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July 10, 2024

Starting a New Business? First Steps to Launch Your Website and Digital Marketing Program

Post By:
Jo Stephens
In-House Contributor
CEO | Owner
Law Firm Sites, Inc
Guest Contributor:

Whether you are launching a new business or breaking off to promote your personal brand, your website is the heart and the hub of your marketing strategy. As such, it is critically important that certain criteria be met when developing your website and brand, to ensure you stand out from the competition, literally for the search engines and for prospective clients as they search for a right company for their needs.

Considering most of your clients will find you on the web, your website needs to be locatable and tell your “Why” story within a short window, 15-30 seconds, after they find you online. It also needs to build trust with site visitors to bring them closer to connecting with you, making a purchase, or scheduling a meeting.

Let’s review the basics of a website, its compliance requirements and optimization needs.

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The Anatomy of a Website

Here are the main components your website should have and best practices for optimized user experience.

Home Page
  • Your website home page needs to engage your visitors quickly, differentiating your services or products from the competition in a unique way, allowing them to find the information they need easily, while also being optimized for search with targeted keywords. 
  • Keep your design clean, and text focused on how your brand is best suited to help them and offers the products they need. 
  • Keep your calls to action like “contact us” buttons, click to call, order now or web forms visible to ensure your home page converts visitors to prospects easily.
Services/Product Pages
  • Be sure all the services or products you offer are listed on your website, easily found in the main navigation. (the menu at the top of your website)
  • Clearly define the differentiators of your offerings on the home page and on each relative service or product page, along with relative calls to action.

These pages can be correlated with your office locations or target geographies to drive more local traffic. We’ll touch on more about that when we discuss Location pages.

A Blog

The best way to keep content fresh on your site and to tell relative stories that resonate with potential clients is to regularly post to your blog. This space can be used for news, articles, posts that relate to your target industry or market interest and to offer insight into how your brand functions and gives back to its community.

Consistency in this case, along with quality content, is key.

Location Pages

For brick-and-mortar businesses, these pages are your tether to your physical office locations and anyone searching around them. Be sure to have a location page for each of your manned, physical offices or locations and offer relevant maps, contact and office details, hours of operation, accessibility, etc., on each.

About Us Page

This is where your company and its staff get to wave its own flag, to tell your origin story, define your mission and tout your accomplishments to further build trust with your target audience. Feel free to build a robust page that highlights your brand’s “Why” that will drive people to connect.

Contact Page

The purpose of getting visitors to your website is to have them buy, request a quote, or schedule a meeting. This page is the crux of your marketing efforts, so needs to be easily locatable in the main navigation, offer click to call and form options, as well as be linked to your intake system to ensure all leads are captured and followed up accordingly.

When it comes to the content on your website, it is only as good as the technical elements of the site itself. A non-compliant, poorly functioning, or hard-to-navigate website will do no good service to your brand’s lead generation potential

Time to Build Your Website

Here are things to consider to ensure your site is compliant and optimized to support your business.

Secure a Hosting Service

Your website needs to “live” in a secure and reliable environment. Most cloud hosts offer 99,9% uptime guarantees, so do your homework and have it built where you know if can always be found.

ADA Compliant Build

Clarity in the intent of your website is a necessary element for websites. To ensure ADA compliance, be sure that your site has:

  • Alt Text on Images
  • Captions on Videos
  • Sufficient Color Contrast
  • Keyboard Navigation
  • Clear Headings
  • Consistent Menus
Easy to Manage CMS

Before you build your website in your hosting space, choose the Content Management System you will use to manage your website. Wordpress is the most widely used CMS and offers a lot of benefits to users who may be less technically savvy but want a well-performing site.

Responsive Design

When building your website, it is important to remember that it is responsive to all mobile platforms, and desktops. Code elements ensure that your site will “fit” and function easily anywhere a potential site visitor finds it.

Well Organized Sitemap

Your website site map is the GPS users use to navigate to the information they seek when they land on your page. Be sure to keep it easy to find and that it follows a natural progression that leads your site visitors through the content that defines your brand’s services, products and benefits and leads them to contact you.

Optimized for Search                                   

With all the effort taken on to build your website, it serves no purpose at all unless it’s optimized for search. This criterion is the crux of all digital marketing efforts, on the site and off, ensuring compliance with Google’s everchanging algorithms, ensuring engagement with consistent content updates, and aligning with local search tools to be the right answer for the right client at the right time.

Your website is the hub of all your marketing efforts and needs to represent your brand in a way that uniquely defines your skills, and it needs to do so within a few short seconds. How and where you build it, how you optimize it and build content within it all go a long way to driving market share and growing your business.