Ok, so you're convinced a website is a necessary part of your business. But how do you create a website? Where do you start? What do I put on my website? In this post I'm going to give you a process to answer all of those questions and more.
What's the goal of your website?
Before you begin creating your website you need to be asking yourself what you expect to get out of your website? What is the primarly goal of your website? In my experience the answer is one of the following three things. Either it's to sell a product, sell a service, or convey information. There may be other goals to having a website. For example: If you're selling a product you may want to educate people about that product, or build value in it. But typically the primary goal of a website is going to be one of those three things.
If the goal of your website is to sell something maybe an important criteria is having the ability to process orders directly from the site. If your goal is to convey informatin perhaps an important criteria is having an easy writing platform. Once you know the primary goal of your website you'll begin to understand what to look for in a website builder, and you'll also begin to understand how to construct your website.
When selling products is the primary goal of your website you're going to want to focus on having a friction free buying process. You'll want people to land on your website, know they came to the right place, see images of your products, and have a clear call to action that tells them what to do next. It should be easy for your visitors to add products to their cart and checkout.
Be careful though, the chances of someone buying from you the first time they come to your site is pretty much zero. For that reason you might want to prompt your visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. You can offer them something of value as an incentive for joining the list. For example, discounts, free trials, exclusive access to products, and so on.
Once someone is on your mailing list you'll be able to follow up with them via email. That reminds them you exist and what you do. Those things alone will greatly improve the chances of someone coming back to your site and making a purchase.
If the goal of your website is to sell services a form might be the most important thing to include on your website. A form will allow people to inquire about your services, schedule appointments, and even make payments.
Similar to selling products, when selling services you'll want to remove a lot of the friction from the buying process, have images on your site that reflect the type of services you offer, and give your site visitors a clear route to scheduling an appointment, completing a form, making a call, or whatever action you want them to take.
Just like with products, follow up will be key to making the most of your website leads. So don't be afraid to ask for those emails, and send them regular follow ups.
If the goal of your website ist to convey information you might want to consider a blog format. Blogs are nice because you can get right in and start typing without having to worry about things like design elements. The focus of your work can be the wriiting. It's also helpful because you can create articles in a database which can be searched and organized by various criteria. You can create a free blog at https://webstarts.blog or simply add the blog app to your existing WebStarts site.
When conveying information is the primary goal of your website you'll still want to have some flow to the information. It's just the goal will typically be to keep them reading as opposed to selling them a product or service. Keeping them reading usually means making your text black on a white background and big enough for people of all ages to read wthout squinting or straining their eyes.
Try to organize your information in a sensible way. If you have many articles on a variety of subjects consider putting them into different categories.