I talked to two prospects the other day about getting a new website for their business, so I thought about writing up some good information about how to get a new website up and running. There are some things you need and some things you should do so that the website gets up smoothly and starts getting you leads or sales.
First, you need a good website... of course. You don't need tons of bells and whistles but a few important things to start off with. If you build your website on a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress or Joomla, then you can always do a redesign later using the same system or add more things to it as time goes by... in other words, you can build the website in phases and this is great for a business that's just starting out.
Figure out which pages you need so that you know the content you need developed (written). Here's a great article on how to develop a site map for your website (list of pages) along with some other planning you can do to save money and help your website developer:
How to Save Money on a Website Project (webstix.com)
To get a good, basic website built, our Webstix X-Press system is great. It's a little more "self-serve" than doing a normal website project with Webstix but if you're on a smaller budget, then it's a great place to get started and get a website up. It's our same developers and designers that work on other Webstix projects but just minus the consulting and hand-holding. Our team does help you get the website up and running. We've launched many websites that way and these clients are happy to have great websites up.
Of course, you should also have things like a logo, address, phone number and general business plan in place. I mention the business plan because we've actually had a few meetings with clients and quickly realized that they didn't even have a plan together regarding how they're going to make money with the business. It's kind of difficult to build a successful website if there's not even a solid business plan created.
Next, you need that website to start generating leads for you.
You're not going to have floods of people coming to your website just because you built a website. That's like saying just because you got a phone number, the phone is going to ring with customers. You need to advertise it.
For starters, you'll use:
What's important, however, is that your website converts that traffic into leads for you. For that, you need some calls to action.
When people get to your website and look around, you're going to want to just straight up ask them to do some things. Each one of these things is called a call to action. Each CTA can vary in strength.
Here are some sample CTAs starting with about the strongest:
You just don't want one CTA, you want a few. Give people a few ways to take action and leave it up to them but definitely ask for all of them. Don't be afraid to ask.
There's one CTA above that you want to make sure you absolutely focus on and it's probably not the one you think it is. Look at the list again, which one is best?
It's the email list, believe it or not.
I talk to some people that think collecting email addresses on a list and sending them emails is too much work and then at the same time, they're concerned about SEO. That's a little backwards. The purpose of SEO is to get your website in front of your audience, right? Well, that's what an email list is... people who WANT to hear from you.
You can either provide monthly news or else come up with a giveaway and ask people for their name and email address to get it. We've done that with our e-book.
As I was writing this, I stopped and put together a newsletter blast to go out to our clients... I figure I better practice what I preach, so that'll go our early next week once it gets formateed.
Once you have your new website set up right and your list going, it's time to just send things to your list and write up awesome blog posts.
For content, just solve your audience's problems. Explain the problem, provide the solution (like actually tell them what needs to be done) and then offer to do that work for them. If you're selling products, then do the same thing and explain how your products solve problems.
Of course, there's more you need to do but in this article, I just wanted to explain the basics so that anyone looking for a website had an idea of what needs to happen to get a website for their business and then have that website provide a return on investment.
To get started on a website project, contact Webstix!