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Preparing Your Website Content

To build a personalized, custom website, we'll need to gather your content and make some critical decisions - like your business name, to start! I'm here to help you through this process. Below is a content checklist to get you thinking. Your copy is the most important piece (see Tips to Writing Effective Copy blog post). I am happy do your copywriting if needed. Please reach out with any questions!



COPY

Website copy is all the written content that navigates the reader through your site. Good copy engages the reader, solves their problem, and leads them to taking an action (booking your service/buying your product/applying to your program).  I help guide, edit, and provide tips to writing your copy - if you need a copy writer - I am available for $40/hour or I can recommend professionals. 



PHOTOS

High quality, professional photos are ideal for building your brand, creating a visually pleasing and relevant story, and boosting your "conversions" (whether a viewer books your service, etc). If you don't have professional photos - don't fret - we can use stock photos.  Here are a few tips I use for choosing photos for your website:

  1. Use emotional images. People make decisions with their emotions, and back things up later with logic.

  2. When in doubt (and if relevant) go human - because humans love connecting with other humans!

  3. Always have your target reader in mind - avoid choosing images just because you like them. Ask yourself: Will this image help my reader understand the content? Will this image further my message or be a distraction? Am I in love with this image, or does it actually add value?

  4. Choose photos that support your goal. Just because images improve conversions doesn’t mean you should populate your site with random images. You need to be strategic with your image choice and placement.

  5. Be careful when selecting stock photos - there are a lot of free stock photo sites with images that don’t give off the stock photo feel. Here are a few of our favorites:



DOMAIN

Now's the time to choose a domain. (NOTE: Please don't go and buy a domain before discussing with me first - this can cause issues and delay.) If you don't have a solid business name, I recommend using your name www.meredithcooley.com. Down the road, you can pivot your business on a name domain and thus keep your SEO rankings. Be your brand. Let's discuss.



CONTACT INFO

Having your contacts (phone, email, address, etc) listed on your site builds trust with clients and offers a better user experience. There's nothing more frustrating than being unable to get in touch with a human. Now's the time to:

  • Determine how you want potential clients to contact you. 

  • Create a business email address that reflects the name of your business and makes sense.  I recommend starting a gmail account that directly reflects your business name and is easy to spell and say.

  • Determine your location - physical site, online or both

  • Social contacts - Facebook/WhatsApp, etc



SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

You'll need to email me all the links (URLs) to your social media sites to connect them to your website.  I can also embed your social media into your site. Social media "embedding" is the integration of your social media posts and profiles with your website. It can be used to let your customers know you have a social media presence, increases engagement. If you want Facebook or Instagram feeds embedded in your site - I will need access to your account and password - I'll take this info over the phone and then you change your passwords for your security.



TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials serve as proof that your service or product will be valuable to the consumer. Testimonials build trust and create an emotional connection. They work like referrals, and can help explain the benefits of your services and how they work. If you don't have testimonials - now is a good time to make the ask!



MEDIA/VIDEO/PODCASTS

If you anticipate having a decent amount of video content - I recommend using a video hosting site like YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, or Facebook because the more bandwidth & storage you use on a website the more $$ you're charged per month.  Most video host sites allow private content and are FREE (up until a point).   Check out this article for more information: https://kinsta.com/blog/video-hosting/



PAYMENT & SCHEDULING APPS

Decide how you want customers to schedule and pay for your services or products. There are a ton of great apps out there (including Wix your website platform) - so do some research and find what works for you. Many of my clients use Square.com and I am available to help set you up on Square or Wix for scheduling and payments.



SERVICE/PRODUCT DETAILS

You'll need to determine the costs, session/appt lengths, membership dues, subscription costs and process, tuition costs, deadlines to apply, product variations, gift card options, etc. so they can be displayed on your site.



FORMS/INTAKES/POLICIES/APPLICATIONS

Make all your forms and policies available on your site for your clients' convenience.  Your website can serve as an organizational hub for you too.  If you consistently refer to certain practitioners or recommend certain books - we can add a "bookshelf" or "referrals" page. You'll need to gather this info and email to me.



INCLUSION STATEMENT

Now's the time to craft your inclusion/equity/diversity statement so people know your business, group, organization is inclusive to all - better yet - share with your viewer the actions your business takes to be inclusive.



SUBSCRIPTIONS/MAILING LISTS

Building an email list is crucial for marketing & growing your business because it's the best way to build a relationship with potential customers in an intimate way. Email subscriptions can build your list and grow your business.



MEMBERSHIP

Membership features on your site can help build a community around your business or organization. Ask me about all the features offered for site members.



BLOG

Blogging is a critical way to drive traffic to your website and increase your SEOs. The more you blog, the more content the search engines have to crawl and index. This means they can easily recognize that your site is a resource of information for people to access. This drives more people to your site.  Let's discuss how you'd like to set up a blog - I highly recommend this feature if you're up for it!



OTHER FEATURES

There are many features you can add to your site: a shop, live chat, events organizer, password-only or members-only pages, subscriptions, shared member gallery, pop-up lightboxes, etc.  Adding features makes your website more dynamic and convenient for the user BUT it also means more for you to manage.  It's a balancing act.  Ask me about features that might make your life easier and we'll discuss!

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