Whether you’re a new startup or just ready to upgrade your website to something snappier, the conundrum of where to start may be keeping you up at night. Before you start getting bags under your eyes, listen up. It’s easier than you think if you have a plan and organize your time. Here are some tried and true steps to follow to get you going.
First and foremost, what are you offering that’s unique from other similar products or services?
It’s known as your value proposition, which simply means you’ve got something that’s different or better than anyone else – something that stands out and offers more than just uniqueness. It offers value.
If you already have a website, you need to do an all-out audit. That sounds boring and tedious and to some extent it is, but it is critical to dive deep into what you have, evaluate it and then decide where you go from there.
If this is your first website, your value prop will be your anchor, along with some research yet to come.
Since targeting your audience or personas is a key aspect, you will want to do some research to hone in on who these people are. You want to be able to direct your content to your customer’s lifecycle, as well. Does your product or service provide value to people at a particular time in their life? It may not be relevant for everyone.
Now you can develop your essential content; the basics. The challenge comes next – writing truly compelling copy. Your website will (or does) contain the fundamental sections of most sites: homepage, about page, bio pages, contact pages and possibly a blog page. You may want to include a testimonial page with statements from happy clients. Make sure they are short, sweet and authentic (not gushy).
Homepage: This is where you have a value-laden, succinct story of what you have to offer.
Talk about what your target audience will get from you, not about yourself, and be compelling.
About page: This is the story of your organization, how it got started, who the people are who make it function, why you’re good, and goals for future endeavors, products or services.
Bio page: In-depth intros of the organization’s movers and shakers. The doers and go-to folks who make the machine run smoothly.
Contact page(s): This is an important page, so make it simple for your prospective customers to contact you. If you ask for their life’s history, you’ll probably lose them.
Blog page: If you’re brand new you will need to build on a blog page, but having relevant blogs that relate to your industry can be effective and informational.
Testimonial page: Once you have a solid (happy) client base, you should feel comfortable asking them for a testimonial blurb. Most people are willing and enjoy the fact that you care enough to ask their opinion.
Good luck using your creative imagination. That is probably the most important ingredient of all!