After all of the years I’ve spent meticulously clarifying my clients’ dream businesses, unleashing their shiny mission statements, and carefully curating their first offers, you can trust me when I say I know a good business website when I see one.
And guess what? It’s not about having the shiniest bells or whistles, and it doesn’t have to invoke head-explosions or come after a series of sleepless nights sifting through fonts, colors, and stock photos to make it look professional and work for you.
While it is important you take setting up your website seriously — hey, it’s your business, after all — it can be done without taking you 5 years and one or two existential crises. (As I once heard someone say, “Put the paint brush down, Picasso.”) In fact, I have a few key bullet points that should smooth out the process for you.
Specifically, these are my top 5 things every business website needs to shine online.
Anything else beyond what I have listed here is just extra gravy. (And listen, don’t shy away from gravy. People love gravy. But gravy is good enough – extra gravy is just, well, extra.)
If you already have a website, you can give this list a once-over just to make sure there’s nothing that you’re missing. If you’re just getting started, I recommend tackling your site in this order. It will help you craft an organic flow for your users’ experience (gag, “tech” lingo!) and will set you up for success!
Here is what your business website needs:
- A home page:
This can also be considered your “landing page” and will be the first thing that opens up when someone clicks on your site. Your navigation bar will be at the top, and just below that you want to tell people right away what your business is and who it is for. At the very bare minimum, this means you need to include your mission statement. This will also act a gatekeeping feature designed to pull the right clients in and keep the wrong ones out. If it takes more than 3 seconds to identify what your business is, your home page isn’t doing its job!
The second thing you want on your home page is a Call To Action (CTA), and by that, I mean clear direction on what you want your reader to do. You’ll want them to head to your ‘Work With You’ or ‘Shop’ pages, for sure – there needs to be a CTA for that. Maybe you also want them to read your ‘About’ page, because that’s usually the 2nd most popular page on every website! You could potentially add a third thing – like reading your killer blog – but that should be it. Any more than three CTAs will be overwhelming.
As practice and for inspo, click around some of your favorite websites (ahem) and see if you can identify all of the CTAs. They’ll usually start with a command and show up in the form of a button! → “Click here to work with me!” “Subscribe for my newsletter!” “Sign up for your spot in line!”
- ‘About’ page:
Here, site viewers get to learn about all of the things that make you special and, more importantly, why you’re the right person for the job! As a business coach, I ask the women I work with to include a personal story about what led them to their dream business and why it’s ideal for them now. This gives potential clients a chance to relate to you and get jazzed about the work you’re doing.
Also, be sure to include a photo of yourself (even if it isn’t professional!) and your full name! This last part should be obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many new entrepreneurs forget! Showing a photo of yourself and including your full name builds trust and shows people there’s a real person with real power behind your website and work.
Be sure to end this page with a CTA, here, too! (<– you’ll notice a pattern forming, here.) Now that they know all about you, send them to your ‘Work With Me’ or ‘Shop’ pages.
- ‘Work With Me’ and/or ‘Shop’ page:
If you’re selling products, this is easy. You simply need to make an image-based catalog of your amazeballs items including their prices and descriptions. Be sure to add a cart feature so people can purchase directly from you.
If your biz is service-based, your ‘Work With Me’ page should take the most time to write! That’s because this is where you will pummel your potential clients with your value.
I like to use this outline when writing ‘Work With Me’ pages:
- First, start with the problem your potential client needs your help solving. You want them to feel like, “YES, she’s talking about me, and UGH I need someone to help!”
- Then, paint a picture of how much better your clients’ situation will be once you solve it for them! (<– this is the value! This is the most important part!)
- Next, get into the process, i.e. how you’re going to make it happen for them and what it’ll entail to work with you. I like to include the price on the page, too, so you don’t feel like you have to “spring” it on anyone! Hot tip: don’t go too crazy with explaining the logistics. Turns out most clients don’t care how you work together, just that they’ll walk away with the results you promise.
- Before you end, include a small bio about yourself, just in case they didn’t make it to your ‘About’ page. Bonus points if it involves a personal story about why this particular offer is personal and exciting for you! It will help your viewer learn about why you’re the perfect woman for the job without having to navigate away from your $ales page!
- If possible, throw some client testimonials on this page, too – peppering them throughout is perfect. They’ll add more credibility to your work. Extra credit for publishing them with photos and full names! That will resonate even more with your right people.
- Lastly, include that Call To Action, babe! Sure, you can have a “Buy Now” button that leads them right to check out, but I’m almost exclusively telling my service-based clients to use a short 5-ish question form instead with a headline like “Tell me more” or “Let’s get started.” Have the prospective client give you their name, email, how they found you, what their biggest challenge is, and when they’re available to start this work. This will make your first touchpoint so much smoother, and will weed out the tire kickers!
*Rule of thumb: The more expensive your offer, the longer this page should be! The more they need to invest, the more information – and proof! – they’ll need.
- ‘Contact’ page: A simple contact form is totally fine. At the very least, include a way for your potential clients to email you. If you feel comfortable, this page can also include a phone number, mailing address, or Google Maps location.
- Your Header/Footer: At the top or bottom of each page, include your social media icons and a way for folks to sign up for your newsletter or opt-in offer. This is where you can also put special deals or discounts! By splattering this info on every page of your website, you make it easy to keep people hooked on you and your business’ content longer.
Bonus: Of course, if you’d like, feel free to include a blog/articles page, too. These are great for anyone who is interested in learning more about you and your “deal,” plus it will ramp up your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), too. ← That’s just a fancy way of saying anyone who is searching for stuff related to what you do will be able to find you easier on Google.
Go forth and make some gorgeous websites, business bosses!
For more on how to get your business up and running in no time (like, this summer), head over to my 90 Day Business Launch program! Once you’re there, sign up to get on my interest list so you can get first dibs on 3/6 for my spring availability. Already have a business you love, but need to give it a big boost? Sign up for the list here and you’ll get early access to *those* spring spots on the same day. Basically, wherever you are on your dream business journey, I got you covered!