Your website is the face of your business.
It’s both your ‘shop window’ and driver of new clients, so creating one that maximises this potential will boost your conversion and help ease marketing pressures.
If you’re starting your own firm, or your existing online presence needs an upgrade, here’s our key steps for building a winning website.
The first aspect to consider before you actually start to build your website is your provider – the software that will host your website, and inform its design and functionality.
You can pay more for minimal effort with sites like Digita Web Builder, or take a more DIY approach for less money with sites like Wordpress.
Once your provider is chosen, decide which pages your site will have. You’ll need a homepage for new visitors, an about us page to provide more company information, and a contact page for client conversion.
Beyond this, you can tailor your pages to your business goals. If your aim is to promote yourself as an expert in a specialised field, create a page dedicated to this.
If you want to advertise yourself to the general public, then the goal is to earn trust. Surfacing client testimonials and your company’s people will be vital in achieving this.
To demonstrate your brand personality, a blog section and links through to your social media will be key.
It pays to consider exactly who you want to target and create the exact pages required. A website saturated with pages may seem impressive, but it can make navigation more difficult and drain resources.
To decide what information you should list on your website, begin with your homepage – which should instantly detail who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.
To show who you are, promote your backstory. State when you were established and why you do what you do, linking to your ‘About us’ page for greater detail.
Show off your company’s employees with photos and short bios. This builds familiarity between prospective clients and your brand. Then link through to a dedicated page showing your people’s details in full, and ideally surface case studies and testimonials attributable to your key members.
Testimonials are powerful social-proofing tools, and can be more effective in convincing new clients of your abilities than even your qualifications. If you have testimonials which outline both how effective you are and the situation the client was in, then you’ve answered ‘what do you do’ and ‘who do you do it for’ in one trust-building message.
Next consider SEO, which affects how highly your site ranks in search engines.
Writing in a way that states complete search terms, such as ‘self-assessment in London’, will give your SEO a big uplift. And if you create individual landing pages for each specific service you offer, you’ll fully maximise your site’s SEO potential.
Then consider accessibility: how usable your site is for people with disabilities. You’ll be surprised by how many large brands miss this - so getting this right instantly puts you above your competitors.
The main points here are ‘colour contrast’, which affects people with visual impairments, and ‘keyboard only use’, which affects people who struggle using a mouse.
To test colour contrast, free online tools such as wave.webaim.org will provide an analysis of your site. To test keyboard only use, try to navigate your site using only the ‘tab’ and ‘enter’ keys.
Once you’ve set up your new site, be sure to constantly review and update it.
These don’t have to be wholesale changes, but ensuring your specialities, qualifications, blogs, and staff are up to date will make your site feel active and engaging to new visitors.