Guidelines for the Best Startup Website
In our digital area, websites are the public business card of a company, and often times are the go-to place for anyone who wants to hear more about a venture. Whether it is aimed for users, investors or potential employees, this could be the one chance to make that great first impression. Building the website with the right layout and content could help to achieve the desired goal, and though you can make a great website in many different ways, there are several basic guidelines that always stand.
First step to building a good website is defining exactly the target audience. Are you looking for an investment? Employees? Maybe customers? Deciding this prior to creating the website will assist in making the right choices regarding content writing, layout and other strategic choices. For example, potential investors and employees would like to see a lot of “about” information on the company, such as who is the team, how the company started. Customers, on the other hand, would like a simple explanation of the product, articles about how to extract better use of the product and an easy onboarding process. Keep that in mind when planning the layout of the website as well, and make the relevant segments pop out and easy to locate.
Next is the product. The first thing that should appear in the website is a clear and short definition of the product or service. What does it do? Why is it the best? No matter what type of audience you’re targeting, it should be very clear what exactly you do. Later, you can add a longer description of the product, but for this part a short explanation will do the trick. This should be your one-liner, so choose your words carefully, as each of them should help serve your purpose.
Create reliability. No matter what type of audience you are targeting, you must create pathos and appearance of a reliable business that investors, employees and customers could trust. The main aim here is to show - show yourself, your previous work or the proof of the current one. The easiest step to take, especially crucial if you are looking for investment, is doing a “meet the team” segment in the website, with pictures of the staff, their names and job titles. When it comes to founders of the company, you should also add a short background like professional or former successes, such as an exit.
If your product is already up and running, showcase your latest success stories. The best way to do so, granted you already have enough data, is by adding a “case study” segment to the website. A case study must have a short description of the problem the client had, how your specific solution matched the problem, and what were the business results that followed the implementation of the solution.
If you already have clients, partners or won awards, place a list of their logos on the home page. This will show your credentials, and will make others want to join in on the success. This also serves as a great validation to either investors or employees, as it serves as a stamp of approval that your company is legitimate and has actual potential.
Last but not least - mobile website! Recent study shows that up to 63% of all website traffic is via mobile. If your service is not mobile-first oriented, than usually the mobile website will serve as an initial exploration ground for visitors, and not a platform for heavy engagement such as registration for service. Nevertheless, it is important for you to have the best mobile user experience possible, so that users visiting the website through mobile will have a similar experience to the desktop one. Make sure that all of the major components as mentioned above are easily accessible and could be viewed clearly in mobile as in desktop. Also, all of the actions available in desktop should be available in mobile, with the necessary modifications.
A good example is of one of our portfolio companies, Dogiz. Their website contains a short explanation of the product, different types of credentials, and has a great mobile experience. They also show the character of the brand in the “meet the team” section.
No matter what is your product, service or venture, having a professional website has the same effect as coming into a meeting wearing a nice suit. It indicates that you take your business seriously, and that you care about your audience. If you already have a website, don’t be afraid to make these changes and apply the guidelines suggested above. Websites are live beings, as you can constantly change and update them, testing what works best for your goals.