The 3 Most Important Pieces To Your Website
You're ready! You know you need a website or to redesign your current website and this is one of those tasks you've figured out you need to outsource. Whoop whoop - good for you! Now, what to do next? How do you figure out what you need for your website? We've got your covered.
These are the three most important pieces of your website - hands down. DO NOT overlook them. Your site has to have all three of these things done really well if you want a website that is 1. taken seriously and 2. of the highest quality.
Gotta have it. It might be THE most important part of your site (and brand!). You have to find photography important and understanding the investment IS an investment. Photography is a massive marketing material. People land on your website because they are there to check you out what you look like and what you sound like. Make a fabulous first impression!
How much should you spend on photography? Well, that's really up to you and your budget. Here's a few recommendations.
- Branded Styled Shoot - hire a photographer that knows brands and marketing photography to for a full branded photoshoot. Our girl, Lauren Pusateri, is the very best at this. However, if you're not in our area (KC!) then shop around and find someone that is similar and works with brand specifically. If you're willing to make the full branded photoshoot investment, don't hire a wedding photography or senior portrait photographer - hire the real deal. When it comes to photography, the saying "you get what you pay for" couldn't be more true. These shoots can be expensive but if you hire the right person - these photos can be used for your website, social media, branding materials, etc. It will be worth it!
- DIY Photography - gather a good friend, a camera and give it a go yourself. This isn't incredibly ideal or the most professional but it gets you off the ground and gives you something that is a bit personalized. Perhaps start here until you're able to go the full branded styled shoot route. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to LEARN which we all know is valuable as an entrepreneur.
- Stock - purchase images online that aren't taken by you or for you but they are taken by a professional. With enough digging and clicking usually you can find a few images that don't scream "STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY!" and fit your brand. These can cost anywhere from $10-200 per image. Two of our favorites are Stocksy.com and Bloguettes.com
We get asked so often... "what do you mean by copy?". I'm not sure if this term throws people off or something but we are always so surprised by the amount of people that don't know what website copy is - like they have no idea that their website is going to need words. Yup! That's a true fact. I'm not sure if they think it's part of us (or anyone!) building a website, or if it just hadn't crossed their mind but it might be like the third of fourth most asked question in our inbox. No lie.
So, if you don't know what copy is - we are here to tell you! Copy equals the words on your website. What you are telling your readers. What you want your website to SAY. Your site has to have COPY and your copy entails a lot of different things - headlines, taglines, call-to-actions, descriptions, etc. The hardest thing about copy is removing yourself from the shoes as the owner of the website and placing yourself in the brain of a potential client that is reading your website. What questions do they have and how can you answer them in the best way possible? How can you create a voice for your brand that tells your readers who you are, what you do and why you do it? And most importantly, how are you going to get the reader of your website to "pull the trigger"? Maybe that is contacting you or maybe that is making the purchase right then and there.
Your words matter.
When someone comes to us and says... "I'm ready for you to design my website!" - our first question back to them is, "do you have photography and copy?" and 85% of the time the answer is NO. We've put together a little Google Doc to help those create their website copy if they happen to be writing it themselves.
Lastly, don't be afraid to outsource copywriting! If writing isn't your forte - bring in help. Your website works harder and more around the clock for you than any employee or any other marketing tool - make sure it's done right. Nothing worse than a half-assed website. Remember, like attracts like.
Ah, yes - our favorite part. This is where we come in (or anyone you hire to design your site). This can include everything from your branding to your home page layout. The best thing you can do is shop around and do your research for web designers. Figure out what you are getting for what you are paying for and make a smart decision!
Your design is SO important but it works WITH your content (photography and copy). The layout is often inspired by the words and the images that go along with the design. We can't stress enough how much these three things work together and when they are all done really well - the type of client you start bringing in and attracting will reflect what you've put on to the world wide web.