If you’re a creative entrepreneur or service provider, you’ve probably already felt the necessity of having an online presence. While Instagram, Pinterest, and word of mouth are excellent ways to get business, your website could be making you money while you sleep. For real.
But what makes a successful website? This is a question that stumps so many of our clients and small business owners around the world. It can feel overwhelming to keep track of everything you need, so we’ve put together a handy checklist to help you out.
I’ve partnered with two business friends, Andrea Shah and Emily Jane Lee to offer a package that gets you a fully-equipped website in just 2 weeks. Yep, you heard that right. You can learn more about the offer here or read on if you’re just curious about what makes a successful website.
Brand strategy is at the heart of everything you do within your marketing. It’s essential to determine your brand and market positioning, brand personality, client avatars, mission, values, and so much more before you even begin on the rest of these website steps. This blog post goes more in-depth into brand strategy and the impact and ROI it can have on your business.
You’ve probably most commonly heard of this as your logo design. While your brand identity design does in fact include a logo, it also encapsulates your brand colors, typography, and general brand style. It can include additional assets like patterns, icons, secondary logos, and more.
We offer all of these design assets in various design packages for different levels of timelines and budgets. You can learn more about our branding services here.
It’s important to select professional, high-quality photography for your website. We have a plethora of brand photographers to recommend based on your local area. If you’re curious about how to choose the right photos, you can read more about that in our blog post about how to choose the right website images.
Website copywriting helps to make your website content both engaging and persuading. FYI: copywriting is different from content writing, like your blog posts. Think of it as sales-oriented copy that tells a captivating story about your business to sell your services to the right people.
We offer copywriting services to clients as part of our intensive and custom packages and partner with some of the best website copywriters. Here are some copywriters we love to work with who specialize in working with people in the wedding industry or creative service providers (in no particular order – we love them all!):
1. Andrea Shah
2. Lemon Tree Editorial
3. Shanik Ramirez
4. Emily Dilworth Creative
5. Slade Copy House
Having strategic website copywriting entails writing interesting but clear headlines and call to actions that drive your website visitors to contact you or book your services.
I separated website strategy and design because, really, they’re two different things. Your website strategy is like the roadmap to how people will use your website. A component of this is UX design, or user experience design. When you work with us, we develop a website strategy through a wireframe to essentially build the skeleton of your website before we even begin the actual website design.
Some questions to ask when thinking through your website strategy are:
• How do my ideal clients find my website?
• What is the end goal for my website? What action do I want my ideal clients to take?
This is one of our favorite parts of the process. Creating a strategic and beautiful website design is essential for showcasing your stellar photography and copywriting. Professional website design helps guide the user’s eye down a page so that they stay engaged and then take the appropriate action. Investing in your website design can really bring a huge ROI to your business.
For website design, we love to work with Showit because it allows us to create the best website design possible. While we also work with and like other platforms, we’ve found that Showit websites are easier for our clients to update so that they don’t have to reach out for every little image, copy, or blog update.
Some other great website platforms for service providers are Squarespace and WordPress (Elementor and Divi are our favorite builders!). If you’re an e-commerce business, Shopify if a great option.
Similar to the design stage of your website, SEO can be broken into both strategy and implementation. For the sake of this long blog post, we’ll get into what you need for successful SEO another time. But, here are the basics:
1. A specific and strategic SEO plan – who are you trying to attract to your website. This is the core of your SEO strategy.
2. Keyword research. It’s possible to DIY this, but let’s be real, it’s much easier to have a professional do it for you.
3. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google My Business (now called your Google Business Profile)
4. On-page SEO: page titles, metadescriptions, image alt text, and more.
5. An ongoing SEO strategy: blogging, backlinks, and more.
If you’re looking for either a small level or full-service level of support, here are some SEO experts we love (again, in no particular order):
1. Sara Does SEO
2. Julia Renee Consulting
While we could chat all day long about your website, your website is only one branch of your online marketing, let alone the full picture of all of your marketing. After you’ve launched your fully strategic website, here are some next steps to continue driving traffic to your website:
We’re a branding and website design studio, and you’ve probably noticed that our services actually only make up 25% of this list. That’s because we believe that there’s a whole lot of strategy and planning that goes in to building a website that is effective and attractive.
We offer support, coaching, and referrals with the rest of these services. So, if you’re looking for a full website experience, let’s chat about what we can work on to really move the needle for your business.
Ready to invest in your website, but not sure what level of support you need? Reach out to figure out what kind of website plan is best for you.
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Brand photography by Enliven Photography except where otherwise credited.
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