things you need to know before building your first website

3 things you need to know before building your first website

So you might be a wantrepreneur that wants to start their own online business or entrepreneur that’s trying to build some momentum on your new site.

In this post I want to share with you 3 things you need to know before building a website.

Maybe you realize you’re not gaining any traction to your site even though you are talking to everyone under the sun. Your shouting it off the rooftops and letting people know what it is that you do.

But you’re quickly realizing that nobody is listening. “Hello???, is anybody out there? Where did I go wrong???”

If you are that wantrepreneur that is trying to learn how to build a successful website and you don’t know where to start, read on.

In this post I want to share some fundamental questions that you need to consider.

Before you begin there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

Who is my target market?

This is one of the first and most basic questions you need to ask yourself.

You need to answer this question before you begin your journey on building a website. Without knowing what the goal is or who you’re trying to talk to or who you are trying to reach, your business will not be successful.

It’s like trying to drive cross country without a navigation system.

[bctt tweet=”Not defining a target market is like driving cross country without a GPS system #entrepreneur #startups”]

One way to define your target market is that you need to do some research. Look on forums, join groups, join message boards and see what the pain points are.

Look for what people are struggling with and how you can serve them.

Try this as an exercise, on a sheet of paper draw a line straight down the middle, on the left side write down the list of pain points that you’ve come across. The column on the right jot down all of your strengths and skills that you have.

Do this exercise for the next 5 days and on separate sheets of paper for each day.

Be sure you do not look back on the day before or this will alter the results for the following day.

After 5 days you will start noticing a pattern which should start helping you get more clear on who your market is and how you can actually help them.

Start talking to people, start listening.

Listen to the pain points and the issues that people are posting about. If you ever have looked on Facebook groups or in Quora forums you’ll see people complaining about something that they just don’t understand, their struggles or anything they need help with.

If you look close enough, it might be something that you might be able to help them with.

If you come across those types of people and you feel like that you can actually serve them, they might be your target market.

Create your own avatar. No, not like in the move Avatar!

An avatar is an imaginary person that you are going to try to target as your perfect prospect or your perfect client.

[bctt tweet=”An avatar is an imaginary person that you are going to try to target as your perfect prospect or your perfect client.”]

Think of a person that you may have helped in the past that me be a model for your avatar.

Here are a few basic questions to help:

  • What their personality is like?
  • What type of work to they do?
  • How tall they are?
  • Are they married?
  • Do they have kids?
  • What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What is their age?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • What kind of income do they have?

Once you have a clear image of what your avatar is, you can focus your marketing to this person.

Get to know this person really well, he or she will help you through your journey of entrepreneurship. Even give this person a name!

My avatar is named George.

An important point that I would like to make you still make sure you narrow down your market. To clarify don’t just say I’m going to target all men in the United States.

Narrow it down in a way that you’re going to market men in the United States between the ages of 30 and 50, married and have an income of $50,000 or more and like sports.

Try to get as specific as you possibly can. This will help you focus better on what you are going to offer your market, how you will offer it and how you can better serve your ideal client or customer.

So you’ve defined your avatar, now what?

What do I want my visitor to do?

Let me elaborate…

  • What do you want your visitor to do when they get to your website?
  • Do you want them to buy something?
  • Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter?
  • Do you want them to read your blog posts?
  • Perhaps comment on that blog post?
  • How about sharing your content or website with their friends?

[bctt tweet=”Have an objective for your visitors when they get to your website and focus on that.”]

Have an objective for your visitors when they get to your website and focus on that. If you focus is to have your visitors subscribe to your email lists, then you need to make sure your website is fully optimized to collect subscribers.

You would need to make sure that you take every possible opportunity to ask them for their email without being annoying of course. There are many places and strategies you can use to collect those email addresses and that should be your ultimate focus.

If you start focusing on too many things at once when you first start out, you will quickly and easily overwhelm yourself and can risk getting stuck in analysis paralysis and come to a halt. I’ve been there and done that.

Trust me when I say this, work on one this at a time!

Once you have one goal down pat, then move on to the next.

Perhaps your email subscriber strategy is working well and now is just left to a few tweaks here and there but you’ve built up enough momentum where you are getting a steady stream of opt-ins. This is where you can kick it up a notch and move on to the next goal.

Perhaps create a call to action like having your visitors share your content or moving them into buying a product or service through your email newsletters.

How many pages do I need?

The third consideration for your new website would be, how many pages do you need for your new website?

I would suggest as few as possible but enough to convey the most important things about you, your business, your services and how to get in contact with you.

Websites with about 4-7 pages seem to be the most effective.

Basic pages to include on your website:

Starting off on your new website, you should include pages like a home page, about, services, products and work with me as a basic foundation. They types of pages would vary depending on your business, but for this post I’ll use the example as if you were a coach, consultant or any other solopreneur that works with clients.

The home page would include things like:

  • Logo and navigation
  • A visual to explain what the product/company/service does
  • Answer some commonly asked questions
  • Social proof, i.e. testimonials, quoted or even video testimonials would be better
  • Call to action(s)

Here is a good video from Moz on home page content:

Another page you would want to add would be an “about” page.

This page would go over the obvious, something about your business.

Here is where you can let your visitor get to know your business. Let them know that there is a human behind the business and what your company culture is like.

Let them know you are real and in your own voice.

Perhaps even get creative and record a short 2-3 minute video talking about yourself and your company, let them know how you and your visitor would be a good fit for each other.

The “about” page is actually the 2nd more visited page on a person’s website, so make it good. Focus some good amount of time on this page.

If someone has arrived at your “about” page, it’s because they liked what you wrote in a blog post or liked what services you offer and are “primed” for a sale. This page is perfect place for an opt-in form by the way.

On this page, ask them to join your email newsletter!

Another page I would suggest would be a services page.

Here you can add the types of services you offer.

Perhaps you have different plans and packages, each with different offerings and/or features. Add pricing here too if you want or add a call to action button so they can request a free quote or request more information

Offer detailed information of each service that you provide with features and benefits for the client. Let them know how your offerings can take their pain away. Make it easy for them to make a choice and gravitate to the “buy” or “sign up” button.

Finally another popular page (with coaches and consultants) that seems to have started a few years ago is the “Work With Me” page.

This page has become growingly popular with the solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants.

Add a picture of yourself, maybe one with your family or even your pet. Show some personality here.

Let your visitors know who you are and what makes you tick. This is where you can let yourself shine. Write this page in your own voice, people want to know who they will be doing business with.

This would be another perfect place to add your personality video or an introduction video about yourself.

You could also add a opt-in form here. Offer a free PDF download of a special report maybe as a special gift from you just for visiting.

Homework

Hopefully the points above have given you a basic foundation to learn how to start building a website.

I talked about defining your target market, what actions you wanted your visitor to take and defining your target audience with an avatar.

Start with documenting these three points on one sheet of paper or an online notebook, like Evernote. Get totally clear on what the object and goal is. Once you are clear, then your journey moving forward will be so much easier to travel.

You wouldn’t want to cross the ocean without a map right? Then why do this to yourself and not lay out the basic foundations for your business. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been through this and its not a fun journey especially if you have ADHD and your focus keeps changing to the next shiny object you come across. Squirrel!

Sorry, I’m back. 🙂

Bottom line, write down your goals and look at them often. It will be so much easier on you as you navigate through entrepreneurship.

If you found this article helpful and know someone else that could benefit from what I’ve shared, please share it with a friend.

P.S. Let me know in the comments below who your ideal avatar is! I would love to meet them 🙂