Your website should be the ultimate voice for your business. Everything you do should lead back to your website, to a place where potential clients can learn about you and your services or products. You have ultimate control over your website — how it looks, what it says, the colors and fonts used, etc.
As you prepare to create your small business website, here are some helpful steps:
1. Identify Your Target Audience
You should never build a website without first diving into who your audience is. What is your audience interested in? What problem does your service or product solve for them? Why should they trust you? What colors and types of design appeal to them?
Identifying key traits of your audience will enable you to build a website that connects to them.
2. Build a Mood Board Based on Your Brand & Your Audience
Once you’ve identified your audience and have an idea for the type of content they’re looking for, you can create a mood board. Don’t forget to incorporate your brand and your audience preferences together. Build out a board on Pinterest with color schemes, website layouts, images, and other content that can inspire you as you plan out your website.
3. Create a Website Outline
Grab a sheet of paper and identify the pages you’ll need, i.e. home, about, services, contact, etc. Look around at others within your industry and think about the key pieces of information you need to display.
4. Write the Website Copy
You can outsource the copywriting or write it yourself. Either way, make sure that the copy fits your brand, and is personable and professional. You’ll need at least an introduction paragraph for your home page, a few paragraphs for your about page (including a bio), descriptions of your services, and explanations of your processes if necessary.
5. Gather Images
You may need images of you, your products, your previous work, etc. You can also source from free websites such as Unsplash.com.
6. Design the Website
One of the worst things you can do is play around with the design before you have a mood board, outline, or images. You’ll quickly get overwhelmed and lose sight of your vision. The last thing you should begin is website design. Again, it’s easy to hire professionals (like us here at the Agency!) or build the site yourself using websites like Squarespace, Wix, or Showit.
7. Optimize Your Website & Add a Google Business Profile
You can optimize your website while designing it, but you can also go back in after the design is done to optimize it.
- Write meta descriptions & page titles (usually done in the advanced or SEO settings of your site)
- Add clear descriptions to your images in the alt text fields
- Update image titles to be SEO friendly, i.e. use keywords that describe the image accurately
- Add tags
- Create a Google Business Profile (so you show up on the map and in search results with a nice box!)
8. Review Your Website Thoroughly & Ask Friends/Family for Feedback
Once you’ve finished your small business website, review it thoroughly. Click all of the links to make sure they go to the right places. Double and triple check the copy. Then, send it to some friends and ask for their feedback. Ask if everything is easy to find and clearly explained. Ask if the design is appealing.
9. Publish Your Site and Share it Online
You’re done! Publish your website and be sure to update your links on social media, your email footer, and anywhere else your website could be listed. Share your new site with friends on social media, and on your business’s social media pages.
Good luck and have fun! Reach out to us here to chat about how we can help you build a custom website for your business. We’ve got web designers, copywriters, and graphic designers, all here at Sue Forrest Agency!