What are the most important things to have on your website? Now, before I dive into this, I always tell people that if this is overwhelming, I highly recommend outsourcing.
A lot of people say that you can’t have a business without a logo. Do I agree? Yes. But even the fanciest logo does not make your business. Now, if you have a product that's a whole other ball game. Personal branding and products are a little different when it comes to growing. In a service-based business, you are the product, and in a product based business, the product is the product. That's the best way to explain that.
So you want that logo to be very memorable and something that catches their attention. But with that being said, your logo should be the first thing that they see when they land on your website. Your logo could simply consist of a nice cohesive font that matches your brand. They just need to be able to see your name or your business's name immediately when they land on your site. I personally use the same font that is on my website and it all matches it's cohesive, but they see my name first. The minute they land on it says, Cassie Ward. So you've got to make sure your name or business name is there on your website.
2. COHESIVE FONTS
Something I see a lot is websites that have five different types of fonts. Make sure you use no more than three fonts. You want to have a header font, a paragraph font and a script font. If you like the script look, you can also do a header font, subheader font, and paragraph font. Just make sure that it's all cohesive and it looks pretty.
3. A CLEAR IMAGE OF YOU
If you can swing it, invest in a branding photo shoot. It will make your brand stand out and look crisp, clean and professional. If not, take your iPhone and tripod outside or even somewhere where in your home, that has natural lighting. Selfies are unacceptable. Sorry, it's unprofessional. One little fun trick on your iPhone - you can actually put it in portrait mode and you can choose a setting called studio. And apparently it makes your pictures literally look like you stepped out of a studio so you could totally try that.
4. OVERALL CLEAR IMAGERY
So you want a clear image of you, but you also want clear imagery anywhere else you use images. It needs to be crystal clear and match your brand. You can invest in stock images using platforms like unsplash.com. Just make sure it doesn’t look grainy when it blows up.
So you want cohesive colors. Anywhere else you use imagery, everything kind of needs to flow together. Create a color palette on Canva! Find an image on Pinterest you love and upload it into Canva. Canva will pull the colors that are in that image which you can use. I always tell people you want one neutral, one bold, and then two other main colors. You just don’t want five bold colors.
Also, make sure your colors compliment each other. So I would do colors first and then go to imagery. So, let's just say there's green in your colors. You can go to unsplash.com and search “green” and it will pop up green images. Now, if you want to pay for some, I absolutely love Haute Stock and Kate Max Stock.
6. CLEAN LAYOUT
When I walk my clients through intake, I tend to see a trend where people want flying unicorns and rainbows mixed with a ton of copy. Remember that less is more when it comes to your website. Your overall goal here is to take them on a journey to click. Too many distractions will have them running away. Look at it like a road, you want to take them to the roads so they click “sign up.” Try to avoid crazy things on your website. Just keep it very clean and simple.
7. PRETTY MOBILE VIEW
So you would think that most websites are optimized for mobile view and most do. Some people that DIY their website will forget to go back and look at mobile. Mobile view is super important because 80% of users will experience your website on their phones. So make sure it's just as pretty and understandable on mobile as it is on desktop.
8. WHITE SPACE
So this isn't the white space that I've talked in previous posts. This is white space on your website, and it goes with “less is more.” Things need room to breathe. I have a little rule of thumb that each section needs to have an inch of space between the next, the same goes for adding copy. Make sure it's not just big blocks of paragraphs. Break it up. You can go to any website that I've ever built in my portfolio, and they will be broken up into sections.
9. CALL TO ACTION
So I know this probably seems like an obvious thing, but you'd be surprised how many people don't have a clear call to action on their website. Make sure your buttons actually look like buttons, not text that just blends in, and make sure you have plenty of them. People should not have to search to figure out how to do something. They need to have a button almost immediately when they land on your website. And if you have a calendar, I highly recommend you have a button that stays at the top of your homepage so that no matter where they go, there's constantly a button there that says “book a call,” because that is what you want them to do.
