We recently talked about how to make your small business website a success in 2013 in our 10 Steps To a Successful Business Website post.
What? You haven’t created a website for your small business yet? You’re not alone. By now, almost every small business owner is aware of the importance of having a website, but many haven’t taken the plunge yet because they feel overwhelmed by the process. One of the best ways to combat this is to break it down into small steps and collect everything you’ll need before you tackle your new site.
Procrastinate no more — here is your comprehensive website content checklist:
1. A great domain name. Perhaps you started by creating a free website, like yourbiz.webs.com. That’s a great first step, but you’ll want to consider upgrading to have a more professional domain name, like yourbiz.com.
2. Your logo. If you have the software, make a web-resolution version of your logo (72dpi), or ask your designer to make one for you.
3. A tagline. Have you created a descriptive tagline or slogan for your business? If so, you should find a way to incorporate it into your header or info area.
4. Copy for your Welcome section. You’ll need to write up a brief introductory paragraph for your home page welcoming visitors and telling them what they’ll find on your site.
5. Copy for your About Us section. This text should briefly provide some history about your company or biographical information about you, so customers can begin to connect with you more personally.
6. Contact information. Mailing address, phone number, and your email address. Your email is another great reason to get a custom domain name — so you can have a custom, professional address like firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Map and directions. If you’re creating your site with Webs, it’s easy to put a map on your website — just drag and drop from the toolbar. If not, go ahead and get a embed link through Google Maps prepared. You’ll also want to write up some simple directions for people who are less technologically inclined.
8. Social links. Do you have social profiles? Collect the permanent links to your profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.
9. Photos, photos, photos. Imagery can be a very powerful tool for your website, so go ahead and collect all the images you’ll need so you don’t have to go searching for them when the time comes. Photos of products or services, maybe a headshot of yourself, photos of your location, anything of that sort. Are you an artist or photographer starting a portfolio site? Collect your very best images in a folder and make web-sized versions for quick uploading.
10. Price lists. If you plan to sell online through a web store, finalize your list of items and their prices so you don’t have to go back and make changes twice.
11. Calendar or events. If you have seasonal sales, events, or if you offer services and are already booked for some dates, collect all that information so you can input it into a calendar on your site.
12. First blog entry. If you plan to include a blog section on your new site, you’ll want to go ahead and write your first entry in advance so you won’t end up with an empty blog until you’re ready to write again.
13. FAQ section. Many small businesses will not need this, but if you offer a service or a custom product that some people might have questions about, an FAQ section can keep them from abandoning your site. Spend some time thinking about questions that customers have asked in the past, and write up the best answers to them.
14. Meta tags and site description. This is the information that Google will use to rank your site, and will display to users in their search results. It’s a good idea to go ahead and write out your meta tags and site description, as it’s important and you don’t want to have to do it on the fly.
Can you think of any other suggestions? Include them in the comments below, and happy site building!
From our How To Make a Website Series:
How A Blog Can Make Your Small Business Website a Success
Five Commandments For A Great Contact Page
How To Make A Great Website Homepage
Dos and Don’ts of User-Friendly Website Navigation
How To Make A Website: Breaking Down The Pieces
Prepare Yourself: What You Need to Start a Website
Checklist: 10 Steps to a Successful Business Website in 2013
Building a Website: Do It Yourself or Hire A Pro?