Website Development Checklist
Creating a top notch website is all about planning and designing. Web savvy entrepreneurs know that planning the right kind of content will bring the right kind of traffic. Advanced entrepreneurs know that designing appealing brand visuals is the key to encourage visitors to take action. Here is a checklist for developing and designing a successful website with a powerful brand. The more items you can check off, the more successful your site will be.
Client Attraction Images Banner with images of ideal clients doing what they love to do/images of completed projects. Banner must use less than a third of the above the fold space to allow space for copy and call to action.
Well Written Copy driving prospects to hire your firm. Copy should speak to BENEFITS first and features last.
Call to Action on every page in a graphic, graphic links to the contact page with only four fields to complete. Tell prospects what to do next or they will do nothing: "Contact Me Today to Discuss Your Project" or "Contact me Today for a Complimentary Portfolio Review."
Subscription Box to capture visitors and get them into a relationship with your firm.
Client Attraction Device - a free report offered to your ideal clients that will showcase your expertise and encourage them to hire you. Should be offered on a webpage with sales copy and in a PDF format so that prospects can save the report to their computer.
Target Market Boxes with Images – if applicable, images that encourage distinct target markets to take action. See example here on the left side of the page: Gurley LTCI
Contact Information and phone number on every page.
Contact Form – to make it EASY for prospects to contact you. If you only provide an email address your results will be dismal compared with having a contact form. Contact form should include: Name, Phone Number, Email, Project Details (Tell me about your project, including specifics regarding scope, budget, time frame, etc.).
Unique Selling Proposition on the home page "What makes us different?" Tell prospects why they should buy from you over your competition.
Attract Affluent Clients – use terminology to describe your Ideal Client and you will attract them. Read the book: "Attracting Perfect Customers" by Stacy Hall and Brogniez. Review how Suzanne Muusers, a credentialed Business Coach for Financial Advisors uses this strategy here: About Suzanne Muusers
Good Quality Design and Branding – if you are seeking to attract the higher end of the market, good quality design is a MUST. Colors, images, and branding must all work together.
Photo of the Owner on the home page and/or the "About" page. Visitors want to know what you look like and if you seem like a good person. Your photo should show you dressed professionally and smiling in an approachable manner. A photo that is too stiff will turn people off subconsciously.
Logos of professional associations, BBB, and other credibility boosters.
Credit Card logos if applicable. This also provides credibility.
Testimonials – showcase satisfied customers with testimonials placed throughout your site, not on a testimonial page. Use actual photos to make the person real. Financial advisors can use Case Studies to maintain compliance.
Video Clip or audio clip on home page – this gets bonus points because prospects have a preferred way of learning – reading, listening, or watching. The more options you provide the better your results. Bonus for SEO – the search engines love video.
Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Show that you are current with your marketing by providing links to your social networking sites.
Easy Layout and Navigation – drop down menus, pleasing visuals, etc. You must make it easy for visitors to navigate your site.
Plenty of White Space to go easy on the eyes. The subconscious mind is easily confused. Too much content in a small space and they may leave your site.
Search Engine Optimization – unique page titles that describe the page content, keyword meta tags, description meta tags. This is a MUST HAVE!
Optimized Images – images that load quickly must be optimized for the web to speed up loading time. You will get bonus points from the search engines.
Google Analytics – in order to know how and why visitors are coming to your site, you need analytics on every page of your website so that you can determine what you're doing right so you can do more and what needs to change so that you do less of that. Review the report weekly and discuss with your coach or web developer.
About the Author: Dana W. Ball, The Art Guy, is the creator of The Branded Business™, a design process that helps clients sell more of their products or services by illustrating their benefits through branding across print and web. Visit www.ArtGuyCreative.com to learn more.