Category: Online Marketing

Guest Post by Naomi Dinsmore

Creating a business start-up website for the first time can be tricky.

What colours should you use?

Do you add a picture of yourself?

How many web pages do you need?

In reality it’s a lot simpler than you think. All websites have a basic layout, which creates the best user experience for their visitors and more importantly keeps them returning.

Let’s start looking what your business start-up website needs.

1.     The Right Colours

ColoursPhoto Credit: Wiccked

First impressions are everything and the colour of your website is the first visual your readers will have. So you have to get it right.

The fastest way to choose the right colours is to look at similar websites to your own. Also think about what colours are closely related to your website topic.

  • Health and organic websites are generally green.
  • Gaming websites are generally black and use darker colours.
  • Websites for women usually have pink and red.
  • Children’s websites are normally yellow, red or blue.

Take-Away Action – Write down 5 websites similar to yours and underneath list 3 to 5 colours that are commonly showing on each website.

Colours also create emotional responses. Choose colours based on how you want your readers to feel.

Think about the reader’s gender and age too. Predominantly male websites tend to use darker colours like black, greys and blue. Female website usually uses lighter colours like reds and purples.

Look at the colour list and the connected emotions below:

  • Yellow – Warmth, optimism, clarity
  • Orange – Confidence, happy, cheerful, excitement
  • Red – bold, excellent, youthful
  • Purple – Smart, creativity, imaginative
  • Blue – Trustworthy, dependable, strong
  • Green – healthy, peaceful, growth
  • Grey – Reliable, calming, balance

Take-Away Action – Write down three emotional responses that you are trying to create from your website and find the matching colour.

For more related content on the use of colours and design of your website click here… Making Your Website Work for You: Website Design

2.     User Friendly Navigation

 NavigatePhoto Credit: dgmckelvey

Navigation buttons are similar to the chapters of a book. Each button leads onto a different section of your website. User friendly navigation provides your visitors with a better user experience and you can start with only 3 or 4 buttons. As your website grows and you create more pages, you can add more buttons.

Here are my three vital navigation buttons every website must have…

Positioning – Your navigation buttons will be useless if your readers can’t find them. They need to be instantly visible on all your website pages and are normally placed in the top third of a website.

Home page – Your home page (also known as a static page) is like the front cover of a book.  It’s the first page your readers will see and read. Your homepage needs to have your website name and an introduction about what your business does and how it can help the customer.

Take-Away Action – Start writing what information you want on your homepage. Remember this is a short (straight to the point) introduction. If you’re unsure what to write, note down 10 descriptive words (keywords) that best describe your business. Use these ‘keywords’ and start writing short paragraphs containing these words. Think about what makes your business different from the rest. Do you offer special deals? Do you use certain materials? Do you guarantee ‘on time’ delivery? Include these in your ‘keywords’ too.

For example for a personalized children’s cake making service the keywords may be…

  • Personalized cake
  • Organic ingredients
  • Children cake
  • Cartoon characters
  • Over a 100 flavours
  • Free delivery
  • Design cake online
  • Pre-made cakes in store
  • Cake for all events
  • Split flavoured cake

Now you have your 10 keywords use these to make short sentences you can put into paragraphs for your Home page. For example…

“We create the most popular personalized children’s cakes made from scratch and using only organic ingredients. We have plenty of ready-to-buy cakes online and offline too and create some of your child’s favourite cartoon characters and with a choice of over 100 flavours. All with free delivery, of course! Your child will have great fun designing their own cake online and even choosing up to four different flavours to put in one cake! We make children’s cakes for all events, all year round, it’s what we love.”

I’ve managed to use nearly all of my ten keywords in a few sentences.

About Me – An ‘about me’ page is an introduction about you and your business. Readers like to know the person behind the website. It shows them you are real person who can relate on a personal level. Don’t include any personal information you’re not comfortable strangers reading.

Use my bullet points to give your ideas for writing your ‘about page’

  • What was your life like before you started an online website?
  • Do you manage your website part-time or full-time?
  • Do you manage your website alone or with a business partner?
  • Is your website dedicated to a certain charity trying to raise money?
  • What type of job were you doing before you had a website?
  • Were you previously working in a very alternative area of work before starting an online website?
  • What was the major turning point in your life when you decided to create a website?
  • How did you come up with your idea?
  • How has your personal journey been?

Contact Page – This is a page where readers can contact you directly. You can add your email address, telephone number or Skype number.  Message boxes are also user friendly. The readers fill in their name, email and type a short message which is sent to your email. This is simple, easy and convenient.

Action Take-Away – Start writing your ‘About Me’ page by using the above bullet points to start thinking about your own experience. If you can write 3-5 sentences for each bullet point then you’re nearly finished.

Decide on how many and what methods of contact you want to use. I recommend you don’t use your home address.

3.     Appropriate Images

 AboutPhoto Credit: JoePhilipson

Images are a great way to instantly communicate with your visitors.

TIP – Add images on your website that your readers want to achieve. If your readers want advice on how to run a marathon, add images of a person holding a medal or crossing a finishing line instead of someone looking out of breath, struggling to keep up.

Your readers want to solve a problem and they’ve come to your website to do so. Show them through images what they can have and put it within their reach.

Action Take-Away – Write down 5 potential images that are suitable for your website.  For example for a dog grooming website write down…

  • Happy dogs
  • Cute clean puppy
  • Owners cuddling their dogs
  • Well behaved dogs

You should also include images on your header banner at the top of your website. A header banner is the top of a website which normally has the website title, slogan and an image.

Action Take-AwayRead How to Create Your Own Banner Images

4.     Social Media Connections

SocialPhoto Credit: Harco Rutgers

Social networking icons make it easier for your readers to connect with you. Also they let your readers know any latest information about you and your business.

I personally use Facebook, Twitter and G+. That’s it. For online websites that use a lot of images like clothing, bakeries or photography join up with the social networks that mainly use images like Pinterest and Instagram.

Take-Away Action – Sign up and join the most popular social networking sites. If you haven’t already, sign up for a ‘Facebook Page’ instead of a personal account. Facebook pages provide you with a lot more flexibility for a website than a personal account. To sign up for a ‘Facebook Page’ go onto Facebook.com and scroll down towards the bottom until you see ‘create a page’.

5.     Additional Services

Are there any additional services that you can add to your website?

What is going to make your website different from the rest?

Do you want to add a sales page?

Do you want to capture your readers email address for future communication?

What about adding a page of discount codes for the holiday seasons?

Take-Away Action – Think about what additional pages you can add to your site making it unique and different from the rest.

Look at other websites similar to yours and look at their additional services.

Could you do the same, but make it better?

Now you see, designing your business start-up website is not as hard as you thought. Aim to give a positive user experience by creating a website your visitors beg to stay at . Don’t hesitant and start today.

Naomi Dinsmore is the owner of StartBizQuitJob.com website that shares the best advice for your business start-up. Start Biz, Quit Job can provide you with a hand held service walking you through the process from 9-5 boring worker from full-time small business owner.