The 5 Pages Every New Business Website Should Have
Whether you have an online business or not, websites are crucial to running a thriving a business in our progressively digital world. Platforms like Etsy and Amazon are gaining traction and more and more people are opting to online shop rather than venture into a store and face the crowds.
Now, brick and mortar stores are nowhere near going out of style, in fact, I don't believe they ever will. BUT- having a website is a best practice for any business.
WITH a website:
-More people will be able find you and hear about you via quick searches online
-You'll make more sales (!!)
-Passive income can become a reality
-Brand awareness will skyrocket
-You'll gain more know, like, and trust from your dream customers
WITHOUT a website:
-People are left to only find you via old fashioned ways
-You aren't seen as an authority in your niche
-You are not seen as a trustworthy business
-Your dream customers will opt to shop elsewhere
Squarespace 101: Getting Started
Before you can craft a perfectly true to you website, you first have to register a domain with a website building platform- don't worry that's not as scary as it sounds! And, honestly, Squarespace has made that easier than it's ever been before. (Read: Why Squarespace is the BEST Website Building Platform Ever!)
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Alex, what the heck is a website building platform and what the heck-ier heck is a domain?
Good question, you thoughtful biz babe, you!
Let's break this down...
Website Building Platform (WBP): This the online software you'll use to create your website! Now, unlike sites like wordpress, web building platforms offer so much versatility and customization without the need for code! I'm talking drag and drop, babe! That's right, sound the alarms, release the confetti, and do a happy dance- your life just got So. Much. Easier.
The great thing about WBPs is that non-designers can choose a template, plug in their content, and have a website up and running in less than a weekend. But, it also offers designers (like myself) the flexibility and control to take a seemingly simple site and turn it into a super functional and just downright bad-ass website.
In addition to being freaking amazing at creating gorgeous websites, Squarespace also takes care of web hosting and site security in house! That means you can do all the things for website upkeep from one platform which is pretty revolutionary.
Domain: Simply put, this is your web address. More specifically, is the yourdomain part in the www.yourdomain.com web address.
Your business will need to purchase a completely unique to you domain. But, BONUS! Squarespace gives you a free domain when you purchase your web hosting through them! But, if you already have purchased a domain through another platform, you can link it to Squarespace easy-peasy and still have all the benefits of square space hosting!
Squarespace 101: Choose a Domain
When you first hop onto squarespace.com, you'll be brought to the lovely homepage above. Right off the bat, they offer a few amazing features to get you started.
Search For a Domain- At the top of the page, you can search for domains to see if they're available or if they are for sale. This is a handy tool to see if the domain you wish to use will stand out against others in your industry.
Squarespace Logos- At the footer of the homepage there is a link to Logos. This is another handy tool that Squarespace offers that will generate a logo for you to use on your site! While their logos are trendy and pretty, they are slightly on the generic side. But it's still a great tool if you're not ready to invest in a professional just yet.
Squarespace 101: Choose a Template
Another amazing feature that Squarespace offers to it's members fo' free are templates! On the Squarespace homepage, click the "GET STARTED" button which will take you to the template portal where you can browse through over 50 ready to customize templates.
To make your experience all that much more user friendly, Squarespace has also categorized all of it's templates by niche. This way, your site will be even easier to set up as it will already have the functionalities you'll need for your business.
You can preview any template to see how they are laid out and once you have found the one you would like to precede with, just choose the "Start with..." button. And no worries, you can always change your template at anytime.
Squarespace also gives every user a free two week trial to get the website up and running. But, if you want to secure your domain, you'll want to go ahead and pay for your membership upfront.
OKAY... now let's get into the real reason why you're here:
The 5 Pages Every New Business Website Should Have
When you're first starting a business, you have a lot of things on your mind. But, I would bet that on the top on your mind you're thinking, "okay, so how am I going to actually start bringing in money?" And you should be, babe. That's what is going to keep you in business after all.
