10 Steps To A Complete Website: A Website Content Checklist

website content checklistLaunching or redesigning a website can be an overwhelming project. When laying out your website, it is important to define your website’s objective – who is your target audience and what is it you want to tell them about your business? You also want to focus on the value you bring to your audience. To do this successfully you need the following:

1) Home Page

Your home page is a visitor’s first impression of your business. It should not be cluttered, it should have appealing graphics or professional photos that are inline with your marketing objectives, and it should clearly present what value your product or service can provide. Make what it is you are selling obvious.

2) About Page

This is your opportunity to summarize your experience and/or education; and because your About Page is about you, make sure to include your personality in your description. The more authentic you are, the more people will want to buy from you.

3) Contact Page

When thinking about your Contact Page ask yourself:

  • How should someone contact you?
  • What is your preferred method of being contacted? I.e., email, phone, in-person or all of the above.
  • Do you want to have a contact form on your website or just an e-mail address (or both)?
  • Are your contact methods convenient for your customers?

Your Contact Page should be easy to find from every page of your website – because the easier you are to find, the more inclined someone will be to contact and buy from you.

If you have a brick and mortar business, this may also be a good page to include your address as well as hours of operation.

4) Services/Products/Menu Page

What is it you want people to buy from you? Whether it is a service, product or a visit to your store or restaurant, this information should be clear. This page is your chance to showcase what it is you have to offer. Make sure the products on this page are strictly yours (no third party advertisements!). If a product is only available online or in-store, or if some food items are only available for dining room patrons only, make that information clear.

5) Rates/Prices 

If you are selling a service outline how your pricing works and if you do not want to list prices on your website make sure visitors know how they can easily obtain a quote.

If you are selling a product online, make sure the price is clearly listed and that any extras, such as taxes, shipping, etc. are indicated.

If you are posting a restaurant menu, you do not have to list the prices, but instead direct people to your contact page and ask them to contact you for more specific pricing information.

6) Blog

A blog page is a great way to keep your audience cognizant about new products or services that you are offering, but in an informal manner. It is also a place to write about industry trends or anything else that relates to your business. By posting consistently on your blog you are telling people that you up date your website frequently and therefore all the information there is valid and current. A blog also affirms your credibility and knowledge for what it is you do and/or the services you provide.

7) Media Page 

Has your business or products been featured in print, television or on the radio? Have you written a guest post on another company’s blog or been interviewed on a podcast? A Media Page is where you list the links to all relevant media spots that help boost your business’ credibility.

8) Graphics

A professionally designed logo, banners, and any other relevant graphics should be given to your website designer. All graphics should be consistent with your messaging and match your branding (as well as match any graphics that appear on any of your social media networks). A website that is visually appealing is more likely to retain a visitor longer.

9) Social Media Links

Where can people find you other than on your website? It is important to include each pertinent social media icon/link on the footer or header of your website. This includes, but is not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Periscope.

10) Newsletter Signup

Once someone has visited your website how can you keep in contact with them and include them in your sales funnel? Make sure your website has a call-to-action, such as a newsletter signup graphic that includes an enticing heading stating WHY someone would want to be on your mailing list – what value do you have to offer them?

When designing your website remember that no one likes to be confused. Keep your website simple yet make sure it contains all of the necessary information that your client needs to buy from you – and to ensure they will continue to buy from you time and time again.

 

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Innovation in U website designed with mobile users in mind

Innovation in U is a new business that changes the way that individuals, organizations, and communities think and grow.   “Innovation in U is a story of re-connecting to what really matters. Two brothers. Two separate journeys. Two different adventures. One discovery – leadership is about inspiring people to dream more, learn more, become more and do more. It is about co-creating the right climate for us to thrive and make a difference in the world.”

James and John Turk wanted were very clear with the look and feel of their website vision. James met with us several times to work directly in making adjustments and tweaks. His goal was to make the website look its best on a mobile device, while also assuring the site is modern, dynamic and visually appealing.

We incorporated a background video. Background videos focus on enticing the visitor from the moment they land on your page. The design is flat with larger text, large images and uses a hamburger menu, so the navigation bar does not take away from the design.

