So you have to create and design a successful website, but you don’t currently have the funds to outsource this to a professional?
No big deal! That’s exactly how my first website was built, too.
I can still remember secretly trying to figure out WordPress on my way-too-old laptop. My plan was to build an amazing website to convince my husband that starting my own virtual assistant business was a great idea.
We had an 8-month old in daycare, and I was completely fed up with the constant stress. And the fact that I hated what I was spending eight hours of my day doing.
I was desperado to find another way to make this all work. So, with my website built a week or so later, I somehow convinced my husband that this was the right move.
Now keep in mind that I said my website was built. Not that it was necessarily done right or optimized in any way, shape or form.
But fast-forward to now where I’ve built Lady Boss Studio into a million dollar business. I wanted to share a few things I’ve picked up along the way that have helped make our website so effective.
Let’s dive into the 7 things every website needs to be successful.
1. Keep Your Brand Identity Consistent
How many times can one person say the same thing over and over? Well, let’s not count it for now, okay?
Your brand identity needs to stay consistent throughout your website.
What does that mean? It means using the same fonts, color palette, image style, logos etc…
Every page on your website should look like it belongs and not be questionable in terms of it matching your branding.
If you start distracting your customer because things don’t look right or if they have to spend time questioning why your website looks half-finished, you’re leaving doubt in their mind.
And when you leave doubt in their mind, you guessed it… They are much less likely to buy from you or hire you for your amazing services.
So start by nailing down your branding identity.
If you don’t do this first, I can guarantee you will lose hours on your website. Trying to figure out which colors and fonts to use, where, and you’ll likely end up switching it all up again later.
If your brand identity is something that you’re struggling with – don’t forget our Instant Brand Blueprint at just $27 is totally here to save the day for you.
It will take away all of the overwhelm of deciding on all of the brand identity pieces you need to flawlessly execute a consistent brand identity on your website.
If your website is already live and out in the world, now’s the time to do a quick audit and make sure you’re sticking on brand from start to finish.
2. Use An SSL Certificate
You might be thinking, “What the heck is an SSL certificate?”
Have you ever noticed when you hop on certain sites that Google Chrome will let you know that you’re not on a secure website?
That’s because that website doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed. Without getting too techy, it’s just an added layer of security that you can add to your website to protect the user’s information.
This can be especially important if you’re also selling products on your website.
Personally, I would install an SSL certificate regardless of selling products as I don’t want any users hopping onto my website and being concerned.
If you’re wondering how to easily tell if a website has an SSL certificate or not, click above where the URL of this website is, notice how you’ll see “https” at the beginning?
The “s” at the end of http lets you know that there is an SSL certificate. If our website just started with http://www.ladybossstudio.com, you would instantly know that it didn’t have one.
So now onto your next question, how do I make this happen for my website?
Well, that depends. If you’re creating a website using WordPress, then you want to speak with your hosting company – like Siteground or Bluehost or Rocket.
If your website is on a third party platform like Squarespace or Wix, then you should be able to get that set up through them or through your domain name provider (if you didn’t purchase the domain through them).
No matter which platform you build your website on, just make sure you don’t forget about making it as secure as possible for your potential customers and readers.
3. Keep Your Website Clear and Concise
I can’t even tell you how many websites I’ve been on where I literally couldn’t figure out what the website was about or what the person was selling.
You can absolutely get cute and fancy with the design and graphics on your website, but keep your words clear and concise.
If I have to waste brain power on trying to figure out what it is you do and how it helps me, chances are I’ll be moving on pretty darn quick.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure that the hero statement on your homepage (literally the first part of the page under your menu) is extremely clear.
It should tell people “who you help and how you help them”. You don’t need to be cute, you don’t need to poetic. Keep it as simple as possible.
While you might find that to be a little boring, it will go a much longer way in terms of getting people to stick around and wanting to do business with you.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll take more business and more success over sounding cute any day of the week!
4. Always Optimize For SEO
Look, I know that some of these topics are not that interesting or sexy. I’m right there with you.
