Killer tips for building a start-up website
Top 10 tips for planning your start-up website
Every ambitious start-up needs a website and all efforts, no matter how small, should be well-planned and flawlessly executed.
We've outlined some basic steps to creating a functional, usable website that will help get your business ideas off the ground.
Define your keywords
Once you've determined your target market, think about the words customers will use when searching for your services on Google. Consult an online keyword analysis tool for inspiration such as Semrush which provides insight into Google keyword performance and competitor strategies.
Optimise your pages
When you're happy with your keywords, you should ensure that they naturally feature throughout your web copy and avoid keyword stuffing which Google will penalise you for.
You should also include relevant terms within page tiles, descriptions and heading tags and front-load your sentences by putting keywords first. This will enhance your Google visibility and improve the user experience by enabling visitors to quickly identify relevant content.
Keep copy concise
Keep your content short and sweet. Don't waste users' time with jargon and complicated sentences. Instead, use active verbs, short paragraphs and proofread everything you post. Where possible get a second pair of eyes to check your copy.
Include an 'about us' or explainer video
The consumption of video marketing is set to increase as people look for increasingly visual ways to digest information online. This is useful if your product is very technical because the combined visual and audio elements of video will make it easier to get your message across.
Place your video above the fold (the part that is immediately visible without scrolling) on your homepage: the majority of visitors to your site will view it before reading anything else so it's a great way to make a positive, lasting impression.
Feature reviews and trust signals
As a start-up, you need to show potential customers you are a credible company whose product and services they can trust. Do this by asking customers to write a short review of your company on your Google page. Read these tips on setting up a Google My Business page to ensure your profile is fully optimised.
Include an 'in the news' section with press releases and articles which will show that people have vetted your company. Another option is to feature industry-related accreditation badges on your footer to create trust signals about your company to prospects and customers.
Demonstrate your work with case studies
Case studies demonstrate to users how you have helped similar customers address their business needs. By showing real life examples of your work, you are providing a tangible and clear perspective of how your business works.
Include social links
The viral nature of social media makes it a useful way to gain exposure and build brand recognition. Follow these steps to make the most of your social presence:
- feature obvious social media icons on every web page
- include icons on blog posts to give users the option to share your content
- post regularly to show you are an active user
- interact with followers by responding to comments and liking their posts
Read this guide to what and how often to post on social media for advice on the best type of content to share on different channels.
Improve page load time
More people are accessing content from their mobiles but internet speeds on various devices can vary significantly. Keeping your homepage clean and simple can significantly impact your conversion rate: even a one-second delay in page response can reduce conversions by 7%
Optimise your images to a resolution of 72 DPI and compress them using an optimisation tool such as TinyPNG to ensure they load quickly.
Make your site user-friendly
Your website should follow a logical structure that enables users to navigate their way around it with ease. Break large chunks of text into a more readable format by inserting bulleted lists and heading tags. White space is essential to good design - it makes your content more legible and according to Crazy Egg, white space around text and titles increases user attention by 20%.
Custom design a 404 error page
When someone navigates to a page on your site that has been recently removed, or you've inadvertently given an incorrect link, users will be served a default '404 page not found' error page. Why not use this opportunity to treat the 404 page as another potential touchpoint by providing a custom-designed page that reinforces your brand? Here is a great example of a well designed 404 error page.
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JANUARY 2017; UPDATED MAY 2019
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Web Foundry are experts in helping ambitious start-ups get their ideas off the drawing board and online. View some of our inspirational start-up case studies. Feeling inspired and need some advice? Get in touch to see how we can help.
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