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  • Writer's pictureJhelum Anikhindi

Getting ready to build your small business website? Make sure you have these ready!

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

In today's digital age, a website is often the first impression your business gives to potential customers. Whether done in-house or through a professional, creating your small business website requires a collaborative effort to ensure your brand's essence is captured effectively. Here's a comprehensive guide on what you should have ready or be willing to work on when embarking on this journey:


1. Goals & Objectives


Before diving into the design or content, it's crucial to define the primary goals of your website. Do you want to inform, sell products, generate leads, or establish a community? Having clear objectives will guide the design process and content strategy. It is also important to decide if you want to build a mobile first website or a responsive website.


2. Branding Guidelines


Your website should be a digital reflection of your brand. Ensure you have:

  • Logo Assets: Provide high-resolution versions of your logo, preferably in vector format. If you have variations of your logo (horizontal, vertical, monochromatic), include them all.

  • Color Palette: Clearly specify the primary and secondary colors associated with your brand, along with the hex codes.

  • Typography: Detail the fonts used in your branding, including specifics like weight and style.

3. Quality Imagery


A picture is worth a thousand words, primarily online. Prepare:

  • Generic Imagery: Your website needs more than just product photos to showcase your brand's offerings, ethos, values, or simply to showcase the vibe of your brand!

  • Product Photos: If you sell products, high-quality, consistent images are a must. These should be shot in good lighting and from multiple angles.

  • Team Photos: Personalize your brand by featuring team members, preferably in a professional setting.

  • Videos: If you have product demos, testimonials, or any other relevant videos, ensure they are high quality and formatted correctly.

4. Content and Copy


Content drives engagement and can impact search engine rankings:

  • Content Outline: Plan the pages and sections your website will have. Common pages include Home, About, Services/Products, Testimonials, and Contact. For e-commerce websites, product descriptions and other product-related information like SKU-wise details, pricing plans, ingredients/ materials, how to use, and any such important information that a potential customer might need to make the decision to purchase.

  • Drafted Copy: Even if you plan to hire a copywriter, prepare basic content pointers or drafts. It gives the writer insight into your brand's voice and offerings.

  • Blogs/Articles: If you plan on having a blog, prepare a few posts in advance. This ensures your blog has content from day one.

5. User Experience (UX) and Design Inspiration

Share websites you admire or specific design elements you'd like to incorporate. While your designer will provide guidance, your input ensures the end result aligns with your vision.

6. Functional Requirements

Detail any specific functionalities your site must have. This could be contact forms, booking systems, e-commerce capabilities, or chatbots. This could also include any integrations like payment gateway, review systems, shipping integration (for e-commerce), and other such custom widget inclusions.

7. SEO Basics

To be visible online, you need to be optimized for search engines:

  • Keywords: List down terms related to your business that potential customers might search for.

  • Meta Descriptions: These short snippets describe the content of your page to search engines. Drafting them in advance can be beneficial.

  • URL Structure: Plan a logical, easy-to-read URL structure.

8. Legal Considerations

Depending on your region or industry, you might need:

  • Privacy Policy: Even if it's a simple contact form, your website needs a privacy policy to clarify how to handle the contact information provided by visitors.

  • Terms & Conditions: For e-commerce sites or sites providing a service.

  • Shipping Policy: For e-commerce sites.

  • Return & Refund Policy: For e-commerce sites or sites providing a service.

  • Disclaimer: If providing advice or opinions.

9. Contact Information

This might seem obvious, but ensure you have detailed contact information ready. This includes physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

10. Analytics and Tracking

Decide on the tools you'd like to use to track website traffic and user behavior. Google Analytics is a popular choice.


Consider your website hosting options along with your monthly/ annual costs, to ensure they match your budgets and requirements. There are multiple options in the market to build e-commerce website especially. From Shopify which costs a premium, to Wix which can be budget and user friendly - you should explore your options beforehand.

Conclusion

Building a small business website is much more than just aesthetics; it's about conveying your brand's story, ethos, and offerings in the most effective way possible. By preparing the aforementioned essentials, you not only make the process smoother but also ensure that the end product resonates with your vision and serves your business goals. Wondering if your website has it all? Book a call with us for a site audit and get a detailed report of your website's health and efficiency.



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