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What can you expect to pay for small business website?
It depends on what you need.
Most independent professionals need more than a blog, however. They need a website that attracts more customers, and they need to move beyond their first website that may have been built by young family relative who did not have marketing experience.
If you’ve been in business for at least three years, ask yourself:
There are so many choices when it comes to building a website. When you’re just starting out it’s difficult to know which one is right for you and your business.
My choice for building a business website is WordPress. Here’s why.
Click here to download the same checklist I use to build business websites.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Business owners who complain that people can’t find their website and so they aren’t making the income they expected, typically one or all of these problems:
- Their website was created with a drag and drop builder like Wix or GoDaddy
- They don’t use or know how to use the proprietary marketing tools that came with their drag and drop builders
- Their site is not optimized for SEO
Search engine robots have always loved WordPress because WordPress speaks code. That means if you know how to optimize your business website for SEO you will have a better chance of being found online.
WordPress also integrates with the best 3rd party software solutions that help build your list, market your business, and sell more products and services.
3rd Party Software Integration
For business websites to be effective they need to make money while you sleep.
WooCommerce is a shopping cart plugin that comes downloaded with each new version of WordPress. WooCommerce creates beautiful product and sales pages, and they make it easy to set up and collect payments.
But the problem is most website visitors are not ready to buy when they first come to your website.
So what should you do?
Give them something for free in exchange for their email address.
WordPress easily integrates with many 3rd party software solutions that build your list of prospects by capturing their names and email address. Once you have their email addresses you can continue the conversation which gives you a better chance of closing a sale.
Why Carol Chose WordPress
Carol and her daughter created Carol’s first business website using GoDaddy’s website builder. They choose a prebuilt, drag and drop template. The same type you may have see advertised about how easy it is to create a business website in a few hours.
Website created with GoDaddy proprietary drag and drop builder
Using drag and drop website templates is easy if you have built websites before. You can even build a website in a weekend if your text and images are all set to go.
Instead of taking a few hours, it took Carol and her daughter days to complete her home page. Carol was happy with the overall look of her Home page but she was never happy with her About page.
Centered text is perfect for invitations, but not for long form website copy
Neither Carol of her daughter were able to figure out how to left justify her text, which made her About page difficult to read.
Nor did they know where to put her Privacy statement. In frustration and exhaustion they decided to ‘just put it there’…
Carol wanted to launch her copywriting services using the Product Launch Formula method. She needed to update her site and begin to build her list.
The problem was:
- She forgot how to add text and images.
- Her daughter was no longer available to help her.
She also needed a new free offer and a landing page to capture her prospects names and email addresses. She had a lead capture form on her GoDaddy website but she did not know where the names and email addresses went, once she got them.
Optin form created with GoDaddy’s drag and drop website builder
LeadPages was highly recommended by one of Carol’s Launch Club coaches, as a way to capture names and email addresses, but it did not integrate with GoDaddy’s proprietary website builder.
Carol was stuck.
Fortunately she met Tracie, a launch tech expert who guided Carol though the process of setting Carol up for launch success.
The first step was to switch from GoDaddy’s drag and drop builder to a WordPress website because WordPress integrated with the other programs Carol needed in her wheelhouse: 3rd party programs like ActiveCampaign to build her list, and LeadPages to create landing pages that captured names and email addresses.
FYI: I do not use ActiveCampaign or LeadPages, and that’s what makes WordPress so great. WordPress integrates with dozens of email hosts and landing page builders. Often times, it’s not the 3rd party software that moves your business forward: What moves you business forward is choosing one program, learning how to use it, and keep building momentum in a way that works for you.
I was thrilled that Carol reached out to me because I also knew that her WordPress site could grow with her business. Her SEO would improve immediately. Plus, I could easily add a shopping cart and a payment processor when Carol was ready to take payments.
For now, Carol is focused on building her list of prospects so that she can launch her copywriting services using the Product Launch Formula.
Transitioning to a New Website
How do you build a new website without taking down your old website?
To transition Carol from a website built with a GoDaddy drag and drop template to WordPress I first set up a WordPress development site on GoDaddy.
Carol bought her domain name from GoDaddy, and that’s also where her GoDaddy drag and drop website was hosted. There was no need to change hosts because GoDaddy has many hosting options including including WordPress. Their support is also first rate, too. Whether you prefer to ask questions by phone or online chat, they are super helpful and patient.
The next step was to choose a WordPress theme that would be compatible with Carol’s copywriting services. I’m a huge fan of StudioPress themes because their themes are designed for online business.
I mocked up a few themes from which Carol chose Kreativ Pro.
