The Secret Behind An Effective Squarespace Website That Converts
The title of this post relates specifically to Squarespace websites BUT truth is that anyone with a website will find this post helpful! Whether you have (or are considering) a Squarespace, Wordpress, Weebly, Wix, or Godaddy website, it’s important to have this down.
Ok, so enough with the suspense. The secret behind an effective Squarespace website that converts is STRATEGY.
I’m sure you’ve heard this word more than once but what does it actually mean?
What is strategy as it relates to your website?
In short strategy is all the planning that happens before the design of your website.
There are several questions you need to ask yourself and things you need to do before you’re face to face with the backend of your site and in “website creation mode”.
New here? I wrote these blog posts to help you out in your biz:
- 7 Creative Places To Add An Opt In That Will Help Grow Your Email List
- Why You Should Be Batching Your Social Media Posts And How To Do It
- The Two Things That Must Happen Before Any Website Design Project
- The Three Things Every Website Homepage Should Include
- What’s A Welcome Email Sequence & Why You Need On
If you’re in search of a designer you probably wouldn’t hire him/her without first knowing their process, deliverables, timeline, and price so you definitely shouldn’t jump into DIY’ing your website before doing some pre-design work.
Of course the aesthetics of a website are important but what good is a beautiful website that’s not backed by any strategy? Designing with purpose and functionality is what it’s all about!
Strategy is super important to the success of your website so let’s cover the eight steps that need to happen before building an effective Squarespace website that’s aligned with your goals and leads to conversions.
Bonus: If you want an in-depth checklist that takes you from point A-Z in your website design launch then make sure to download the “The Ultimate Guide to Website Success” that I’ve created:
Ok, so let’s dive in:
Step 1: Determine who your Ideal Client is
I don’t mean just knowing their age, gender, and marital status. This isn’t enough to actually step into their shoes and develop a full on Ideal Client Avatar.
You need to know who you serve before anything because if you are speaking to everyone then you’re really speaking to no one.
Ask yourself questions such as:
What is their income?
Do they live in the city or suburbs?
What is their living situation?
What Industry are they in?
Where do they shop? Why do they shop there?
How do they get their information?
What keeps them awake at night?
What are they afraid of?
What are their top three daily frustrations?
What trends are occurring and will occur in their business or lives?
What do they desire most?
Step 2: In one to two sentences describe who you are, what you do, and whom you do it for.
Try to sum up the goals + mission of your business in one sentence. Make sure to include who your ideal audience is, what your business has to offer, as well as how they benefit from your service/product.
You will be using this for your website tagline and for SEO purposes so write it out and save it!
Step 3: What are your site goals? What do conversions look like to you?
Like I said earlier, there is no point behind a pretty website if there is no strategy behind it. You have to ask yourself what the goal behind your site is.
Think of your website as an employee, they never take breaks or days off (is that even legal?) , what is the one task you want him/her to accomplish?
Here are a few example of what site goals look like for various types of businesses:
Booking complimentary consultation
Buying an Ebook
Booking a 1 on 1 session
Subscribing to an email list
Submitting a contact form
Step 4: Your brand style
An on brand website adds to your website success because it creates a coherent brand experience for your visitors.
Branding and your website strategy are correlated so it’s important to mention it here but I won’t go too in depth since I actually wrote a Branding 101: For Creative Entrepreneurs post that’s jam-packed with valuable content so be sure to check it out.
Step 5: Picking your template
Although this is technically getting into the design aspect of your website, I decided to include picking your template as part of the strategy steps you should take.
Templates affect the style, layout, navigation, and special features of your website so you want to make sure that your website goals are achievable through the template you choose.
You can always change your template down the road but it’s better to pick the right template the first time around. When you take a look at the 100 active Squarespace templates don’t base your decision on which template matches your industry.
For ex: If you run a yoga coaching practice don’t pick your template simply because it showcases a yoga studio. I can see why this might sound counterintuitive but stick with me here. It is always best to choose your template based on functionality not the design on the demo template.
For a full blown Squarespace template comparison chart make sure to check out the one that Paige from Paige Bruton put together.
Step 6: Site Map aka Site Roadmap
Sitemaps also called Roadmaps are exactly that, a map of your website. They are useful because they help you create a navigation system for your website since you (and your designer) are the people who will need to know the in’s and outs of your website.
When creating this roadmap ask yourself:
How will your visitor get from the page they landed on to the place you want them to go?
What are the pages that will help get your website visitor to your end goal?
You should keep your navigation bar links at no more than 5-7 links because we don’t want to overwhelm our visitors with so many options that they get analysis paralysis and take no action.
Step 7: Wireframes
The second thing you should be doing before starting your web design process is to develop a wireframe. This is technically in the design phase of your website although I like to consider it as part of the strategy phase.
When you develop a wireframe for your website you are setting the foundation for a well built website. It ends up saving you time in the end because you can focus on the flow and structure of your website without getting stuck on the design aspects of it.
Keep in mind that certain type of information/copy should be included in your specific pages ex: Home, Services, About, Contact, etc..
What tends to work on a Homepage? I wrote a blog post covering the The Three Things Every Website Homepage Should Include that will definitely help answer that question.
Step 8: CTA’s
CTA’s aka Call To Actions deserve their own step because of how crucial they are to your website strategy.
You don't want to overwhelm them either! Including a million CTA’s options in one page will do more damage than good and overwhelm your website visitor.
If you’re wondering what are some types of CTA’s here are a few:
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I want to know if you found these 8 steps helpful! Email me or comment below.
Hey , I'm Jessica!
I am the designer and owner behind JNL Media Co.! I help creative entrepreneurs & small biz owners create a beautiful Squarespace site that converts. After almost two years in corporate I left so that I could pursue my love for design + marketing and help other #girlbosses do the same through their business.
Obsessions: Traveling✈️ , Fitness💪🏼, and Writing ✍🏼
Location: Currently living in Barcelona, Spain