I'm Stephanie, brand and website designer with a love for helping women build their dream business. I'm here to help you get get that custom look for your business - without the custom price.
*** This post contains affiliate links ***
So you’re ready to invest in a new website – either a DIY template, semi-custom website or a custom website design. But where do you start? There are 5 key areas to think about to prepare for a web design project.
Think about your website as a book. There are so many elements that make a story complete. Some of the elements are obvious and some of them, maybe not so obvious. But without all of them, the story leads nowhere.
Having your branding in place is a key starting point before investing in a new website. Your branding sets the tone for your business and enhances your website. Branding is so much more than just a logo!
Your brand is the experience your audience has and the feelings they get when interacting with you. Also, it is what makes you stand out in your market and connects your audience to you and what you do.
Your branding will include elements such as a primary logo, an alternate logo, brand icons, fonts, and colour palette to be used on your website and throughout all your other collateral marketing materials.
Making sure your branding is established before creating your website is going to allow you to have a cohesive site that is not only beautiful, but will serve you for a long time and attract your Ideal Clients.
Bad photos can make your website look unprofessional. And it’s important that your photos align to the colours, vibe and aesthetic of the rest of your brand and website. One reason it’s important to have your branding completed first!
People like to work with people, not a faceless business. Your website visitors want to see photos of you to know that you are a real person! This will allow your visitors to put trust in you and your work,
Schedule a photoshoot with a photographer. There are many out there who specialize in branding photography. You can have photos taken in your workspace or find a location that fits with your brand. Make sure you have a variety of images, including some close up shots as well as wide landscape.
Along with professional headshots, you will want to have some high quality stock photos for your website. There are a multitude of great websites for both free and purchased stock photography. I love using images from Haute Stock and The Styled Stock Society.
Use photography that matches your brand. Most stock photo sites allow you to search by colour, style, and keywords.
You want your website to rank high in a Google search, right? SEO is the best way to do this. Many online business owners think it’s just about adding keywords to your website, but there’s so much more to it.
Don’t just stuff a bunch of keywords onto your site (because Google will know and won’t like it).
You want to focus on keywords you can compete with. For example, if you’re a photographer, you don’t want to rank for “photographer” or “photography.” Instead, you’d want to be specific about the type of photography you offer and/or location.
When writing your content, you’d want to use a long tail keywords you want to rank for and work with variations of that.
Now it’s time to map out all of the content of each page of your site. Start by determining your website goal and plan around that.
Is it to buy a product or book a service with you? Maybe it’s getting people to sign up for your newsletter or e-course. Now you also need to determine how or where you will get your visitors to take the action you want them to take. In your email list’s inbox? During discovery sessions or consultation calls? Or in in-person meetings? Whatever your main goals are, you need to make sure they are always the focus when you plan your website content.
Think of the simplest, most straightforward first step your potential client, customer, or subscriber could take on their path to eventually purchasing your thing.
As this may be the first time a visitor has landed on your site, it isn’t very likely that your visitor will buy your product or book your service as the know-like-trust factor has not been established yet. Think of the simplest, most straightforward first step your potential client, customer, or subscriber could take on their path to eventually purchasing your product or service.
Depending on your end goal, your first smallest step towards it, or your “conversion”, could be:
Whatever your first small conversion looks like, it should become your site goal, and you should build your entire design with only 1-2 specific site goals in mind.
Just a few things to think about to prepare for a web design project. By having these elements in place prior to starting, your website project will be so much smoother, letting you focus on growing your business.
Looking to get your website up and running quickly? Check out my Semi-Custom Web Design process and have your website ready in one week!
Ready to for your new Showit website?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at openbookdesignco.com to reserve a spot in my calendar for your new Semi-Custom Showit Website!
back to top