With Colchester being such an entrepreneurial town and our range of website design services being perfect for new and small businesses, we are lucky enough to get to speak with many people looking to set up and run new business ventures for the first time. 
 
With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to create a guide to help our budding local entrepreneurs prepare for their first ever website design meeting: 

1) Understand your audience 

Remember - we’re not designing a website for you, we’re designing it for your clients and potential clients, so we need to make sure your new website is as "sticky" as possible, which means that when people land on it, they want to stay on it.  
 
Designing for your target audience is key. Who are your clients? How old are they? Where do they live? And why are they looking for your particular services or products? 
 

2) Understand your competitors 

This should be easy as all you need to do is Google your competitors, have a look at their websites, and see what they are doing. 
 
What do they do well and how can it be improved? Who ranks highly on Google and why? Do they pay to advertise? Are they active on social media? Do they show their prices on their website? 
 

3) Decide what you want your website to do for you 

It may sound silly, but why do you even want a website? Is it a company brochure to promote your services or are you planning to sell directly from your site? Are you looking for new clients or just to add credibility to your business and services? 
 

4) Create your brand identity and logo 

Website design isn’t logo design. In fact, it’s a totally different concept and if you are setting up a professional company, I would suggest that you think about this long before you speak to any web designers. The number of times I meet new clients and ask to see their logo, only for them to say that they thought this is something we'd be creating for them is quite astounding!  
 
Sometimes, people don’t even have a company name when we meet with them. Of course, we can help with logo design and branding, but it's always useful to have some ideas in place first before you start thinking about a website. 
 

5) Write some content 

Again, this is a specialist subject and shouldn't just be left to the website designer to cobble a few paragraphs together. 
 
Your written content will not only tell your potential clients what you do, but it will also tell Google how relevant your website is, so getting it right is key if your website is going to get indexed correctly by the search engines and engage with your audience. 
 
Less is more these days, so it's even more important to make sure we are getting the right message across as quickly and simply as possible. 
 

6) Remember a website is not just for Christmas! 

Just like a new family puppy at Christmas, your website needs feeding and the food in this case is content. 
 
Google likes to see websites that are being updated regularly. Adding a blog to your new website will allow you to update the site with unique industry news, examples of recent work, and case studies relevant to your industry. 
 
A client testimonials page that allows people to leave feedback is also a useful way of adding new content to your website. 
 

Other things to think about before you call your website designer: 

Consider creating an FAQs page for your website - Google was designed to answer questions, so answer some questions! 
 
Set up a YouTube channel - people like to view video content, so think about opportunities using video on your website. 
 
Get social on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter - again, look at what your competitors are doing on social media. 
 
We hope these tips are useful. Colchester is full of experts who can help new business owners in all these areas, and if you'd like some guidance on who to contact, we are always happy to recommend local. Of course, if you're looking for a trusted Colchester web design company, we're here to help - why not get in touch with us today to find out more? 
 
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