But this is one of those things that can have a major impact, and I promise you it’s not that difficult.
So, let’s go back to basics for a quick second – what is SEO?
It stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s the process of optimizing the content on your website so that it’s more likely to be found when someone uses a search engine like Google.
The more optimized your content is – the higher it will show up in those results. It’s the difference between ending up on page 1 of a google search or page 10.
Pssst… no one ever makes it to page 10.
So how do you actually optimize for SEO? Well, there are actually many, many ways.
And the easiest way is to use a plugin called Yoast SEO – when you’re creating your website with WordPress.
It will automatically grade your SEO on every page and post and let you know how you can do better.
You’ll also get a green smiley face once that page or post meets their standard for good SEO. Who doesn’t want to strive for the green smiley face?
And even if you’re not building your website on WordPress, you can still learn so much about how to do SEO properly on their website. It’s chock-full of helpful tips.
Please don’t underestimate the power of SEO when it comes to your website.
5. Keep Your Text Conversational
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left a blog post or a website because of the massive chunks of text in front of me.
People are information skimmers. They want to be able to easily skim through information so they only have to pay attention to the parts they need.
They’re not going to ready through a massive paragraph of text to try and find that golden nugget of information. They will just move on and try to find that information somewhere else.
Let’s not make them do that.
This was a big learning curve for me that I figured out when I was about 10 blog posts deep. I realized that all of the blog posts I loved and read – and actually learned from – were being delivered in a much more digestible format.
So please, do what you can to forget those highschool or college essays and write your content conversationally, just like I’m doing now.
Try not to go beyond two sentences without hitting that enter button and starting a new line.
Your audience will be able to enjoy your content more, but it will also make them feel more connected – like the two of you are literally having a conversation.
And when your audience feels more connected to you, they will be a lot more likely to stick around and come back for more.
6. Use A Larger And Darker Font
Maybe I’m just setting myself up to sound like an old lady here, but please don’t make me squint or struggle to read your content.
This is especially true in blog posts and on sales pages.
I ended up on someone’s blog post last week (person will remain unnamed) and the blog post was written in light grey font.
Now that color is probably totally on brand – but who cares if you can’t read the darn information?
Use black or really dark grey/blue, please do not use a light color.
Please also consider upping the font size front the standard size on your website theme/platform.
We bump our font size up to size 18 on desktop. Maybe that’s necessary for everyone, but here’s the difference between size 14 and 18.
Call me an old lady all you want – but I’ll choose the larger font every day of the week.
I also feel like it’s a safe bet to say that I’m not the only one.
So make it easy on your people to read, digest and fall in love with your content!
7. Keep Your CTAs and Links Consistent.
You’ve likely heard this many times before, but I’m going to take it one step further.
All of your call-to-action buttons and the links on your website should be consistent. Meaning it should be very clear for your readers to differentiate between regular text and buttons or links you want them to click.
A lot of people think that this means they need to have a really bright color within the branded palette that they can use for their CTAs and link.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. Can the brighter color help? Absolutely. But you’re not going to throw in a big, bold bright color into your soothing color palette just for the sake of it.
Instead, you just need to be strategic.
Pick one of your brand colors (usually the one that stands out the most) and only use that color for your buttons and links.
Don’t use it anywhere else on your website. Make it very clear to your audience that when they see that color on something, it’s because they are being called to take action and click.
You can then also translate that same idea over to your other marketing material and further train your audience.
Because as we all know, consistency is always key.
So now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s do a quick recap of the 7 THINGS EVERY WEBSITE NEEDS to be successful.
- Keep your brand identity consistent
- Use an SSL certificate
- Keep your website clear and concise
- Always optimize for SEO
- Keep your text conversational
- Use a larger and darker font
- Keep your CTAs and links consistent
Did anything stand out from the list above? Is there something that you’re like “oh crap”, I need to make that happen ASAP?
If so, we would love for you to let us know in the comments below!
And if you haven’t already joined us in our Boss in Business Membership, CLICK HERE! You will have full access to our Website Academy Course INCLUDED in Membership or you can purchase it separately, here.