One common question we receive at With Grace and Gold goes something like this: “I’m a photographer who offers wedding, lifestyle, and brand photography. Do I need separate websites to house each of these offerings?” Or a question like this, “I’m a videographer who offers wedding videography as well as corporate videography, so I know I need to connect with two unique audiences. Do I need separate websites?”
If you’re a multifaceted creative small business owner, chances are, you can relate to this question. As your business grows, changes, and evolves — and as you add new layers to your business — you likely need to showcase your diverse offerings through your web design. It’s natural to question and brainstorm ways to showcase your offerings in a user-friendly, clear, and connection-driven — and to ask whether an entirely new website is needed.
This week, we’re answering the question “Do I need separate websites?” We’re sharing questions to ask and what to take into consideration when creating a web design to showcase your diverse offerings.
Do I need separate websites?
Something we value about small business ownership is the ability to grow, change, and evolve to align with your unique vision and goals. If you’re a photographer, you might also be a photographer educator and a podcast host. If you’re a wedding planner, you might also be a relationship coach and a conference host. As small business owners, we’re able to grow and enhance our businesses in creative every day.
(A couple of helpful episodes explore diversification further like Episode 011: Your Passive Income Action Plan and Episode 089: Web Design for Multifaceted Businesses.)
As your business grows and changes, and as you add new layers to your business, you may be wondering how to create clarity for your website’s visitors and asking: “Do I need separate websites to house each unique service?”
You may have heard the quote “Confused customers don’t buy.” According to Salesforce “For 70% of customers, understanding how to choose your products and services is extremely important.” So, it’s extremely valuable to present your offerings — your products and your services — in a user-friendly, clear, and focused way.
Before we dive in, as always, we want to mention that every small business is unique. Your business and vision may align with our guidance today, or you may instead use bits and pieces of our guidance. No matter what you determine, we’re hopeful today’s episode sheds light on our thought process when determining how to present business owners’ diverse offerings.
In our 8+ years of web design experience, more often than not, a separate website is not needed… And here’s why:
- A clear, concise, and organized navigation menu can help to bring clarity to your offerings — and create a user-friendly experience for your visitors. Your navigation menu serves as a roadmap and guide for your visitors, new and old, so maintaining structure and organization can be extremely beneficial. As you add new layers to your business, your navigation menu can be updated and reflected to showcase each unique offering.
- Your Home page can serve as a launch pad, pointing your visitors toward each offering. One question we ask our clients at With Grace and Gold is, “What is the level to which you’d like clients to book or choose each offering?” For example, maybe they’d like their wedding photography services to remain a focal point for their clients, but they’d like to supplement their business by also offering brand photography and lifestyle photography. Knowing the level to which you’d like to showcase each offering can inform your design decisions and ensure your Home page accurately reflects and seamlessly guides your visitors toward the revenue-generating areas of your business. Your Home page can, essentially, connect with and guide each type of client simply by creating a user-friendly experience.
- Having one website to house all of your offerings can be better for Search Engine Optimization overall. We think of it this way: Rather than having two or more websites, where brands and web designs may differ from site to site, where clarity may differ from site to site — we believe in having one strong, purpose-driven website to speak to and connect with your prospective clients. Your website can showcase what it’s like to work with you, what you value as a business, and why your business should be chosen among your competition. It can house your blog and SEO-enhancing blog posts, and it can serve as a strong, robust foundation from which your business can freely grow and evolve. In some circumstances, we recommend for our clients to make their Home and About pages more about what it feels like to work with them uniquely — what they value, what their approach is, and why their business should be chosen. Then, separate Services pages or Shop pages can be used to speak more directly to their different types of prospective clients. This approach allows your website to serve as a well-rounded foundation your visitors will connect with — helping your visitors to connect with your business not only because of what you offer, but also because of who you are and what you uniquely bring to your clients.
- Having one website to house all of your offerings also leaves room for change. Perhaps you’d like to change the level to which you’d like to showcase each offering. Maybe, while your Services used to be your primary revenue source, and your Shop was supplemental, you’d like to shift your business so your Shop is a more valued part of your business. By having one website to house your offerings, you can make strategic changes like these freely and confidently, because your web design offers a strong foundation for doing so.
Summed up, in our 8+ years of web design experience, more often than not, a separate website is not needed. With purpose-driven, strategic web design, we believe one website can showcase your offerings in a clear, user-friendly, and connection-driven way. Hiring a web designer or someone who can see your business as a prospective client would can be especially helpful when it comes to determining how to arrange and display your unique offerings.
Again, every small business is unique and will have unique needs. If you’re wondering whether separate websites are needed for each area of your business, please feel free to send us an email to share your vision. We are hopeful this week’s episode helps to guide you and equips you to bring clarity to your online presence. When you do, you can showcase your offerings with purpose and guide your visitors with ease.
Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business.