myself and my team has the expertise to help you in this department!
Simply book a discovery call or check out our services. I would love to collaborate with you to get your website up and running.