Website Getting Started Guide
It's time to plan a website that gets results.
Getting your website launched is exciting but let’s be real, there’ a lot that goes into it!
From the fun parts (colors, fonts, icons, oh my!) To the strategic parts (how will people actually FIND this website?! Who even ARE these people finding me?!)
There’s a lot that goes into it and we want to make sure we’re designing a website that gets you results.
Your step-by-step guide to a website design that works for you.
get your tech in check
Decide the Platform
There's a million and one posts out there about what platform is best for your business. These days, I recommend Squarespace to most of my clients. It's just easier to maintain and update for most people. But you CAN go with Wordpress.
Get Your Domain Name
You can purchase from an external domain name provider (and save a few bucks each year) such as Namecheap. But if you want to keep things simple & streamlined, you can purchase through Squarespace.
While you're at it, setup a business-y email (ex: email@example.com as opposed to firstname.lastname@example.org) Again, this is an easy setup through Squarespace, and I can help you get started!
Determine Your Newsletter Provider
These days, your top contenders are Mailchimp (free <2k subs) or ConvertKit. I'll go over this later in the post, but you really need an email list, I know everyone says so but I still have calls and work with clients who don't feel ready. If you're not sure where to start, get a simple RSS feed going so your blog posts are getting delivered to folks. It might sound a littl e old school but it's better than radio silence.
Another reason I recommend Squarespace? Hosting, security and 24/7 support is included in the plan (I'm not even a sponsor, it's just a great option!) I work with a lot of folks who just aren't interested in updating plugins and have the time to regularly check website back ups and all that. They just want a website that looks nice and works for them!
A Website with Intention
Goal Setting for a Successful Website Design
By determining your website goals, it can help you get focused and avoid shiny object syndrome!
I think we can all fall prey to the latest and greatest marketing strategies, and while I’m a fan of experimentation, it’s SUPER important to make sure the time and money you’re spending on your business all comes back to your primary goal. This way, you’re not constantly adding to your to do list or getting constantly getting distracted.
In most cases, I advise my clients that your number one goal should be growing an email list.
Beyond that, you can pick 1 or 2 additional goals. Want to grow your Facebook group? We’ll add links strategically throughout your website.
Want to increase income? We can create smart funnels that help you get more inquiries and conversions.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of additional goals you may have:
- Get hired for your services
- Sell digital products (ebooks, courses, etc.)
- Sell physical products (clothing, artwork, etc.)
- Grow your audience and social media following
- Get people to subscribe to your Youtube Channel/Podcast
- Increase affiliate conversions/land more sponsors
Most business owners are used to target markets and creating “Ideal Avatar” exercises and trying to determine their dream client or customers.
So why does this matter for your website? Well pretty much every decision we make for your website design (logo, colors, fonts, images, layout, pages, navigation) is determined by your customer profile and what will work best for bringing them in.
Designing a website is really less about your personal preferences and more about what works for your customer profile.
What do they need most from your website? In other words, what reason would they have for going to your site and then taking the next step towards with your business?
- Are they trying to book a consultation?
- Learn your pricing/packages?
- Sign up for your latest course?
Recently, with my clients, we’ve been creating unsplash collections for our mood board. This works awesome, because from the getgo, we have free photos we can use on the website, blog and social media that go along with the branding
What are a few of your favorite sites and why? Do you like the color palette? The texture added to the images?
Determine Website Pages
Example website pages
- Home/Start Here
- Terms & Conditions
Determine User Experience
The key to an effective user experience across your website is to keep it simple. Think of what’s often called the “visitor journey”.
Here’s where you can do a little reverse engineering. Remember what your primary goals are and work backwards.
Since our first goal is (usually) growing our email list, we’re going to want to make sure we have email sign up opportunities throughout our site (bonus points if you have a helpful opt-in).
Beyond that, we want your website to be able to tell a story. A simple way to do this is to determine the order that people should be navigating your website.
- Social proof (portfolio, case studies, success stories, etc)
- Book consultation/make purchase/Contact
Compile/Curate Website Content
- Written Copy
- Photography (you can use stock photos if you don't have any! Often we design illustrations or patterns instead so you have a more unique site!)
- Blog Content
- “Freebie”/Content Upgrade - this is a popular way to entice folks to sign up for your email list. It doesn't have to be a PDF, it can be a quiz, video series, audio training, get creative!
There are A LOT of websites out there, and a lot of folks vying for people's attention. So how do you stand out and get visitors to choose you? A great way is by implementing "trust signals" to your site.
- As featured on section (guest posts, interviews, etc.)