Running a startup is never easy. Either you are constantly searching for ways to monetize your brilliant idea or you are growing so fast that you can’t seem to keep up with security issues which have become the bugaboo of every company. Feast or famine is the order of the day but if there is one thing you need to know about running a startup is that you need a killer website. Not only will this help customers to find you, but it will also show investors that you are the real deal.
Remember, you’re bootstrapped. And even if you are creating an app, or a SaaS, or even just something that’s deeper than a website (a course that requires login and a paywall perhaps), there are many options to save money in everywhere. Shared hosting comes to mind. This allows you to use WordPress, Wix, Joomla or any other dedicated custom web dev solution, without the cost of a dedicated private server.
With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at what a killer website can do for a startup. This includes looking at how to help your startup stand out from the crowd by utilizing three key principles – design (keep it clean), navigation, and color scheme.
Design – Keep It Clean:
If you really want visitors to be intrigued by your website then don’t overload it with design features that will overwhelm people. Sure, design is important but as a young company, it is your messaging which needs to stand out. As such, keep your design clean and clear and, most importantly, make sure that it does not drown out the key message that you are trying to get across. In the tech world, everyone wants Applesque design but what many tend to overlook is the fact that Apple spends a lot of time and energy on the messaging that complements their now ubiquitous design features.
As such, you shouldn’t think of your website’s copy as an afterthought. Words have meanings and the right words, used in the right way can paint a thousand pictures in the minds of your customers. This means that your landing page should include a headline which evokes you core message – this is your sweet spot and it should be obvious.
Remember to use generic words, not flowery hyperbole (I couldn’t resist) which sounds great but speaks to no one. D
One thing you should know – coming up with a great headline doesn’t happen immediately. Sure, every founder loves to tell a romanticized story of how they came up with their name or core message. But you should know that many of these stories are myths. The reality is often hours of trial and error as well as constant feedback from customers and anyone else who is willing to listen.
The best piece of advice is to focus on what you do for your customers by communicating what problem you solve and how do you solve it. If you follow this advice, then you will find coming to the right messaging is not impossible and will help your breakthrough to your customers in the most effective way possible.
Can’t Get Here From Here:
Don’t you hate it when you come to a website and it is almost impossible to navigate? This is especially important for any site which hopes to convert visitors into paying customers but you would be surprised how many startups can’t get it right.
What is the lesson here? Make sure your site is easy to navigate. If your site is selling something then it should take four clicks or less to complete a sale. Anything longer than this and you risk losing customers. As such, you want to make sure there are plenty of options to help a visitor find exactly what they are looking for without spending minutes searching. Sure, this does point to a problem in our culture of instant gratification. But your mission is not to change how your customers shop, it is to make it easier for them to shop.
Even if your startup is not an e-commerce play you still need to pay attention to the navigation options. For example, you might have a SaaS offering and this will require guides for new users.
If this is the case, then you might want to consider placing this option on your website and instead of long, drawn-out guides which users need to read – focus on short, video tutorials. Remember, it all goes back to messaging but the easier to you make it for your visitors to get where they want to go, the more likely they will come back.
A Splash Of Color:
No need to go overboard with a neon color scheme, but the right use of color can go a long way in helping your website to stand out. As such, you want to keep your colors simple and use a contrasting color for your CTA (Call-to-Action) buttons. This will help convert visitors into subscribers of you monthly subscription box.
Also, if you are a product company, then don’t use stock photos. Instead, make your product the star – after all, this is what people are coming to your site for.