To be a successful business or brand, you need great business website that can easily adapt to the changing environment, your business needs and requirements.
Besides building and designing amazing software for real-world needs, the GoGoGuest team has over 15 years of experience designing and building digital experiences for large enterprise companies and consumer brands. We know what it takes to create an engaging business website and a compelling customer experience for your coffee shop, tea bar, craft brewery, restaurant, hair salon or beauty spa and direct-to-consumer brands.
If you are considering an upgrade to your current website or need one to open or launch a new venture or brand, this guide will walk you through 10 key steps to launching a beautiful and high-performing business website that can compete in your local marketplace and online.
10 Key Steps To A Great Business Website
Before Covid-19, most storefront businesses and brands were focused on in-store customer experiences and didn’t pay that much attention to building an online presence as a channel for revenue.
The story of Canlis, a fine dining restaurant in Seattle is a business and brand that stands out during these unprecedented times. The Canlis brothers changed their operations 100%, made the shift early, so did their business website. By doing so, Canlis gained an overwhelming support from the Seattle community and when across the United States.
If you’d like flexibility and scalability for your business website, here is a guide to help you successfully navigate the journey.
- Who are your users and what do they need the most from your business website? In a design process, we define users by user personas. Personas are fictional characters, which you create to represent the different user types for your business website and storefront. Understanding what each persona may be searching for and what questions they may have when landing on your website will help structure your content and site design. Here is an example: If you’re a fine dining restaurant, before Covid-19 people who do not know your brand want to know your menu, location, hours, reservations policy and dress code. However, during shelter-in-place, the desire to eat and experience your food remains, yet their questions are very different.
- What is your business or brand story? A compelling story brings communities and audiences together. Your business website should tell an engaging story that compels your target user persona to participate and engage. Use the hero’s journey, a classic storytelling framework to tell your story.
- What would you like them to do? Each user persona who lands on your business website has a goal and objective in mind. That may be to learn, to get to know your brand or to make a decision (because they’ve spent time researching and learning). Your business website’s goal is to answer as many questions as possible to compel that persona to convert by making a purchase, making a reservation or scheduling an appointment.
- Define your technical strategy. Once you have a framework for steps 1-3, then it is time to figure out the best technology stack and third party services for your business website. GoGoGuest works with an ecosystem of web platforms and service applications that come with everything you need from basic website pages to eCommerce features.
- Define your content strategy and resources. Your business and brand needs to stand out in the sea of search results. A great way to achieve this is through great content that is optimized for what your target audience and user personas are searching for. It goes back to understanding your audience and creating content that will attract them. Today, distribution of content for audience discovery is no longer 100% reliant on search. Businesses and brands can extend their content distribution on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Snapchat. What makes a difference is knowing which content to distribute, the best channel for it and what it means when a person lands on your business website.
- Prepare your design assets. Creating a great business website requires a degree of visual storytelling. This means, you need great images and illustrations to help you, the storyteller attract and engage each of your user personas to spend time learning about your business and brand.
- Start designing, building and creating content. It is time to start designing and building! If you are looking for a resource to help you design and build a fully functioning website, GoGoGuest offers website and eCommerce services. Prefer to do it all on your own? This list has all the finer details.
- Engaging call-to-action. Once your pages are complete, one key area to pay attention to are your CTAs (call-to-action). CTAs are those shiny, bright buttons that lead to more information. Great CTAs will lead a persona deeper into your business website then eventually convert to a sales lead, a purchase, a subscription, a reservation or an appointment.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). A fully optimized website and online store starts with great design and content structure. Choosing the right keyword for each page and content that you publish is key, using SEO perma links and a good meta description for each page are all good places to start.
- Test and go live. Before going live, run a performance test across all browsers and the top devices. Test your links, test your images. There are website testing tools that are either built-in to the web platform you choose other third party services. We love this website launch list from Hubspot.
GoGoGuest is a customer marketing and data software subscription solution that helps every business and iconic brand better understand their customers. We are trusted by over 200 businesses and power more than a million customer engagements every month. Our story.