Sometimes our clients know exactly what they want and it is our job to make that vision a reality, while also giving our expert advice on what will work well and be best for the end user.

Visit the website here, http://innovationinu.com/

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New website for Restyled Spaces & Home Staging Company

We are happy to announce the launch of the new website for Restyled Spaces & Home Staging Company!

Restyled Spaces is a new business created by Heather Sorgat of Ottawa. Heather recently received honours in both Home Staging – Residential Decor program at Algonguin College, and her Canadian Staging Professional designation. Now she is embarking in the entrepreneurial world, and we welcome her.

Sitting down with Heather and reviewing a creative brief with her, we were able to see her vision and design a website that means her goals and represents her brand. Since it is a very visual business, we wanted to ensure that large clear beautiful photos were used, key marketing messages were clear,  the website was fresh and stylish, yet still easy to navigate.

Before and After photo galleries were an import aspect, as well as the ability to blog and have a website that could grow with her, as her business grew. The website is fully mobile responsive and dynamic in design.

I look forward to getting some styling advice from Heather on our new office space. 🙂

Visit her website to review her current projects: http://restyledspaces.ca/

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Innovation in U Logo Design

Innovation in U Logo Design

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5 Tips to Using Instagram for Business

instagrammarketingBefore the existence of smartphones a social network app such as Instagram, which is a visual social platform in which users share pictures and short videos, would not have been such an active social network. Smartphones and other portable digital devices have made sharing visual content easy, less time consuming and a necessity for many small businesses.

Instagram currently has more than 400M active users many of whom could be a part of your target audience, but many small business owners hesitate because they don’t know how to effectively use Instagram for business. Other than making sure you have a smartphone capable of 1) taking quality photos and 2) is able to install and run the Instagram app, here are 5 tips to capitalizing your business’ presence on Instagram:

  • Create a professional profile: As with any social network, your profile is a visitor’s first impression of who you are and what your business is all about. Make sure your profile image represents your brand i.e., your logo or your face and that your username is recognizable i.e., your business name or closest to it depending if another user has that name.Your profile description should also represent your brand and have a call-to-action, such as a link to your website. For example, if you are a shoe store in Carleton Place then you should state that: “CP Shoes is a leader in footwear fashion in Carleton Place since 1984. Visit us at CPshoes.ca”
  • Balance business-related images with more personal images: Loyal followers and those interested in your business niche will likely follow and engage with images from your business, but to attract new followers as well as to create a sense of community, you should share an equal balance of business and personal images. Using the shoe store example, they could easily share images of their latest rain boot arrival, but they could also personalize it by taking a fun picture of him or her self or another staff member wearing the rain boots while standing out in the rain.
  • Mix videos with images: Some followers will prefer images over video and vice versa, so having a nice mix keeps everyone happy. Videos on Instagram are only 15-seconds long, which make them the perfect length for a new-product unveiling or launch, to share a quick tip or to just share something personal such as a beautiful sunrise. Videos help build community by telling your clients you care enough about them to take the time to share brief moments throughout your day.
  • Engage with followers: Pay attention to who is following you and take some time each day or week to click on their profiles. If they live nearby, are a regular client or are in an area of business that is similar to or compliments your own then follow them back and engage with them by liking or commenting on their Instagram posts. This will help build your following and online community.
  • Use hashtags: Hashtags play an important role on Instagram. Not only are hashtags a great way to organize your own posts, but to be found by potential followers. Again, using the shoe store as an example, if they regularly post when a new product arrives in store they could consistently use the hashtag #CPJulyArrivals and every month change the hashtag to coincide with that month’s new arrivals. This way customers could click on that hashtag to see all of the posts pertaining to new arrivals that month without having to scroll through the store’s entire Instagram feed. Similarly by using hashtags used by other footwear stores or manufacturers anyone searching those hashtags will come across their store’s Instagram account increasing their chances of finding new followers.

Like any social network it is important to post on Instagram on a regular basis. If you make Instagram a part of your social media marketing plan remember that building an audience takes time, but while you are building your audience take the time to explore how other like-minded businesses are using Instagram and engage with others – you may be surprised at how fast your Instagram community will grow.

Are you using Instagram for your business now? If so, what type of posts have worked well for you?

 

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