3 Things to Consider Before Building Your Website (Guest Article)

3 Things to Consider Before Building Your Website (Guest Article)

In the age of platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly, we’re commonly fed the lie that building a website is easy. That you can download an app, push a few buttons, and boom, you’ll have a fully functioning website.

Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work like that. As a Web Designer, I often work on sites that have been half DIY’d. There are a few things that I frequently find myself wishing people knew before they had attempted their site.

If DIY’s not your thing, and you’re looking to outsource to an agency or freelancer, read on! You’ll make everyone’s life a lot easier (and probably save yourself some money) if you’ve thought about these three things first.

1. Consider The Design/Branding

You know those websites with five different fonts, every colour in the rainbow, and no consistency in imagery? You don’t want to be them. Promise.

One of the easiest ways to make your site look polished and professional is to keep things consistent. Pick two (three if you really must) fonts, a few key colours, and STICK to them. No matter how ‘creative’ you are with the layout and rest of the site, if you’ve got your branding sorted, your site will look infinitely better.

2. Pick The Right Platform

This question comes up a tonne. As a WordPress and Shopify web designer, I’m probably definitely going to give you a biased response. But here are a few things you should think about:

  • Managed service – if you’re not particularly tech-savvy/don’t want to pay someone to manage things like setting up your website hosting, back-ups, caching, etc then you probably don’t want to use a platform like WordPress. You’d be better suited to something like Squarespace or Shopify, where a lot of this is taken care of for you.
  • eCommerce – if you’ve got an eCommerce business please think about Shopify. It’ll make your life easier. Alternatively, WordPress with WooCommerce is a solid choice. Again though, you’ll need to consider the more technical stuff.
  • Flexibility – this point’s kind of related to the first one, but a massive downside to a managed platform is that you’ve got less flexibility. With WordPress, there are few things you can’t do with the help of a good developer. Shopify on the other hand, has limitations, no matter how good your dev is.

3. What Are Your Traffic Drivers?

What’s the point in having a website if you don’t have a way to drive traffic to it? I always ask my clients how they’re planning on getting people to the site because that’ll drive the design and even landing pages that you have.

Ideally, you’d have your marketing strategy laid out, and answering this would just be a matter of seeing where your website slots in (you’re on the right site if you need help with your marketing! More info here.) In reality, though, it’s something that a lot of businesses don’t consider.

My advice? Map out what your key traffic drivers will be, and then figure out what that means you need to do when building your website.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Search – Google’s (sometimes) awesome, and if you play your cards right, it can generate some serious traffic. If you want more info on this, Google 🙂 SEO. Some basics to think about when you’re building your site would be meta descriptions, title tags, and heading tags.
  • Social media – definitely a long term game, but hanging out on platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be a useful way to drive traffic to your site. If, for example, you’ve got a lot of traffic coming from Instagram, then it may be worth considering the addition of a LinkTree-style page to your website.
  • Pinterest – again, this is a point you’re getting a biased answer on. I blogged for about five years, and over that time found Pinterest to be the absolute best traffic driver. Create those Pinterest-friendly images, pin consistently, and watch the traffic come to your site. Disclaimer – there’s a little bit more to it than that 🙂

Are you in the process of building a website? If you’d like to bounce around ideas or get some advice feel free to pop any questions in my Facebook Group or drop a comment below!

About The Author

Kat is a Melbourne based Web Designer. She works with small to medium-sized companies to build web solutions that work for their business. Experience working on websites for both service-based and eCommerce businesses coupled with a background in blogging, Kat looks at how to maximise the potential of your website.

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8 Steps to Creating Copy That Converts

8 Steps to Creating Copy That Converts

8 Steps to Creating Copy That Converts

 

It can be daunting to create content for your business, because you don’t want it to be boring, unprofessional or ineffective. So it’s easier to avoid it altogether! Which is why I’ve created this article to give you the steps and confidence to write brilliant copy that connects with your customer.

1. What are you trying to achieve?

Your objective will help you to clarify what information you need to get the result you want, so start with the end in mind. Do you want to educate your customer about a particular topic? Persuade them to book an appointment, or download your e-book? Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can reverse-engineer you content to get there.

2. Know who you are writing for

If you speak to everyone, no one will listen. So speak directly to the person you are targeting. Get to know her, who is she, what’s her lifestyle, what keeps her awake at night? These insights will allow you to speak directly to her. When you tap into and use the specific words she uses, you create a stronger connection. Connection then conjures trust, and trust creates sales.

3. Think benefits, not features

Emotions make sales, logic bails. Of course, tell them about the product or service they will receive, but not first, or in too much detail. Instead, tell your customer how it will change their life, what your product or service will do for them and how it will make them feel. Turn their fears and frustrations into love and happiness and make them need your product or service.

4. Plan the structure

The flow of information is important. Start with the most attention grabbing information first and put the less important at the end. Think back to your days at school and plan what information you will include in the introduction, main body and conclusion. You have done this before, you will be fine.

5. The actual writing

Start writing, whether that’s with pen and paper, or typing it up, whatever works for you. Write clearly, don’t use big words and be concise. Don’t overload your reader with too much information, just enough to connect with them and get them to take action.

6. Personality

Write as if you are talking, make it sound like you (not a robot). Add something funny or quirky that the reader will connect with. If you are targeting stay at home mums, then write something that only she would understand to help build that connection. Let the pizazz and character of your brand shine through.

7. Edit and proofread

Go back and read over the content. Break it up with headings, use dot points and tidy up any grammar and punctuation. If you do not feel confident with the content, give it to a friend or editor to read and make some changes.

8. Publish

You can’t help someone or build your brand if you don’t press publish! Share your knowledge and love for what you do. Have the confidence to put yourself out there. If you’ve followed this guide, you’re already way ahead of most brands out there doing it on their own. You’ve got this, press publish!