It can be hard to know what to include on your website when you’re starting out. With such a vast array of choices and plugins, themes and styles these days, you could literally have anything if you really wanted. But sometimes less is more. The key things to think about are the core usability of your website, can your clients find the information they need quickly and easily? Will they come away feeling satisfied with the information they have got or more confused and frustrated than when they started?
These are my top 5 elements you need to think about when building your website to ensure you create a well-thought-out user experience for your audience.
Consistent, well thought out branding
Branding is such an important part of your business and not something you should overlook when starting out. Your brand becomes everything that encompasses you and your business – your personality, your values, your visual identity. Make sure you spend time creating the perfect brand identity for your business or better still, speak to an expert who understands the importance of good branding and can help you realise your dreams.
Content that is written with your ideal client in mind, not yourself
The biggest mistake many businesses make is not thinking about their ideal clients when they put together their content. Concentrate on the value you bring to your customers and clients. How can your products or services help them? Why do they need to use you over the competition? Make sure your content is written in your brand’s tone of voice and that your personality comes across in your writing. Don’t create your copy for Google, stuffing it with keywords; speak directly to your audience and show them the value they’ll get from working with you.
Working with a professional copywriter can really help bring your words to life and resonate with your audience on a deeper level. If you’re stuck with what to put on your website, I’ve worked with some amazing copywriters in my design projects and can point you in the right direction.
Easy to find contact information
If your contact details are buried at the bottom of your about page, or only in the footer as a link to your email address, you’re not making it easy for your clients to reach out to you or for your website to generate leads. You’ve hooked your audience in with amazing content, they know the value they’re going to be served by working with you, but if you don’t have clear calls-to-action for them to get in touch or take the next step, it’s a waste of time. Make sure you have a clear contact page with all your contact details on, a clear short form for them to fill out and email you directly through your website, and your social media links. You can also include a sign-up box to your newsletter list, to keep them engaged with your content and updates.
Clear navigation (particularly on mobile)
Your website’s navigation should be clear and focused on the user journey – taking them where they want to go in as few steps as possible. If you are on a mobile device it is common practice to put your menu under a ‘burger menu’ (the three horizontal bars icon), which will expand to reveal the menu when clicked on. This helps keep smaller screens clear and uncluttered and still means your menu is fully useable. Organise your pages together in a manner that makes sense. Creating a flow chart of how your website content will be structured, before starting on the design itself, is a really important step, particularly for websites with lots of pages and content on them.
Good quality photography
I can’t emphasise this enough. If you don’t have professional looking photographs on your website, no matter how good the copy is, people will look at you as being an amateur and will be less likely to buy from you. After all, if you can’t invest in yourself and your business, why should they invest their hard-earned money in you? I highly recommend getting some professional headshots taken with a brand photographer, and if you have anything physical to sell, product photography taken that’s taken by someone who knows how to style your products will help immensely than taking a quick shot on your phone and hoping for the best. That’s not to say phone photography isn’t acceptable, but it’s the knowledge and know-how behind taking the photos that will be the difference between standing out from the crowd and blending in.
If you don’t have brand or product photographs to use, you can source professional looking stock images. Just make sure you choose carefully, you acquire the correct licensing rights to use those photographs, and don’t just pick the same photos that every other Tom, Dick and Harry use on their website!
How does your website measure up?
Now you know the top 5 features to consider when building your website, how does your website measure up against this list:
✔ consistent, clear branding
✔ good photography
✔ easy to navigate
✔ content written for your ideal client
✔ strong calls-to-action to let your audience contact you directly
Take a step back and look at your branding as a whole, if it’s not selling the value you can provide to your clients it’s time to revisit your content. You can either do this yourself, or we can have a chat about what website packages I can provide to help put the sparkle back into your website and your heart.
Does your website need some love?
Have you fallen out of love with your website? Is it looking a bit tired and dated, in need of a good spring clean? I can help put the sparkle back into your website and branding! Get in touch today and book a free discovery call.
I love meeting new people and finding out all about their business dreams, let’s make your dream a reality today!
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