Thinking & Writing About Your New Site

 

Lists to start with

 

Why do you want a website?
 
  • What should this site be doing?

  • What pages do you definitely want, what could come later

  • Sit down and make a flowchart or map out some basics

    • A VERY AWESOME thing to do is to make a "Folder Tree". eg: start with a "MyWebsite" folder, inside that folder are a bunch more folders: "HomePage", "About", "Contact" "Services". Each of these folders contains a document with the text you want on that page, and another folder of the images you want on this page. Make it in Google Drive & you can easily share it with me and anyone else involved in your site design. Like this.

Keywords

 
  • Make a list of words and phrases that people are likely to use when searching for your site

    • Check out top listing of comparable businesses on Google

    • What keywords do your competition use?

 

  • What are they going to enter into Google or Yahoo when your customers are looking for someone like you?

 

Your Customers/Audience
 
  • Who are your customers?  What do they like? Describe them

  • Where else do they shop?  What ‘voice’ appeals to them?

  • How will you contact them; will an email newsletter or physical mailing work better? Are they on Facebook, Pinterest, etc?

  • Who can give you a testimonial or recommendation?

  • What is the range of your work?  Do you have one main area, or would you break it down into different areas?

 

What else is relevant?
 
  • Do you need matching business cards or flyers to streamline your branding?

 

What other products should we be thinking about designing for, or building into the website: (eg: email subscription for visitors who’d like to get your eNewsletter, a countdown for a fundraising event, create vouchers, etc)

 

  • Do you have a blog, or want one?

 

 

Formatting:
 

A webpage is formatted differently than a word processing document.

  • A layout like this page is good for sharing information for your website (bold heading, plain text, no fancy stuff).

  • Make a separate document for each webpage that we’ve decided on.

  • You can use the tab button when you are creating a document and saving it as a PDF - don’t use it for text that you want to be on your webpages. Keep everything neurotically organized and labelled and you will be so happy with yourself later. I will too!

 

Webpage vs. downloadable PDF
 

A webpage is something a potential customer can glance at, get info, and find out what to do next. Keep each page as simple and clean as possible.  Make a PDF if you have lots of information that they might want to save, or print off and refer to later. You can have an excerpt on a webpage, with a link next to it for the downloadable PDF. If they want it, they’ll get it. If they don’t, don’t put it in their way.

 

Pics

Jpegs take up less room than png files.  Use files with a total size greater than 500KB but less than 10MB.

 

Some guidelines for your pages

 

Home: where first impressions happen

 

Landing place for your site visitors

This is where you’ll welcome and interest your visitors in looking further.

Talk to your customer with "you" rather than "We, or I". It's about them. How do they feel, what do they want, how can you help them get to where they want to be? Describe that process: the benefits of working with you rather than the product you offer.

What we need to have here:

a brief (250-300 words) narrative USING YOUR KEYWORDS about your business: how what you do is good for them, where they should click next

  • You’ll want 1 - 3 good quality pictures.

  • Your logo

  • Business name

  • The look and feel of your business is established here

 

About

 

More info

You are telling visitors what you do, what your company’s values are, and an overview of what you offer and directing them to the next place they want to go. Yes, it is similar to the home page in some ways, but here you are walking them down the hall and giving them more options … lead them deeper into your site.

  • Link to Experience, Testimonials, CV and FAQ pages if appropriate

  • You could include a video snippet, or a sidebar of more pages

 

Services

 

How you do what you do for your customer

This page includes methods, timelines, the steps involved in the process of your full interaction with your customers; tell them what they can expect when they deal with you.

 

Fees

 

How much: A breakdown of costs

  • This may be a sub-page under the “SERVICES” page.

  • Tell your clients your prices, rates, or explain a range of examples that show how you do pricing.

 
Gallery

 

Show off space, visually!

 

  • Title pictures in a way relevant to content (makes them another searchable item)

  • Give a brief description of each photo, the kind of thing you’d say to a customer if you were showing this to them in person.

  • Limit galleries to approximately 20 pieces/gallery.

  • Each picture should be larger than 500KB, less than10MB.

  • Include dimensions with artwork.

 

 

CV/Resume

 

A short web version for your mobile site, a long web version, a downloadable PDF:

We tend to have multiple copies of our CV.  Pick one, make sure it is correct, and then make a formatted version that can be saved as your PDF. Also have a “no-tabs” version that can copy over easily for web formatting (its different).  And do the same for a short version if you want one.  Save the word processing and PDF file versions in a nice neat folder all by themselves. Label them clearly so you can find them later.  If you update them make sure you update all copies and save new files with new names.

 

  • You may wish to include video excerpts, links to YouTube, sound files

 

 

Contact

 

That which is necessary for your business.

Phone, email, fax, address, billing address, social media (Facebook, Pinterest etc), location map, email contact form, invite users to subscribe to your eNewsletter.

 

 

Remain Calm

 

Your site is yours.

You can start off small, you might map out all these big ideas then think “Whoa! That’s way too much to deal with!”  Maybe it is. 

Take things in smaller chunks and figure out what your priorities are. Start with a good plan, design it in a way that you can grow. We can do 3 pages now, you can add another 5 next year. You can hire me for the design process then do the rest yourself, or provide all the info & I’ll just check in with you for confirmations.

 

You can do all of this yourself, if you want. Check out wix.com for more info.

 

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