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[queue scary music here]

Your brand's website.

From hosting to domain names to design to content, your website is a BIG DEAL.

Especially if your business is 100% online, your website is often the first thing your clients will see of your brand.

And that can be a MAKE or BREAK thing!

[queue relaxing music here]

It's gonna be okay.

Your website doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars or have a million pages of content to work for YOUR brand.

After a little digging into WHO your audience is and WHAT it is that you will do for them, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your website is attracting your dream clients.

 

 

1. WORDPRESS + DOMAIN

 

One question that always comes up is which platform to use when starting a website.There are sooooo many out there… Wix, Squarespace… etc.

I am sure you have seen all the commercials that say you can have a website up with them in seconds BUT the reality is with online marketing and the things we want to do, we have to use a platform that will accommodate our needs and function the way we want it to…and…this is why I L-O-V-E WordPress. WordPress.org is easy to use, easy to scale and easy to customize with tons of free plugins.

I haven't found anything that compares to this and there are a ton of inexpensive themes out there that you can upload and start using as your base right away, with a few content edits.

The first place to start though is to make sure to secure your custom domain and hosting through a reputable host like Bluehost or GoDaddy. Hosting is the place where your website will live basically.

 

2. EASY NAVIGATION

 

Your coffee order might be complicated, but your website navigation should NOT be.

It's SO important that your user knows how to get around your site— especially if they need to contact you!

Your navigation should be easy to find, and it should also be minimal. Make sure you at least have clickable buttons for Home, About and Contact.

Avoid confusing your visitors with every option under the sun. Try to stay under a max of 5-10 items in your main navigation.  Your visitors will expect a navigation bar at either the top or along the side of your page. Getting away from this, can cause confusion and let's face it, it just doesn't look right!

Ex. Poor Navigationpoornavigation

Ex. Easy Navigation

easynavigation

 

 3. A SOLID ABOUT PAGE

 

Who are you, what do you do and WHY DO YOU DO IT?!

There are more than one billion websites out there (for real— I Googled it). Don't let yours just be one of the masses. When someone clicks on this page, they WANT to know all about you. Be real, relatable and 100% YOU.

It's easy to get wordy, so make sure to review it for any opportunities to be more concise.

If lots of words is your thing, break it up with photos, headings and shorter paragraphs.

Check out mine as an example www.stephaniejoanne.com/about

 

 

4. MOBILE-FRIENDLY

 

Seriously, if your website isn't mobile friendly, stop right here.

Don't pass Go.

Don't collect $200.

Make that site mobile-friendly NOW! More than HALF of traffic to most websites comes from mobile users. Google also favors mobile-friendly websites in mobile searches. This is big.

 

Mobile-stats-vs-desktop-users-global

 (source: www.smartinsights.com)

 

How do you know if it is mobile friendly…try it out!

Does it look right to you?

Does it function the way you would expect it to? If not, make this a top priority.

5. GREAT IMAGES

 

People. Love. Images.

Beyond being beautiful, images help tell the story of your brand. Your images should resonate with your target client and really represent your brand. Make sure your images make sense to your audience— for instance, not every demographic will be called to action by images of a professional athlete or figure competitor, but some will!

carmenexample

While custom images are preferred here, sometimes you just can't get the perfect photo you need. I get it. If you choose to include stock images, make sure you've secured all necessary rights to use the images. Just because it's on Google doesn't mean it's free to use 🙂

 

6. GET TO KNOW SEO

 

SEO is search engine optimization— aka whether or not you're sitting at the cool table at Google.

Your SEO affects your website showing in the results when people search words or terms that might relate to your business. Bad SEO won't help you win the game– definitely don't stuff your keywords in there or obnoxiously repeat key terms just for the sake of SEO. Instead, write thoughtful copy for your audience and use an SEO plugin that will help keep you on track.

(I use Yoast SEO and did an easy guide on that here.)

Ex. View of Yoast SEO yoastexample

7. CONTACT INFO

 

Short of putting a red box around it, your contact info should be SUPER easy to find. Not only does it add legitimacy to your business, but it allows current and potential clients to get in touch with you FAST.

Include all the ways someone could contact you— and definitely include text messaging as an option if that's how you roll.

If you don't want to share your email address with the world, consider putting a contact form and your social tags on your contact page.

Ex. LOTTSSSSSS of ways to contact me here !!! This leads me into my next point…

 

sjcontactexample

8. TIE IN SOCIAL

 

If you're active on any social networks, make it uber easy for your visitors to click over and find you. Some people feel more comfortable scrolling Insta or Facebook to find info on you… so make it easy for them! Bonus points: add your social links to your site in two places! And make sure they are visible on every. single. page.

Have you noticed a theme here?

A good website is easy peasy to navigate and find what you want!

 

9. CALL TO ACTION

 

Your website isn't a dead end. Instead, it's a critical part of your funnel that gets visitors to take action— whether it's signing up for an offer, dropping their email for your newsletter or actually closing the sale. Put it to work for you!

You can check out this blog post for how to add a popup box to your website with PopupAlly.

Ex. CTA to download ALL kinds of ways we could work together.

 

samplecta

 

10. IT'S OKAY TO START SMALL

 

An authentic, easy to navigate website is SO much more important than a professional, flashy website. Start with the basics (see above) and work your way up as you grow/have time/hire someone.

Have your target audience's needs and interests in mind ALWAYS and your website will help attract (and re-attract) your dream clients.

You know I am big on taking imperfect ACTION! So, start small and then there is always lots of room to grow and adjust as needed. Don't overthink things, just GET IT DONE!

 

 

11. BRAND YOURSELF

Stay true to your brand, stick with your company colors and be consistent on all your branding and especially your website.  This way your users know they have landed in the right place.

It helps build the relationship you have and it just makes sense. Use colors that make it easy for the user to read the information and it is not a too crazy color scheme that you scare them off of your page. YOU WANT them to stay!

The key is if you don't like the way your site looks and feels then someone else probably won't either. Get some feedback, make it easy and get it published.

 

 

 

 

GET MORE STEPHANIE JOANNE HERE: 

Stephanie Joanne on Facebook // This Brand Means Business