Most startups know that their website is an essential tool for validating their business model and growing their company, and yet many startups fail to invest the time, expertise, and effort necessary to create a great site. In doing so, they unintentionally sabotage their business. We’d like your website to be different, and this article is one of the ways we can help.
So, why is your website so important?
Well, for many potential customers, your website will be their first point of contact with your business, and, as we all know, first impressions count. What these visitors see when they come to your site will set the tone for every future interaction.
Investing time and effort into the structure and content of your website can make the difference between growing beyond the startup phase or fading into obscurity. It’s that important.
8 ACTIONS SUCCESSFUL STARTUPS TAKE WHEN BUILDING THEIR BUSINESS
We’ve come up with our top 8 action items to help you build a great website and avoid some of the most common stumbling blocks:
Define What Action You Want Website Visitors To Take
It’s not enough to just have a website: you need one that actively supports your business. What is the one action you want a visitor to take that will help your business succeed? Do you want them to pre-order or make a purchase? Or should they be signing up to a waiting list or newsletter? Perhaps you want them to book a consultation or register their place on a webinar.
If you don’t know what you want your customers to do, they certainly won’t have a clue! Define your goal and design your website with it in mind.
Make It Easy For Visitors To Take Action
Whichever goal you chose (it may change with time), you need to actively design your website to encourage visitors to take the desired action. This means providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision, providing value to build trust in your brand, and giving them the opportunity to take action.
You’ll need content that explains your product or service’s features, and (more importantly) its benefits to that consumer. You’ll also need to pre-empt and disarm any potential objections and provide the technical means for taking action: it doesn’t matter how good your product is if they can’t order it.
Focus and Prioritize – What Does Your Website Need Now?
It’s a common mistake to believe that a website needs to be fully-formed and contain dozens of pages before its ready for launch. This attitude will only delay you: the quicker your website is up, the quicker it can help your business grow.
You’ll need a Homepage and an About Us page, and you’ll need whatever mechanisms are necessary to enable visitors to take action, but that’s about it. Don’t get bogged down writing blog posts or other pages before launch.
Embrace Iterative Design
Just because you’re launching your website with the bare minimum number of pages doesn’t mean it should stay that way. Startups move fast, and so should your website. You’ll be growing and changing and learning as your business expands, and your website should move with you. Update it regularly to reflect your new ideas, features, and products.
Clearly Explain Your Value Proposition
Consumers don’t buy products or sign up for services that they don’t understand. You must clearly explain your value proposition on the homepage, above the fold, so that first-time visitors can understand what you do.
Many businesses break this guideline, but that’s because they’re not startups anymore. You do not have the luxury of an established brand or presence in your market, and cannot take it for granted that visitors will know why they should pay attention to you.
Use Social Proof To Showcase The Value You Provide
You’ve clearly explained how great your startup’s services or products are, but of course you’d say that. And every other startup is doing exactly the same. Sometimes it takes a little more to set you apart from the crowd.
Social proof can make the difference and help your startup stand out. Use testimonials, reviews, and case studies to enable your customers to sell your startup for you. In many cases, a single positive recommendation from an existing customer can provide more than an entire paragraph of your own words.
Consider Getting Professional Help
Building in-house is, on the surface, cheaper, but it comes with a substantial opportunity cost. You and your team should be focused on growing your business using your unique skills and insights, not learning how to create a website.
This isn’t the time to take half-measures: the design of your website is critical to the success of your business. The fonts, images, logo, layout, and color scheme will all affect how successfully your website converts visitors into taking action: a professional design team can ensure every aspect of your website is optimized from the beginning.
Create a Plan For Marketing Your Website
A website with no traffic is pointless. How are you going to get them there? You need a plan. It is unlikely that you can spend nothing and exact to gain lots of revenue or new users; the websites and services that go viral are outliers, not the rule.
Inbound marketing is slow. Social is quicker, and paid advertising is quicker still. Don’t spend your entire budget creating your website, only to have no way of marketing it. A smaller website with a bigger budget for generating traffic is better than a sprawling website that no-one will see.
DO YOU NEED HELP DEVELOPING YOUR STARTUP’S WEBSITE?
We provide personalized design services especially for startups, helping them to increase their profitability through skilled design. Our services include eCommerce development, UX and website design.
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