What if I told you that your website can be so much more than a place that shares your recent work? That your website can do more than serve as a detail of your small business?
At With Grace and Gold, we have had the complete joy and honor of serving more than 400 small businesses and small business owners through brand and web design. We have noticed, first-hand, how the standards of web design have changed and evolved; how your website can be a foundation from which your business can gain real momentum, build meaningful connection, and help your business to exponentially grow.
Today, we want to share 10 things we believe your website should do — so you can do exactly that: gain momentum, build connection, and experience exponential business growth.
10 Things Your Website Should Do
You might be surprised to learn just how much power a professional, well-designed web design can hold. So, what should you — or your web designer — consider? How can you ensure your web design contains all the details and content necessary to build a strong foundation for your business? Here are 10 things to consider:
- First, your website should establish and build connection.
Think about a time when you landed on a website for a fellow small business owner, and after just a few seconds you felt like you understood the person behind the website. Maybe it was a feeling you felt, or a bit of copywriting you read, that made you feel connected to the person behind the website. When a prospective client lands on your website, it should help to establish and build connection. A prospective client should be able to sense your aesthetic through the photography or graphics used within your design, or be able to hear your voice through the copywriting used within your design. When a prospective client is shopping around from one vendor to another, that spark of connection is what can set one vendor apart from another. And as they explore your website further, the connection builds and builds — your website helps visitors feel encouraged and supported to reach out to you, to book your services, or to buy your products. When you land on your own website, does it feel like you? What feedback have you received from past clients? Is there some way that your photography, copywriting, or overall design can feel more like you — the person behind your business?
- Your website should educate and guide your prospective clients.
As the expert of your own business and your own field, you know your products, services, and process like the back of your hand. But when someone is brand new to your business or your field, they’re often starting from a blank slate. From beginning to end, your website should educate and guide your prospective clients toward the products or services that are best for them. The details of your services and products should be well-organized, detailed, and written for the reader — so prospective clients know which products or services they’ll benefit most from. We always say, your website should lead visitors on a journey from learning about you to connecting with you to confidently booking with you — and this is accomplished when all of the details of your web design work together, with a common goal.
- Your website should showcase your best work — or the work you’d like to do more of.
As you accumulate more years of experience, chances are, you’re accumulating more work you can share within your Portfolio or within your web design as a whole. We wholeheartedly believe your website should showcase your best work — or the work you’d like to do more of. As mentioned earlier, your web design should be created with a goal in mind. It’s likely your goal is to book your Ideal Client and do more of the work you love most. A great place to begin doing so is by ensuring the message you’re sending and the aesthetic you’re curating within your Portfolio is aligned with the work you are most proud of — the work you’d like to do more of. If this means your Portfolio is smaller or more curated, that’s OK! Every detail included within your web design should help to move your business forward in the ways you envision, so consistency is key!
- Your website should establish your expertise.
The way you present your small business matters. Often times, there are so many details we know and love about our own businesses — from the one-of-a-kind client experience you provide, to every special detail in between. But, so often, we overlook sharing those details with prospective clients or with our website’s visitors. We have to be the biggest advocates of our own small businesses. We have to remember to share the benefits of working with us, the value of our services, the results our clients can expect to experience. Otherwise, how will prospective clients know? By establishing your expertise — you can make the case for why prospective clients should choose your business among the rest. This can be accomplished by sharing testimonials, client case studies, or simply sharing openly and honestly about the value you bring to each client you serve.
- Your website should answer prospective clients’ most common questions.
We always recommend including a Frequently Asked Questions portion within your web design. When you answer prospective clients’ most common questions, you can ensure your web design is educating and supporting your prospective clients. Your FAQs can sometimes help to educate and guide — and they can sometimes help to establish expertise. Remember to avoid using jargon — vocabulary only you’ll know because you’re an expert in your field — within your website’s FAQs and copy overall. Meet your website’s visitors where they are in their journey, and use your FAQs section to help and serve.
- Your website should be well-organized.
Like all web design decisions, your website should be organized with your prospective clients and visitors in mind. Your navigation menu is a key factor in creating a well-organized web design. At With Grace and Gold, we believe in using traditional page names (Contact versus Send a Note) because visitors are already acclimated to seeing and using traditional page names. We also believe in condensing similar content so the number of pages listed in your navigation menu is limited to a maximum of 8 pages. Beyond your navigation menu, your content should be presented in an organized way — using clear headings, divider lines, background coloring, or white space to break up your website’s content in an organized, easy-to-digest way.
- Your website should be detailed, but not too detailed.
It’s natural to want to include every detail of your services within your web design. However, we’ve discovered, first-hand, that if your website contains too much information about your services, visitors can become overwhelmed and even talk themselves out of pursuing your services further. Too many choices or too much information can cause visitors to overanalyze or simply navigate away from your Services page. For this reason, we recommend including a foundation of information on your Services page, and then using a Hidden Pricing Guide to share more detailed information with those who inquire with you. By doing so, you can create a more seamless experience for your prospective clients and create a way to share all the details of your services with prospective clients in an elevated way.
- Your website should make contacting you easy to do.
Your Contact page, email address, your contact form, your social media icons — and any additional, optional contact details like your phone number or brick and mortar location — should be easy for your visitors to find. Because contacting you is often the next step you’re asking prospective clients to take, after they’ve reviewed the details of your services on your website, it’s important for your contact details to be easily-found.
- Your website should be engaging.
We like to think of your website as a place where your prospective clients can feel welcomed, encouraged, and served. Through layers and details, your website can be an engaging place for your prospective clients to become immersed in. Further, the longer a prospective client spends on your website, the more of an opportunity they have to build a connection with you. Creating an engaging design is a balance between creating an organized, seamless web design and a detailed, textured web design — but when that balance is created, your website can truly work for you.
- Your website should be built for both short-term and long-term success.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, your web design should be created with your goals in mind. Often times, we believe this means striking a balance between what you love and feel drawn to and what your Ideal Client will love and feel drawn to. Over the years, we’ve created a design recipe for our clients that has helped them to multiply — sometimes triple — their revenue following their design process with us. The ingredients of our design recipe include your preferences, your Ideal Client’s preferences, your industry’s standards, your short-term goals, your long-term goals, and a few more secret ingredients!
With a well-designed, purposeful web design, your website can serve as more than a place to showcase your work — but a place rooted in connection and meaningful growth.
We are so hopeful today’s episode has helped you to reflect upon whether your website is serving as a detail of your business — or if it’s serving as the strong, intentional foundation your business needs to succeed and grow.
If you aren’t proud of your online presence, if you don’t feel as though your website looks and feels reflective of the expertise and experience you provide, or if you don’t feel as though your website is equipping you for short-term or long-term success, it could be time to revisit your online presence as a whole.
As always, for more information about web design, visit withgraceandgold.com! We are currently booking new clients and offering a 12-month payment plan to create a more attainable experience!
Thank you for tuning in!