10. MINIMAL PACKAGES
So this is definitely an unpopular opinion, but listing eight ways that people can spend money with you is actually hurting you, unless you offer a product. If you have a service-based business, having a lot of services is hurting you. You need to give them one or two ways that they can work with you or purchase something. Too many options is going to leave them confused and moving on to the next person. I guarantee it.
Again, maybe a little obvious, but make sure you have a menu at the very top of your page. All the new designers and templates out there try to get creative and add menus and cool places. While it may be pretty, your ideal client is looking at the top for a way to select something. So as obvious as that sounds, make sure that the menu plain as day for them. Okay. They need to be able to see it.
12. MINIMAL PAGES
With the menu, have minimal pages. If you have 10 website pages, not including hidden pages, then you have too many pages. You literally just need home, about, services, blog, and contact pages. Keep it super simple and basic so potential clients don’t get overwhelmed. Too many places to click creates confusion. They will leave hands down.
13. STREET CRED
Street cred is essentially your credibility. People need to see that you've walked the walk, talk the talk, and can give the results that you say you can. They want to see the client's results, and they want to know how you know what you know. So the best way to explain this is always in your bio, have something called “Past. Present. Future.” The past is like your experience. The present is what you currently do and how you help people. And the future is almost like your overall mission, like where you see yourself going and helping people. Put that in your bio.
Then the street cred section is testimonials. I highly recommend that when you close a client, you always grab a testimonial. I was not good at this in the beginning of my business, but I’ve gotten better. You can have an exit form or client feedback form and ask them to give you a review that you can put on your website. Now, if you are just getting started and you don't have any clients, you can just get character testimonials. All you do is ask your best friend to give you a great review.
15. CONTACT INFO
As I said before, put your contact info in your footer. It’s kind of a no-brainer, I know, but make sure that people can contact you. If they feel you are untouchable or unreachable, you may lose credibility and trust pretty quickly. They want to know that they're going to invest thousands of dollars that they can get ahold of you.
16. SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Potential client may not be ready to make the leap and hire you, but they may want to keep following you until they make that decision. Make sure that they're able follow you by putting your social media links on your website.
17. GOOGLE ANALYTICS
So once your site is all pretty and done, the most important thing to do next is connect it with Google Analytics. Google Analytics will be able to track site visitors, SEO, and a ton of other things.
18. FREE VALUE
Out of everything I’ve shared so far, I feel like this is probably my favorite and the most important. You've got to make sure that you're giving your audience some type of free value, whether that's a blog, downloads, videos, etc. They need to get value from you in some way before they will be willing to invest in most cases. Also, make sure it's the first thing they see. So for us, we have a resource library because not everyone is ready to invest. Not everyone can afford to invest, but I still want to help people. So we created a resource library that has tons of stuff in it. If you’re not giving your audience anything of value, or you're not showing them that you actually care, I promise you they'll walk away. And on top of that, you won't even know if they were half interested in any way because you didn't collect their email. So with that being said, create some free value for your audience!
19. CLEAR CUSTOMER JOURNEYS
There should be a very clear journey that your ideal customers should take when it comes to having a website that converts. I personally have family members and friends walk through my website and list out their journey and where they were inclined to click first. This also will help you see if you have holes in your website. Holes are basically places where your client clicks on something and it takes them off of your website and distracts them. So map out what you want them to do and then recreate it on your website. I always send stuff to my mom because my mom's not in this industry. So I highly recommend you find someone to help you there, because I promise you it'll make the world of difference.
20. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I'm sure there are questions you get asked more than once. Keep a running list of those questions and add it to a frequently asked questions section on your website. This will grow as you grow in your journey. So just know like in the beginning you may not even have any and that's okay, but as you grow, you will add them as they come. I promise this will help, because sometimes people literally may have one small question and they don't want to book a call for it. So put it there and answer it for them.
21. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS
Your website must tell people who you are, say what you do, show why you are different, and show the transformation you provide. They need to know when they click onto your website, how you can help them. Your backstory is cool, but they need to know within two seconds that you can provide the answer they are looking for. You've got to show them the transformation as soon as they land on the page.
I hope these help! Again, if you want someone else to take care of your website, head over to our design page and learn more about how we can help!