Carol told me what copy and images she wanted to keep from her GoDaddy website, and gave me new text to populate the rest of the website. Based on her copy and our discussions about her business goals, I chose additional images from Course Creator Market.
It’s great to work this way:
- your old site stays up while your new site is being built.
- You can see both websites, as can I, but no one else can.
Carol’s new WordPress website did not go live until Carol was completely satisfied with the new look.
Before and After Video Walk Through
Click below to see Carol’s before and after transformation
Hi, it’s Nancy Fields. I’m excited to show you a website that I’ve been working on with my customer, Carol Richards, who’s a copywriter.
On the left-hand side you’ll see her new WordPress website and the right is a site that was built with a drag and drop template from GoDaddy. By default Carol’s new WordPress theme placed the copy directly over her image and followed by a subhead and a call to action button.
Carol’s Go Daddy theme leads with the quote and then follows with a bold statement. So that’s quite different.
The WordPress theme allows for a tagline. The tagline is what you see under the big heading “Copy By Carol.” What’s great about the tagline is that it gives search engine robots more information as to what the site is about. That’s always a big plus for your SEO.
Flow of Information
One of the biggest changes was in the flow of the information.
You’ll see it says “79% of us feel more productive.” Carol really loved that quote, but that quote got lost. It was down further on her page. We brought that further up.
Also, instead of following with the testimonials that you see here, we took her information as to how she can help people, and added that to her quote for greater impact. Then we gave more interest to the quotes by saying, “Listen to this,” and pulling it in with the quote feature from WordPress that shows these great, big, huge quote marks.
When Business Changes
And the other thing I want to point out as well, if you notice here on the right, Carol has different offerings from her old website. Her business has changed. She no longer wants to offer all six services. She wants to focus on three.
As you grow in your business it is very common to narrow the focus of what you’re offering, as well as the customers that you want to serve.
So this is keeping right in line with what Carol wants to do.
Keep What’s Working
And the other thing that we looked at: Carol really loved her old typewriter here and this quote to pull people in, “I hate to write.” Instead of leaving it higher up, we decided to have it go after her quotes, making more of a statement.
“Did we hear you say, I hate to write?” We put the same copy underneath that, and also added another button.
If you think about bullet points and what you actually remember when you see a list of bulleted items, chances are, you will only remember the first and the last bullet. So I’m really treating this typewriter and Carol’s favorite image as a strong bullet point.
That’s going to end her website homepage.
I’m going to scroll back up at the top of Carol’s website. And I want you to look at this navigation menu. This called a sticky header. And what that means is, as I scroll, notice that the navigation continues to follow all of the information that Carol has on the page.
That’s unlike her GoDaddy website, in which the navigation menu is at the top. It’s in this hamburger menu, but it doesn’t follow the rest of her copy. So I thought this was also a really great feature.
Call To Action in Navigation Menu
The other thing that I liked about the new navigation menu is I put in a call to action button in her navigation menu. This button will appear on every page. And this is important because Carol is focused on building her list because she is preparing to launch her service using the Product Launch Formula. And that requires that she has an active and engaged email list. The way to build it is through her website.
Desktop, Tablet, Mobile View
I wanted to show you is why we chose this particular (hero) image. And for that, I’m going to go to Carol’s dashboard. Under appearance and customize WordPress offers you the ability to see what your homepage images will look like under desktop, tablet and mobile view.
Not only can you see it, you can actually experience it. So many people are viewing websites on their mobile phone, it’s really important to get the right image, and to get an image that’s going to look good on all three platforms.
How To Choose the Best Hero Image
The reason why I chose this one, even though it’s probably not the most exciting image as a desktop, but when you get down to mobile, you see these big words, “Are you still interested in getting your copy read?”
You’ll see the copy. You’ll see the phone. You see the glasses. This is beginning to all work together really well in a powerful way.
I also want to show you the other images that we chose, or that I was exploring.
And for that, I’m going to simply change the image. You’ll see in Carol’s media library, I actually mocked up six or seven of these.
I thought, this might make a great homepage image. This is fun. You know, it looks great on desktop, but not on a mobile phone.
What happened to the image?
We knew that wasn’t going to work.
Another one Carol liked was this one, but it gets busy when you have type over type. You need to carefully choose images.
This one is okay but the type underneath is too strong.
That was a very good second place winner. Even though there is some copy under the headline, it’s not too distracting. This was an image that I actually popped into a tablet in Photoshop to make it look realistic. So it does work here because it’s not fighting with the text underneath.
It also works well on the tablet. It works on the phone view, but you do lose a sense of what it is. So this is why at the end of the day we chose this one, which was really a surprise.
I hope that you found this helpful.
Thank you for stopping by.