Web Design Checklist

So you've started a business in something you're good at and you know that there are enough people out there who will pay you money for it.


Now you want your own piece of the internet.


Having a website helps you reach a wider audience, the mailing list you build is your to keep and full of authentic leads, it's the embodiment of your brand and you can offer your clients everything in one place.


Designing your business website is a huge project because you don't want to end up with something useless.

So how do you begin the design work?


I have created this checklist as a great place to start getting your head around what you will need and be prepared for when you finally get cracking.


Let's begin ..


 

1. WHAT DO YOU DO?


Getting this right seems like a piece of piss. I mean, it's your business, so why wouldn't you have a clue about what it is you do. But actually getting it down on paper and properly thinking about these key principles - without industry jargon or nonsense terminology - sets you up for success in your marketing strategy.

  • What is your job title? no fluff, just exactly what you do on the tin

  • What is your business? again, no fluff, just exactly what is it that your business does

  • What are the features of your service / product? i.e. what are the selling points about it

  • What are the benefits of your service / product? i.e. how do these features effect your clients life

  • What do you charge? I thoroughly recommend having at least a 'prices from' to cut out time wasters

Check out my blog post on What Exactly Do You Do For a Living? for more in-depth guidance on this ..


 

2. WHO ARE YOU DOING IT FOR?


Next, knowing who you are trying to sell your business to is REALLY IMPORTANT because:

  • You want your marketing to get into the head of your target market

  • You want to use long tail keywords and get found online

  • You would like to work with clients who aren't a GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS

Check out my blog post on Why You Shouldn't have a Niche for a more in-depth guidance on this ..


 

3. BRAND IDENTITY


Now, you will need a well designed Brand Identity because this is the one thing that will make you stand out from your competitors. Your Brand Identity is the visual elements that represent your business, i.e. the colours, fonts, shapes and logo. All of these will speak to your target market, so they need to be well thought out and deliberate.

LIFE HACK: Or you could just give me a call and I can design one for you - contact details in my footer *winky face*


 

4. SERVICES & PRODUCTS


This is where you get to sell what it is you do - yay!! Showcase your services / products in a clear and organised layout.

  • List categories of the services / products you offer - write a brief explanation of these

  • Break them down into sub categories, if needed - write a brief explanation for each

  • The list all of the individual services / products you offer - write a brief explanation for each

TIP: When you write your explanation for each, be clear to list everything that is involved and what your client will be buying.


Prices - include the prices for each individual service / product - if it is based on a quote, at least say 'price from'


Downloads - if your services / products come with additional material, such as a PDF, audio or video, think about how your visitor will access these


Imagery - see point 7


 

5. ABOUT YOU


Remember that people by from people, so put your face to your business and make a connection with the wonderful person visiting your website.


Your Backstory

Explain the reason why you started your business - there will always be an inspirational story behind your vocation and will definitely help you to connect with your target market on an emotional level. Include any experiences and skills you have acquired along the way.


Personal Piece

You can also write a little personal piece about you, when you aren't being a business owner. This can feel a bit weird, like you are writing for an ad in a dating column or something, and perhaps you don't feel to comfortable with giving your personal life away - so this is optional.


I want to make it very clear to my clients that my work is balanced with my home life because I home educate my son, so I do bring my personal circumstance into my bio - plus it connects me emotionally with the people I work with, as they are mostly mothers themselves.


Credentials

List all qualifications and accreditations you have, if applicable to your business.


Portfolio & Reviews

Definitely have a place on your site to showcase your work (if applicable), client testimonials and / or case studies, even if it's a separate page from your About section. This will persuade anyone who is on the fence about buying from you.


If you're in the creative business, having your Portfolio in your main menu is crucial.

 

6. LEAD MAGNETS


Plan and create Lead Magnets for your website because:

  • they give you authentic new leads of people who will likely buy from you in the future

  • they grow your business quicker, than just by selling your core service or product alone

  • they can start you earning extra money from your business

  • they drive traffic to your website

Check out my blog post on Why Do I Need a Lead Magnet On MY Website? for a more in-depth guidance ..


 

7. LAYOUT PLANNING


PURPOSE -

A lot of people wrongly design a website for 'those-people-who-have-stumbled-across-my-website- whilst-searching-on-Google' .. NO! These are your cold audience. Design your website for your warm / hot audience - the people who actually pay your bills.


Assume that people have gone to your website because they've followed a link from all of that shit-hot marketing that you've been doing. Assume that they already know a bit about you and would like to know more about buying from you.


PAGES -

Plan what pages you will need and what content will go on each, i.e break your website down into organised sections.


An example of standard pages are:

Homepage, Services / Products, About, Contact / Book an Appointment, Reviews / Portfolio, Blog ..


Then work out how you will seamlessly link these pages together.


MENU -

Keep the tabs to a minimum (I recommend up to 5 tabs max) and use dropdown menu's if necessary and back links for hidden pages. Think about what the key things are that people will want to see in your menu.


ORIENTATION -

If you've planned your pages well and thought about the reason why someone would be on your website in a logical way, then your visitor should intuitively navigate around and find what they are looking for.


SALES FUNNELS -

How many steps does it take for someone to find what they are looking for and buy it from you? Don't make your customers jump through hoops to give you their money?


Keep your sales funnels short by making sure visitors have easy access to buy from you at any point of their visit.


CONACT -

Think about how would you like people to contact you, then make this clear and available to your visitor. This will all depend on the nature of your business and how important it is for clients to be able to call you, or if an email / web form is more appropriate.


 

8. CONTENT


Here are some tips for the planning of your content (text, wording, copy):

  • Design each web page, as a landing page - i.e. a stand alone page that makes total sense to the visitor.

  • Don't write in the third person, it's really weird.

  • And don't write 'we' if it's just you, that's also really weird.

Better still, Copywriting is an actual profession full of people who know what they are doing, so hire a Copywriter who will make your site tip top for organic SEO and make you sound bloody brilliant.


If you need any recommendations, please drop me a message - my contact details are in the footer ..


 

9. IMAGERY


Your images need to be professional quality. Taking a snap on your phone and thinking that will work on your website is a NO! from me.


You can use stock photography or you need to get a photographer because your images need to be:

  • On brand - i.e. brand colours and feel

  • High resolution

  • Great composition

  • Great lighting

  • Great camera angle

  • Content and context thought about

  • Edited perfectly

With the above list in mind my recommended list of images would be:

  • Picture of you with a plain background - not doing anything but just looking at the camera and smiling

  • Powerful image for your Homepage that encapsulates your business

  • Images depicting each of your services and / or products

  • Images of you at work / images of your products being used

 

LIFE HACK: Or you could just give me a call and I can design a website for you - contact details in my footer ;-)


Big hugs

Claire x


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