If you’re just creating your website or checking to make sure that your website is set up to help your business grow, there are 9 basic MUST HAVES that every website needs to get the job done.
What Every Website Needs:
1. Clear Messaging
A potential client or customer needs to know – right away – what you do and what you have to offer. Clear messaging will help people know right away if they should stick around to keep reading.
2. Straight forward navigation
Don’t make it hard for people to find what they’re looking for. Make sure your navigation acts as a cruise director – showing the way to anything a visitor would need or want to know.
3. Newsletter sign up
Most people will visit your site and never come back. Even if it’s the most awesome and amazing website on the planet – it happens. We are all busy, busy, busy and bombarded with tons of stuff every day to read on the internet. When people join your newsletter list, you have a much better shot at staying in touch with them. It’s a great way to stay in front of people that have expressed interest in your services or products.
4. A way to contact you
Seems obvious, but I have seen MANY websites that give no clear way for people to get in touch, which makes it nearly impossible for them to HIRE YOU!
5. Links to your social media
Again, so that you have a better chance of staying connected. This isn’t a fool proof way of staying in touch – with all the algorithms and things, but it ups your marketing game for sure, so don’t leave this out.
6. Clear path to hiring you
You don’t want to just list out your services. Make sure you have a solid path for HOW to hire you, with instructions telling them what to do and making it super easy for them to take that action. Don’t just say, “contact me” – give them the link to your contact page! Or if you want them to book a session, have a “book now” button that leads them to a payment method to collect their money. Don’t leave people having to figure it out on their own – hold their hand and walk them through the process.
Also, I’m always an advocate for including your prices on your website – here’s why.
7. About section or page
People want to know who you are, why they can trust you and what you can do to help them with whatever they need. Plus, they are super curious. They want to know who’s behind the curtain! You want your business to be built on trust and credibility, your about section or page is a great place to establish that.
8. Testimonials or case studies
This also leads to trust for potential customers. They want to know that you’ll deliver and that they can count on you to do all the things you say you can do. The best way to reassure them is to share the results and feedback from past customers. You don’t need TONS of these, even just a few will let people know how amazing you are.
9. Good design
Of course I would say this! But it’s true – if your site looks like an amateur hot mess, no one is going to take you seriously. When just getting started, you may not need a full on custom design with all the bells and whistles. But, you for sure want a nice, clean, well put together website so you look professional and like you know what you’re doing.
There are a ton of other things that you can do to have your website kick butt – like a blog to share your expertise and up your SEO results, or a portfolio or examples of your work. But the above are the minimum elements that every website needs to help you grow and profit as a business owner.