More and more business owners are opting to build their own websites instead of hiring a professional web developer or designer to build them for them. There’s nothing wrong with the DIY approach when it comes to getting your business online and it can certainly save you money when you’re just starting out, but as any web-design professional will tell you, self-made websites are often missing some basic things that make them frustrating to use and navigate for potential customers.
In this post, I will go over the fundamental and essential elements your website must have in order to make you and your business money.
1. A CONTACT SIDE and CALL TO ACTION BUTTON
All too often, we make it really hard for people to connect with us. Don’t hide what a potential client must do in order to purchase your product or contact you! The rule of thumb is to have a clear BUY NOW call to action that looks like a button. It doesn’t have to say “buy now” if your business is service-based or you have a preliminary step before the purchase - something like “schedule a call”, “contact”, or “sign up” could work just as well. The point is, you have to make it super simple and easy for someone to do business with you, and if you don’t have this button you’re missing out.
2. ABOUT PAGE WITH A PROFESSIONAL-LOOKING PHOTO
One of the biggest reasons people buy from your business and not your competition is because of you. This is why having an about page or paragraph is so important. Your potential customers need to have some trust in you before they are going to be willing to make a purchase. They need to be able to relate to your story and align with your and your company’s values. One very important thing to remember is that the About You page shouldn’t be about you, but about how you help your clients and how you are qualified to do so.
This is an opportunity to connect, and it’s often squandered by business owners as they relay stories about their passions that sound like the biography of every other business owner out there. The truth is, people don’t care that you picked up a camera when you were only 10 years old or that you discovered design as a creative outlet. Always remember, your potential clients are thinking “What’s in it for me?”, so always write from a place of “This is how I can make your life easier”.
3. YOUR LOCATION AND CONTACT INFO AT THE BOTTOM OF EVERY PAGE AND IN YOUR HEADER
This is essential if you’re a local business: you need to have your physical location listed on every page (as well as hours if you have a physical storefront). This information should also be towards the top of your homepage so that if someone is looking for a local interior designer, they know right away if you’re close by. This is obviously less of a priority if you work with people all over the globe, but you should still list your email and maybe even a phone number so that potential clients don’t have to go searching around your website when they need to reach you.
4. A CLEAR DESCRIPTION OF WHAT YOU’RE SELLING
This one seems like the most basic thing, but you’d be surprised how many business websites are missing a clear description of what service they offer or what products they sell - as well as, what precisely makes that service or product unique. The key concept here is that it needs to be really clear and easy for someone to understand when they’re not part of your industry. If you’re writing this description yourself, you’re probably going to THINK it’s clear, but might unwittingly use jargon only if you understand or miss a key point that needs to get across. Explain what you do like you would to a five-year-old.
Make sure you have a friend or family member (or even a stranger on the street) read it over and tell you what they think it means. If another person doesn’t immediately understand what you’re selling, then your description simply isn’t clear. Don’t make people think too hard to try and figure it out, and don’t be vague. Things like “helping people succeed in their life” might sound nice, but have very little true meaning when it comes to actually describe what it is that you do.
Remember, be specific and talk directly to your ideal customer.
5. Your Website should look great on all the devices
This sounds like a "no-brainer" but is one of the most forgotten things in building a website. Most providers nowadays provide Mobile and Desktop views to adjust your information on all devices. It lets you hide images or text from certain devices that just don't fit in. When you are finished always check your life site on all the devices to be sure everything looks great and all the buttons are working the way they should.
Most people think that creating a business website is super simple. And it certainly can be! When it comes to the technology aspect of it, making a website is easier now than it’s ever been. With visual editing capabilities, you no longer have to know any code to get a website up and running. But while you no longer need a specialist to put a website together for you, the aspect of design, having a copy that’s clear and speaks to your target market, and an overall structure that makes sense still takes years of skill-building and knowledge.
This is why so many homemade websites are just bad and frustrating to use. It’s not about being able to get a website up and make it pretty anymore, it’s about crafting online pages that clearly communicate what you’re trying to say, and presenting you and your business in a professional manner.
Keeping the above 5 points in mind will make your website better than most out there, and probably get you a lot more clients, too!