Written by Jessica Ann on July 5th, 2013
You don’t just build a website to “build a website.” If you’re like most folks, you want to build a website with purpose. You want your business to stand for something. You want to make an impact. And maybe (if you’re smart) you’re also thinking about your business’s long-term goals, like getting media coverage and engaging a community.
If this sounds like you, you’re on the right track.
Even though you can get your website live in 10 minutes, you’ll want to give it more strategic thought. The online world is a crowded space. And any strategy and big-picture thinking that you do on the front end will end up working in your favor.
Why? When you market a product or service online, everything must holistically come together. For example, you’ll make more of an impact when you choose a domain name for your business that is similar (if not exactly the same) as your social media profiles. Here are a few other tips to build with purpose:
1. Choose your domain name wisely.
This is the initial touch point for your customers, so make it good. It should be relevant to your business, and it should be easy to spell. Try not to pick words or phrases that are confusing or hard to pronounce.
2. Focus on your About Page.
You may think that an About page is cliché. And you don’t have anything original to say. So, you put it off and hope that none of your customers notice. Big mistake.
An About page is a way to build rapport with your guests. It’s the hub of your business, and it’s where your customers go to learn more about the human side of your brand. You do have a human element of your business, right? If not, an About page is a great opportunity to humanize your marketing.
Make sure to add a photo of you (so your customers can see what you look like), and to talk in your own voice. For example, if you’re a small mom and pop shop but you use corporate jargon, this won’t come across right.
Be consistent. Talk about the problems that your business solves, and why your small business does what it does. Try to build a story around your business. But make sure it’s not boring. If you need help making it come alive, you can always hire a content creator.
3. Use Visuals
I mentioned above, that you should add a photo to your About page. But this isn’t the only place you’ll want visual images. Why? A photo is a visual reminder that there’s a human being running your business. This is especially important if your business focuses on technical issues, or is highly transactional. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money paying for copyrighted images, check out Photopin or the Creative Commons on Flickr. Just make sure that you use the proper attribution for the copyrighted work.
4. Create Compelling Content Through Storytelling
Once you write the About page (you will do that, right?), you’ll probably want to add a separate page for your Blog. Your blog can serve as a way to build rapport with customers, act as a sales funnel, or it can even be a way to establish your business as a leader in your industry (through thought leadership). There’s no right or wrong approach. But you must have a content strategy in place before you begin – with whatever you decide.
You’ll want to use your blog to weave your story together seamlessly. If you’re a small coffee shop, look to your location, the art on the walls, or the people in your coffee shop to get inspiration. Compelling content tells your story in a unique way. Are you building your website with purpose? What is your story? Please comment below.
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