Building Your Customer Driven Website on Squarespace
When was the last time you visited a website and found yourself questioning how old the webpages were? When you visit a stale, outdated company website do you feel confident hiring that business to solve your problem? Or do you immediately close the webpage and return to searching for a website that provides you a clear picture of what this company does and who they’ve helped in a clean, engaging visual manner?
I know you choose the latter.
Then vs Now
In the past, building a beautiful website which presented your business to the world was a long-process which required extensive coding, headaches, monitoring, fixing errors, more headaches and a healthy chunk of cash. Thankfully, those days are over.
With Squarespace, building a beautiful, engaging website is painless. Your website will be responsive across devices, and the entire design and development process takes between 2-4 weeks. The final website won’t put you in debt, nor bless you with raging migraines.
With this good news, there’s no longer an excuse to have a lackluster, old or absent website. If your website has awkward formatting, odd layouts, grainy pictures, clipart, or is a blank page...good luck winning over any customers.
The more ingrained we all become with technology, the more we all expect to see a certain level of visual quality and refined presentations.
Customer Expectations Demand a Polished Website
Return to what I said in the introduction. When you visit a stale website, what impression do you get? Do you feel confident? Happy? Trusting? Or do you feel confused and disappointed that you now have to return to searching.
As a graphic designer, I’m blessed to live in a time where the profession is in demand for every industry, while the expectations for quality design continues to increase. Everyone online expects to easily find a website that answers their questions, while presenting the information in an aesthetically pleasing and consumable format. Without a strong visual format, you’re toying with decreasing your credibility with potential customers.
The Purpose of Your Website is Credibility
Websites serve several functions, but the primary purpose of a website is to give your business credibility. Imagine a stranger has found your website and the first visuals they are presented with are messy, unorganized and confusing. Do you think this stranger is going to be motivated to contact you or spend a few more seconds reading through your website?
The Benefits of a Website
The benefits of a website can be spoken out a length, but here are the key reasons you need a website.
- Building credibility instantly is vital to attaining the attention of a potential customer. Your first impression is an important step in convincing a visitor to trust you.
- A professional website will show your customer that you have the money to have a website built, and will build trust between you and them. Don't you prefer to work with businesses that are thriving versus struggling
- Ideally, you want your customers and website visitors to advertise for you. When a visitor comes to your site, they want to see content they can share with others to help promote their social media profiles as well. The more people who share your website and content, equals more eyeballs and potential customers.
- If you don't have a website, Google most likely won't index you. When people are looking for a professional service or product, they are going to look on review sites and on Google. Without a website, you're not going to be found during a search.
Important! Your Website Needs to be Focused on Your Customer, Not You.
The biggest mistake I’ve seen throughout the years is the confusion that your website isn't for you. Frankly, you don't even have to like your website because it doesn't have to align with your personal tastes. But it MUST align with your customers wants, needs and desires.
It's common for clients to worry too much about making themselves look good on their websites, instead of focusing on what their potential customers what to see and presenting these elements clearly. Having empathy for your customer and putting yourself in their shoes will help reshape your perception of your website's visual direction. Ask yourself, what does your customer want to see to feel confident moving forward with you?
Building Upon a Template that Works
Your website doesn't need to win awards for innovative design. There's a template that works across marketing deliverables which you can use as an anatomy to build upon. You don't have to stress out and reinvent the wheel, you simply need to trust what works.
When creating the layout of your website, you can follow the 6 sections below to start building the framework of what you need to show on your site.
- Initially you want to introduce your business in a headline and sub-headline.
- Speak about a pain point your visitor will resonate with - you will build upon this in section 3.
- Show your solution and how it solves the pain point you presented in section 2.
- Validate your solution with customer testimonials - the more tangible and relating to the pain point the better.
- Show primary benefits of your business, or reference further readings or content to show your website visitor you have a thorough understanding of your occupation and industry.
- Set-up a call to action to tell the reader exactly what to do, and a gift them a perk if they do so. A perk can be a free consultation, ebook, white paper or discount.
An Example of Focusing On Your Customer
Let’s pretend you have a hot tooth. You’re in pain, and you’re searching online for a dentist. You’re already thrilled to be planning time to have someone clink metal around in your mouth, but now when you find a website of a nearby dentist you find a website collecting cobwebs.
On this site you find generic clipart, a couple photos and messy general information about the dental clinic. Would this be enough to encourage you to call to book an appointment? Having vague, incohesive information likely won’t be enough. Remember, you’re in real pain here. Are you looking forward to continuing your search?
Now let’s imagine you found a website full of professional photography and smiling patients who all have straight pearly whites. Immediately, you see the website talks about the pain points of dental work. The time sitting in a chair staring into a bright lamp, the needles, the hums of a drill, and the cost of procedures. Right away, you can resonate with these pains points. You likely will appreciate the dentist wasn’t trying to hide these obvious pains we all know occur in dental clinics.
