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#TopTips: Setting up a Website for Your Creative Business

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On Tuesday 2nd April we hosted a workshop on ‘Setting up a Website for your Creative Business’ kindly facilitated by Lizi Daley head of web at Kaizen Brand Evolution.

It was a fantastic workshop with loads of really useful information, here are our top takeaways:

General tips

  • Your website is as or more important than social media – for having a professional image, a reliable service that won’t suffer uncontrolled network problems and for sharing basic info – opening hours etc
  • The look and feel of your website is as important as its function. Your website is an extension of your brand and it’s important to give the best first impression you can
  • It takes on average 5 seconds for people to make a decision on a brand from a website (test yours out with friends and ask them what the first they saw was)
  • Have a keyword focused headline on the Homepage
  • Keep it simple & consistent – don’t make your users think keep it easy to navigate with important info clear on the landing page
  • Keep your website up-to-date for consistency and for ranking high in Google
  • Your narrative should change and reflect consumer behaviours and evolve with the web.

 

Web content

  • Do your research and think about your content in advance
  • Map out your journey – ask yourself who your target customer is (location, age, gender, income & hobbies) and what they would want to see
  • For site planning use post it notes or online platforms such as Gloo Maps for planning your site and content
  • Establish your goals – what is the role of the website – to inform? To sell a product or service? To generate leads?
  • This will define how you communicate with the audience through your website
  • What are the functions you require? Both now and in the future e.g. online shop, contact details, blog
  • Use a maximum of 600 – 700 words per page
  • Make sure headers make sense to your customers
  • Write in plain English
  • Think about how your write your content and the language you use to appeal to your target customers and fit with your brand
  • Get your content double checked by someone else

Colours

  • Think about your brand colours and consistency of colours and what colours will appeal to your audience
  • Try and maintain this consistency across social media
  • Use colours for call to actions

Images

  • Images are more important than words – users read 20% of text
  • Homepage images are most important
  • People like to see the people behind a business so add pics to the meet the team page
  • Try and use professional or good quality pics
  • Make sure images are not too big as they can slow the page down and use up hosting space – use software such as tinypng to resize the images but keep the quality
  • Free stock photos can be sourced from unsplash and similar platforms but be careful about just using stock photos as they can be off-putting
  • Plan your images in advance so there is no hold-up in the site going live

Blogs

  • Blogs are excellent for seo, google prefers recently updated websites
  • Blogs are also useful for getting people on your website from social media
  • Blogs should be no more than 600 words and done preferably a minimum of once a month

 

Technical tips

Different Web Platforms

  • WordPress – is good for blogging, and for plugins, Woocommerce can be used for selling online online without the need to move to a different platform. Beware though hosting with WordPress can be expensive so its often better to host your site with an independent hosting provider
  • Squarespace – is simple and straightforward to use and a good entry level platform with hosting and support all in one place
  • Shopify – is ideal for selling online, there are only a small amount of free templates, but it is an easy platform for web developers to work with

Domains

  • For professional email address
  • Try and buy .com or .co.uk addresses if possible for a professional image and so competitors ca’t redirect to their site
  • If you are using 2 words together in a domain name ensure the 2 words together don’t make 1 word (either something dodgy sounding or just confusing for your customers)

Hosting

Think about using local company for customer service and trouble shooting

Google Analytics

Regularly use google analytics to see which pages are popular, where traffic comes from and the best times for social media/offers etc

Google Search Console

Use to get your site recognised with Google, establish problems on your pages and get it ranked well on Google

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