If you’ve just started your own business, you’ll find that starting a website is an important part of the process. Starting a business is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming.
If you’re new to the world of entrepreneurship, there are some important things that you need to keep in mind before designing your website. In this blog post, I will be going over 5 simple steps to planning a website for your new business.
These steps include:
- Questions to ask before creating a website
- Deciding on the site’s purpose and functionality.
- Designing with your audience in mind
- How you will showcase your brand
- Deciding which pages you need.
Once we cover these basics, I’ll show you how to design the layout of your new site with easy tips that anyone can follow!
Why your business needs a website now
Businesses are launching every day without even thinking about creating a website.
This is not an effective strategy as a credible site can provide you with many other benefits such as increased traffic, more sales and leads, higher rankings in search engines like Google or Bing but most importantly it will help build your brand!
But just any website won’t do!
In today’s highly competitive market, your website needs to be top of the line if you don’t want to lose a possible client and that investment has to be made sooner than later.
Planning a Website What to Ask Yourself
Before you start designing and developing your website, there are a few things that need to be answered first.
The answers here will then determine which type of theme would best suit these requirements.
Here are the 8 most important questions you should ask yourself first:
(1)What is the purpose of my site?
(2)How do I want visitors to interact with it?
(3)Do I have an existing brand identity already in place?
(4)Do I need a blog on my site?
(5)Will my site include eCommerce features like shopping carts, checkout pages etc? Will I be selling physical or digital goods?
(6)How many pages do I need? (page count),
(7)Do I want to have a membership site component so clients can log in?
(8)What language will my site be in?, German, Portuguese, Chinese etc.
Site Purpose and Functionality
There’s a lot that goes into planning a successful website. One of the most important factors is to clearly identify what you want it to achieve for you and your business, as well as how visitors will be interacting with it.
Will they have access to an online store or storefront from it? If so, what payment gateway (PayPal, Stripe etc.) will you be using?
Will it simply be a portfolio of your work with an online contact form so people can get in touch with you?
If this is the case, then perhaps a contact form plugin would do the trick and save you having to send them away via email link where they may lose interest as they fill in your form.
Now that you have a good idea of the purpose, it’s time to think about how visitors will be interacting with your site and what type of functionality you might need from it.
If you already have an existing brand identity or business name set up, then you won’t need to worry about setting these elements up before starting to design your website.
Planning a Website For Your Target Audience
Evaluating who your website visitors will be is essential for deciding how to correctly communicate with them.
As an example, if your target audience consists of women in their 20’s then the language and images you use would be different to if your audience were women in their 50’s.
- How do you engage users’ attention throughout the site?
- What kind of tone should be taken throughout the site?
These factors contribute heavily when deciding the tone of language to use throughout your site – whether informal or formal – and how much information is provided on each page.
Planning a Website That Showcases Your Brand
Once you know the purpose of your site, start thinking about what information needs to be provided. When people visit your site, they should be able to make a decision on whether they are interested in purchasing anything from you or not.
Here are some tips and tricks on how you can plan a website that showcases your brand:
- Remember that there are many different approaches depending on the type of business you have; so do some research first before jumping in headfirst.
- Your website should be one place where all essential information is found. This includes contact info, what you offer and why people should come back for more!
- Don’t forget your social media accounts and other online presences, too! Many people check those out first before making a decision on where they buy from. Your brand should be consistent across all platforms.
- Be sure to integrate with places like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and any others into site planning as well so you can capture all possible customers who are looking for more information on your business.
What needs to be included on a new business website
Current and potential customers should know how to reach you so include contact information and details on how soon they will get a response from you.
Basic information about your new business that showcases your brand like how long you’ve been open, what your core values are, your mission statement or even just a brief introduction to yourself.
You should think about the pages you want to include on your website, including Home, About, Contact, Work With Me and Shop.
All sites need legal pages, like privacy and cookie policies. Sponsorship posts will also have to follow certain guidelines.
Do You Want to Sell Directly From Your Site?
There are many options for selling online. You can do it directly from your website or you can sell on a third party platform and connect it to your site via a link. Both are acceptable but it’s up to you how you want to move forward.
If you choose to sell directly from your site this would require some extra steps with setting up an online store and it would be especially important to make sure your site is secure to keep any sensitive data safe.
Designing the new website
Some basic knowledge is needed to design a new website. WordPress can be used for this, an online software that supports the creation of websites with ease.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the internet. It accounts for around a third of all sites online, and tutorials to help you navigate it are available in droves. The software can also be extensively customised with enough time and effort invested.
To set up a basic WordPress website, you’ll need:
- A new domain name
- Theme (free is okay but paid ones often have better support)
To start, the domain name should be your business’s name or as close to it as possible. While hosting is like the land that helps you build your website, themes are like buildings and decor, too.
Finally, plugins will help give you more features to play with such as an e-commerce store or a blog.
Once you’ve made the above decisions you should create a sitemap. This is how you formally plan out the pages you’ll have on your site. This is usually the main items on your navigation bar top menu and foot menu.
|An example of top menu pages would be:
– Work With Me
|An example of footer menu pages would be:
– Contact Me
– Terms & Conditions
– Affiliate Disclosure
Creating your website
There are many things to consider when planning a website for your business.
- What is the purpose of your site?
- What information do you need on it?
- How will it be different from other sites in the same industry?
For example, if you own a pizzeria and want to offer online ordering, but don’t have any competitors who already have an online ordering system, then you’ll probably need to include that as part of your plan.
Once you know what kind of information and functionality you’ll need on the site, start gathering data such as pictures or graphics.
You should also write down all ideas related to content–both text and images–that would work well with the design. Remember: webpages are fluid so there’s no “right” way to do content on your website; it should reflect your brand and be targeted at your audience.
Need help setting up your WordPress website or blog? Get FREE access to the Build Your Business Vault and Download our FREE checklist below and follow the 9 easy steps to creating a new client-converting site.