Now following acknowledge the pain points, the website follows steps 3-6 I mentioned above. The site immediately introduces the solutions they offer, then they validate these solutions with real customers showing their kind words and happy, health smiles. Then the website elaborates on benefits of regular dental check-ups and how it benefits your overall health showing you the dentist has a plethora of information in his or her field.
Closing this positive experience is a simple call to action allowing you to click a button to either email or call the clinic. Or better yet, you can click the button and schedule the exact date and time you want to handle your hot tooth with a live assistant.
Now, which scenario do you think would lead to more business and happier customers? The first website with messy info, or the website that focused on the customer, walking them through steps, calming their worries, and answering their specific questions.
If you’re a supporter of the latter solution, please let me introduce you to Squarespace.
I’ve built websites from scratch in Dreamweaver, Wordpress, Adobe Muse, Adobe Portfolio and Wix. None of these sites have the benefits that a Squarespace site has.
With Squarespace, your website will be responsive on desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Your site will have all the required widgets for your social media, scheduling, newsletter sign ups, and content embedded in the site. No worries about 3rd party apps breaking, everything is already built in. No worries about moving your domain name over, that’s an easy process which can be managed over a short phone call.
But the biggest benefit of Squarespace is how user-friendly the platform is. After completion, it’s easy to update content on your blog, podcast or any other page you want to update regularly. How easy is it? Well, if you can write an email, you can update the content of your web pages.
Having full control of your website allows you to keep your focus on your customer, showing fresh content and continuing to build your archives. But if you would prefer to have a professional handle it, that’s becoming an easier task for web design professionals, which results in costing you less.
When you have a new blog post, video or content changes that need to be made to your website, there’s little wait time. After your Squarespace site is built, I can update your site quickly, providing you a clear idea of the cost to make updates.
What does Squarespace Cost?
Squarespace hosting various from $144 and up per year. Starting on your first year, I can help you get a 10-20% discount. For further info, please reference the Squarespace pricing page.
Client’s I’ve Help
Finally, please let me show you Squarespace websites I’ve built for other clients, and how we’ve aligned the focus to be on their customers improving the experience for their online traffic.
The goal of the new Research Hive website was to introduce the fresh mobile app, while providing the interested users all relevant information accumulating to a call to action to download a free trial of the app.
A strong cohesive visual theme was needed to connect the app to the website. When designing a site to promote your app, the focus is to make your website a visual extension of the UI/UX app design.
The goal of the new Chessman Wealth website was to show both current and new clients the full overview of Chessman's diverse services. The website design is tailored to aging professionals and widows who need assistance making smart choices with their wealth for the betterment of their family and society.
The website design utilizes positive stock photography, consumable formats of text, and account access for existing clients.
When launching a new business, an engaging website will help you accelerate building new relationships with clients. The Gordian Knot is a law office with big law experience, but without the big law fees.
Using the color palette found in many law offices, I tailored the graphics and color scheme towards a rich, traditional tone while implementing clever knot illustrations to represent various services. To convey The Gordian Knot's personality, a subtle fly fishing and nature theme was introduced to resonate with the affluent customers who are avid outdoorsman, while looping back into the story of the Gordian Knot.
Designing towards the customer is always the goal. In the redesign of Switch Digital Search, heavy illustrations were used to present the services and fee structures of contingency recruiting.
Targeting tech companies and start-ups, utilizing clever visuals allow Switch Digital Search to be a memorable website which states all the needed information in a concise manner, while standing out among the competitors.
When designing a website for a creative agency, less is more. For Diagonal Media, they already had established a diverse, high quality portfolio of videos. The focus needed to stay on the videos, but a clean, simple website to interweave the DGNL brand was created to allow the user to quickly see an overview of the company and who've they helped.
From there, the visitor can explore the portfolio sections and contact DGNL for a consultation.
Starting a product line is a challenging, but thankfully selling your product online has never been easier. For RealFood FX, the first product is a spiedie marinade made from fresh, healthy ingredients.
When designing a website around a product, ideally you want the website to be an extension of the label design and your brand. Using the graphics I illustrated for the label artwork, I developed a bright and clean website showing the visitor an overview of RealFood FX, their first product, and allowed customers to easily submit an order.
Artist websites focus around the creative and product. Fans of John Grover want to visit his site, learn more about him, watch his live performances, and listen to his music.
Keeping the website design focused on John, I used candid images from his live performances and added subtle photo effects to each section of the website allowing the content to be framed on engaging backgrounds.
From there, fans can purchase his albums on iTunes and Google Play. Vendors and club owners can reach out to John and contact him to request interviews, live performances and more.
A little self-promo never hurt anyone. As a side business to my graphic design studio, I own a small, private scuba diving company in Maui. After researching the competition, I found most scuba websites appeared outdated and didn't provide user's multiple levels of connection nor fresh content.
Building the site around ocean blues, and Pacific stock photography, I added in live messaging and contact forms allowing users to contact me online. From there, visitors can book their dives through my website in a matter of minutes and read further about learning how to scuba dive.