How to plan your website content
So, you’re building a website! How exciting. Whether you’re planning to DIY your site or work with a designer, one thing everyone needs is a solid plan for what information is going to be on your site. There is so much to consider, which can be overwhelming, but I have some tips for ways to make it more digestible.
First, you’ll want to consider the following items:
Who is your audience? Ultimately, this is who needs to love your site! Knowing who these people are, what their needs and struggles are, and how you are uniquely equipped to serve them is paramount in making decisions for your website.
What is the #1 action you want users to take on your site? Surely there will be many things you’ll hope they do, but upon a first visit, what is your top wish? It could be signing up for your email list through an opt-in offer, clicking over to follow you on social media, scheduling a consultation call, and so on. Whatever it is, make this an option on every page and make it clear how to take that action.
What pages will your site need? Making a list of pages is the first step in creating the content for those pages. A few examples include: welcome them (Homepage), share what you are selling (Services or Products), share your story and how you can help them (About), how to get in touch (Contact). You’ll also want to have a goal in mind for each of these pages.
Next, think about the kind of information you need to share on each page. Here are some examples:
Homepage: This is your first impression for many site visitors. You want to provide a clear overview of what your business does, who you are, and how you can help your clients solve their problems. Give clear call to action to point them down the path you’d like them to follow, and make it easy to do it!
About: It can help to think about this page like a sales page. You want to share what your story is and why you started your business, but ultimately, you’re identifying who you serve and how you will help them or improve something for them.
Services: This is where you cover the details of your services (obviously). The most important thing on this page is to talk about what they will receive, with a clear before (their problem) and after (their result). Since a service isn’t a physical product, make the value as tangible as possible help your visitor understand what you are offering.
Social proof: This is also known as testimonials or a highlight of press you’ve received. Your past results help demonstrate your value, and show that other people have already entrusted you. You can share stories from past clients about their experiences working with you, rave reviews from your Facebook page, sites or publications where you’ve been featured, or any other positive words people have shared with you.
Contact: Use this page for information about how and when to contact you. Use a form to collect any pertinent data that you need to start the process of working together. You can also use this section as a place where someone can immediately book a call with you to see if you’re a good fit.
There are a few other items to consider when planning out that content. Make sure to think about:
Do you have a brand identity? Your brand style guide is your roadmap to the visual details of your website. You’ll need a logo, of course, but that’s just the start. You want details about your brand fonts, colors, and visual style that will help inform decisions while building your site. This system is also what helps you create cohesion on all of your channels and in everything you produce for your brand!
Do you need to hire a photographer or copywriter? It can feel overwhelming to start organizing all your content, and hiring someone can help. Your time is worth something, and bringing in someone else can be a huge help! A copywriter can help you translate all the scattered thoughts in your mind into clear copy for your site and find that perfect brand voice. If you need headshots, ask someone local to you! Investing in photography is always a good idea. Ideally, you want this all done before you begin the web design process because photos can truly make or break your site.
What accounts do you need to set up? Once your website is built, it will need to connect other places, like your email for the contact form, your newsletter service for opt-ins (like MailChimp or Converkit), and social media accounts. If you are starting a new website, make sure to purchase your domain name (the URL of your site, such as mywebsiterules.com) and set up hosting for your site if you’re on WordPress. With Squarespace, you’ll simply need to set up your subscription to use their service.
Building a website can be a daunting process, but when you have a strong plan with goals in place, it will become much more manageable.