A list of must-haves for your project
The following was written by our friend Dan, at Metro Nova Creative. They’re great partners of ours and do amazing work when it comes to branding, websites, marketing and all things creative.
Building a website is never as simple as it seems from the outside. There are multiple factors that go into a successful website. Most of those factors aren’t common knowledge! Especially if you’ve never done this before. So I wanted to create some content that would help you know what to prepare for your new website from Metro Nova Creative.
Preparing for a new website
Domain name – The domain name for your website is super important. It should be clear, as short as possible, easy to remember, and on-brand. Try to get something that works with all of your social media handles. Try and keep it as short as possible so it’s easier to type on the phone or when clients are emailing you. If your domain name of choice is already taken by an existing company try and avoid just buying one with a hyphen in it. Odds are your clients will forget to add that in when they type your address and it could send them to the wrong company! Purchasing a domain name with “.com” at the end is always the best idea as those web addresses are typically the most google friendly options. If you’re starting a nonprofit or a club/group you should purchase a domain name with “.org” but not if you’re opening a standard business. If you want to get business cards or other things printed before your website is ready, go ahead and put your domain name on them. You can always just forward the domain name to a social media account while your site is being finished! That way your clients can still get some sort of contact and interaction when they check you out. We can then redirect the domain to your new website when it’s ready to go. Make sure you understand the difference between a domain name and your hosting account as well!
Email address – After you purchase your domain name you should get a professional email address like firstname.lastname@example.org. This shows your customers that you’re legit, trustworthy and that you’re taking your business seriously. You can use a number of different services like Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) or Office 365 for Business. Both are leading choices in the industry and both come with a suite of amazing apps and services. We personally use Google Workspace. If you need help setting something like that up I suggest using a reputable IT company to assist you.
Logo design – If you’re investing a lot of time and money into a new website you should make sure your logo and your branding is in tip-top shape first! It’d be a shame to create a beautiful new website with an old blurry, outdated logo on the main menu up top. Make a great first impression with your audience with a professionally designed logo. This will help create brand trust and increase sales by telling your prospects that you’re legit! If you need some help getting a logo design done, we do those too! Take a look at our logo design page. If you need a bunch of awesome stuff designed like business cards or banners you should read up on our fan favorite, Identity Package. If you’re going to be primarily online or a digital based business, our Startup Package is perfect for you!
Writing copy – We think it’s important to write your own copy, or hire a professional copywriter for this step. Asking a bunch of graphic designers to write your copy in your brand voice often leads to bad copy. Get this part right! Whenever you’re building a new website, it’s a great time to take a look at the copy on your current website and see if it’s time to freshen it up a bit. Or if you don’t have a current website, it’s time to put some thought into this major brand step! Copy, which is just all the descriptive text and information that will go on your website is important to get right. But it’s not always easy to know what to write, or how to write it. Our team actually built an amazing tool that helps our clients write the copy for their project on their own. Everything from mission statements to service descriptions can be put together like a pro with this tool. We built in an auto-save feature too so if you need to take a break just check your inbox for the link that you’ll get which will allow you to pick back up later. Below are a couple of awesome articles on writing copy for your brand!
Media – Having professional photos and videos on your website is a tremendous way to improve your brand. Your customers may decide not to hire you just based on the photos you have on your website! Especially if you’re a retail business. If you can afford to hire a professional photographer or videographer then it would be a really good investment for your business. Other options include using stock photography or videos from Adobe Stock Photography which allows you to save samples of the media and send them to us. Then when we’re ready to launch your new website we can sub out the samples for the full resolution licensed media with our Adobe account. Make sure you NEVER just take photos off Google as it can lead to major legal issues for your business. Metro Nova Creative also works with the absolute best media companies around and can always bring in a partner for the project. What’s the old saying? Never slap a bumper sticker on a Ferrari.
Search Engine Optimization – When preparing for your new website, think about three or four search terms you’d like your website to rank on in Google and be ready to share those with your designer. Your terms might be something like “fredericksburg plumber” or “natural hair barber” or “crocheted elephants” or “nail salon near me”. Google loves websites that provide answers to questions, so when you write your descriptions for your services or products, try to include those important phrases as headers, subheaders, or within the regular text on your site. What questions do your customers ask you most frequently? Provide answers to these questions in your services description either as part of the main text or in a Q&A format. Including your important search terms as headers and in your regular content — while answering questions about your product or service — can help your website be ranked higher than your competitors in Google.
If you’re interested in working with us on your new website project you can start by filling out this fancy form right here! We can’t wait to work together!