That means that you don't have time to fudge around with web design and creating fancy content. I get it. So, if you're not looking to hire someone to design your site in the beginning stages of business, it's best to keep your website pretty simple.
So I decided to cut the crap, and leave the fluff for a rainy day. Today's blog post is all about getting your site up and running FAST with just the essentials to get your business off the ground.
The 5 Pages Every New Business Website Should Have: Homepage
Okay, okay, let me back up and elaborate a little.
You don't just need a homepage, you need an intentional homepage. This means that you'll need to purposely curate a page on your website to act as your business's digital welcome mat. In other words, you don't want your homepage to be your blog, or your shop, or your about page. Rather, you need to have a landing page that summarizes what you do/sell and then offer links to those other pages.
The Anatomy of a Homepage: Every homepage (welcome page, landing page- all the same thing) is made up of three distinct parts. These sections work together to offer new visitors a quick glance into your business and what you have to offer.
Header- This houses your logo and your navigation. You can also put pertinent information here such as a call to action banner or an email opt-in. Adding promotions to your header is a great way to snag new leads right when they enter your website.
Body- You'll use this space to summarize your sites content and provide links to other pages. You can include things like: featured products, services, or blog posts, your bio, mission statement, etc.
Footer- This will appear on every page of your site. You can link to other pages, include your favicon, and include copyright information. This is also a great place to put links to your social media platforms.
Things you can highlight on your homepage:
The 5 Pages Every New Business Website Should Have: About Page
When new visitors land on your site 86% of them will click on your about page before they even start scrolling. So, it goes without saying that your about page is easily the most important page on your site.
Your about page is often times the first glance a customer or client will get behind the scenes of your business. You should tell them a little about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. This will usually tell a prospective customer if you will be the right fit for what they are looking for.
But, a common misconception of about pages is that it is a space for you to talk about yourself- and when most people hear that is not the case, they are shocked.
But think about it- a customer goes to your about page to see if you will be a good fit for THEM. So, make it about THEM.
How to make your about page about them:
-Add a headshot that speaks to the personality your customer can expect for you
-Use your bio to speak to their heart and how your experiences can benefit them
-Offer solutions to their problems through your services/products
-Make it easy for them to hire/ buy from you by providing links to do so as well as your contact info
The 5 Pages Every New Business Website Should Have: Prices/Services/Products
Your business sells something, right? Well, that means you need to have a place for your customers/clients to buy it. And even if you are a brick and mortar store, having your inventory online as well as in house will help you reach a broader audience and make more sales.
So whether you sell a physical product or a service, your sales page should include:
-A short explanation of what you offer and why (mission statement)
-Photos of items/packages/services
-Links to purchase
-Links to your portfolio/ testimonials
-An explanation of your process (turn around time, etc)
The 5 Pages Every New Business Website Should Have: Blog
It's no secret that blogging gets your business off the ground faster than any other form organic method. In fact, I believe in blogging so much that I already have an entire post about how to set up a bad-ass blog in a weekend. Blogging not only gives you space to show your readers just how much you know about your industry, but it also allows you to add so much value that your readers will be practically begging to buy from you.
Your blog should include:
-An ultra sexy sidebar
-Link to your about page
-Links to each blog category
-Archives of blog posts
-Blog posts related to multiple areas in your niche
-Links to social media profiles
-Content related to what you sell
All too often I see businesses forego adding a page to layout the legal side of their website. But, when it comes to covering your booty, this page is essential. This is one of those pages that I link to in the footer of my website. That way, it's there to cover all the bases but it's not front and center cluttering up my nav.
What to include in your legal page:
keep it simple...
At the end of the day, you're starting a business. You have big aspirations and dreams for where you want your business to go. But, you'll never get there if you never launch something. So, get out the rut and stop waiting until everything is perfect.
Your website can always be jazzed up along the way, babe! But the most important thing is that you put it out there. Get your business out into the world and start making some dollar bills! And all you need is 5 pages on a website to get there.
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