Everyone knows that to look credible and professional your business should have a website. However, when you’re first starting out it’s difficult to know what to include so I’ve created the list below of website essentials – things you MUST include from the beginning to get your business going:
1. Overview of the product/service itself – this is an obvious one but it needs to be really clear from the outset what it is your product or service does and the benefits users can expect. There also needs to be a very clear and easy way to make a purchase.
2. Contact details – how many times have you been on a website but can’t find a number to call them on for love nor money? You’ll need to include a company phone number and company email address to field any enquiries and make is as easy as possible for your customers to engage with you. People prefer to call landline numbers but if you don’t have a business landline there are lots of companies who provide virtual landline numbers for a few quid per month. You should also make sure that your website has links to your social media platforms so people can easily follow you; be sure to include your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other details across the website.
3. Customer stories/case studies – any feedback you get from the people using your product or experiencing your service is hugely valuable. Try to capture as much in writing (or video/voice recording) as possible and request permission to use it on the website and marketing. Peer recommendations are so important so you will want to use positive feedback as much as you can.
4. About Us – you use an area like this to provide some reassurance around the fact that this company knows what it’s doing! It’s here where you can talk about your background and experience and position yourself as a leader in the field. You can also add links to press and publications if you wish.
5. Blog – this is an area you should use to write about topics which are interesting to your target market, and then post links on social media and in email newsletters. The objective here is to drive extra visitors to your website who may then buy.
6. A way of collecting contact information – once you’ve encouraged visitors to your site, you need to find a way of capturing their data so you can build a list of leads. You should include a sign up box for a newsletter and maybe offer a free resource such as an ebook in exchange for contact details. There are all sorts of options using pop-up boxes so you should explore and find the one which works best for you.
There are lots of free website building resources out there so you can have a practise run on a variety of platforms; the main thing is to make sure the website gets across exactly what your customers need to hear.
Creating your first business and first website can be intimidating but if you follow the guidelines above you’ll include everything you need to launch. Your website is a key element of your overall marketing strategy as it’s your shop window for potential customers – it’s worth spending time getting the content right.