This guide builds on Part One and will focus on your website's Content - that's the important written stuff! It sets out what pages you should include and other important aspects such as basic keyword identification and SEO.
How to define your Website Branding, Look and Image focuses on the visual elements of web design and the practical steps you can take to explore and define what your site will look like.
Essential Website Content (this blog!) - How to choose your words... carefully. This guide builds on Part One and will focus on your website's Content - that's the important written stuff! It sets out what pages you should include and other important aspects such as basic keyword identification and SEO.
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Your Website Content (Text )
Now, let's go through what specific text and images you want to include in your site.
Keywords For SEO - (Search engine optimisation)
You now need to choose your Keywords. Keywords are words or short phrases that are related to your business to ensure that search engines can identify your new site and rank it as highly as possible. These will be used in your website title, tagline and ideally within the text of your website.
I recommend choosing 2-3 main keywords that clearly explains what your business is all about. These are mine for example:
Online marketing strategies
If you want to go a bit deeper the best tool for this is Google Keyword Planner (which is free to use once you have signed in). You’ll want to make sure that those keywords are what people are searching for on Google. Test several keywords and select top 3 keywords you can use for your website title.
Your Company / Business Tagline
Your company tagline is the same thing as a ‘slogan’.
For example Nike's ‘Just Do It’ or MasterCard’s ‘There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard.’
It’s the key phrase that identifies your business by capturing the essence of three elements:
To do this:
Write out what you business does in a few sentences.
Condense this down to one sentence.
Rework this sentence so that it is as short as possible, but still explains what you do.
Ideally this could contain some keywords (for SEO purposes) but it is better to create yourself a clear concise tagline rather than trying to pack in too many keywords and make it clunky.
Remember whilst a tagline is great to have you can alway redefine this at a later date.
This article provides some helpful advice: How to Create a Great Tagline for Your Business
Sub Title / Headline for your Homepage
You should choose a sub title that describes in a sentence what you offer. Try focusing on solving one main problem or issue your customers are having.
I don't have one on my site at the moment, but they can be very effective.
If I wanted to be a bit more salesy I could have gone for something like:
“Your business is unique, your website should be too. Beautiful websites that connect and convert”
Call to Action (This is jargon and I apologize!)
Firstly I should explain that a Call To Action is the name given to any feature that makes your reader react in a desired way. A great example of this is a ‘Buy Now’ button, or a ‘Message Me’ box. These are very direct calls to action, they can however also be less direct - such as links directing your reader to other specific parts of your site.
One main call to action that you will want to include in at least one place is the ability to capture your reader's contact details.
You need to have at least 2 or 3 calls to actions on your home page and ensure that every other page has one as well. Don't leave your customers hanging!
For example my Homepage has 3 main calls to action:
A link to my Web Design Packages
A free e-book offer
A ‘Do you have a question’ messaging box
What do you want your homepage calls to action to be?
Testimonials from previous clients & customers are a great way of showing your readers that you are somebody they can trust. If you don't have any try requesting some from your recent clients.
Be clear what you want from them: A short paragraph (ideally saying how awesome you and your services are). If they can include specific achievements or improvements made then that is even better!
Remember to request their permission to use it on your website and be clear if you want to include their name & /or location.
Offers / services / products
In this section you have to unleash your inner sales person! This doesn’t come naturally to some people, but if you need ideas there is no harm in checking out other businesses websites and seeing what they are offering.
You can then pick the bits you like and add in the elements that are missing. There is no point trying to reinvent the wheel!
Do however try to add something special that makes you and your offer stand out from the competition. Think about who you are targeting and how you are uniquely placed to solve their problems.
For example if you are working in your local area you could major on the face to face experience that your clients would receive and the convenience for your clients at not having to travel. The ‘benefits’ of this could be - builds a trusting relationship and saves you client time etc.
Having a blog on your site that is relevant to what you do and is regularly updated is a great way to drive organic search engine traffic to your site.
If you are not doing so already I would recommend that you start one.
Check out my advice on blog writing here: How to Write a Successful Blog for Your Business
Website Use Terms and Conditions
It is advisable to display your Terms & Conditions of website use on your website. These can help protect your website and its users with clear and fair website terms and conditions.
When you collect peoples contact details and other personal information you have a duty to treat it appropriately. This information is controlled by data protection law. Make sure you are happy with how you should be handling this information.
These websites provide some guidance, but as I am unable to provide legal advice please do your own research to satisfy yourself you comply:
Putting it all together
Now you have the basics you need to choose your platform and start plugging it all together!
In my next blog I’m going to be running through some of the pros and cons of the main platforms out there such as open-sourced WordPress and more ‘user friendly’ platforms such as Squarespace.
Have fun writing your content and I be in touch soon.