How to design your website for freelance success
As a freelancer, a high-quality website is one of the
most valuable assets you can own. The virtual equivalent of a shop window, it
shows potential customers what you can offer and should entice them to come in.
At the same time, a poorly designed website shows a lack of professionalism and will instantly put people off. To ensure your website makes the right impression, there are certain elements that absolutely must be included. Here is how to optimise your website for freelance success.
Above all else, your website must be professional -- from the way it looks to how it’s set up. The overall aesthetic will depend on your industry, but all business websites should be easy to read, simple to navigate and divided up into logical menus. From a technical point of view, it is worth registering a domain name -- not only to create and protect your brand, but also to ensure your web address appears legitimate and professional. Your domain should be based on your company name if possible, and be easy to spell and remember. You can easily find and register a domain name online, and companies such as 1&1 also include an email account and SSL certificate -- which leads us to the next point.
If your website is not secure, prospective clients will no doubt have reservations about your credibility. This is especially important if you plan to receive payments online, but either way, having the right security measures in place is crucial to building consumer trust. As previously mentioned, your website should at least be protected by an SSL certificate. SSL protection ensures that any data submitted to your site by a customer is encrypted in transit – such as credit card details or personal information. Sites with SSL are instantly recognisable by a padlock symbol in front of the web address as well as the “https” prefix instead of “http.”
This is your chance to introduce yourself and tell your story. If a prospective client is considering hiring you, they will want to know who you are, and the “About” page will be their first port of call. This section is also an opportunity to make your site a little more personal; especially in the crowded online market, it can help to set you apart from the competition. Create a memorable “About” page by including photos and writing in the first person. Describe what you do and what you can offer as a freelancer, highlighting your unique selling points and, most importantly, conveying passion for your profession.
As obvious as it may seem, contact details are a vital feature of any business website. As a freelancer, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you, especially online. Firstly, make sure that your contact details are prominent and clearly visible -- in the footer section of every page, for example. It is also worth having a dedicated page which offers a variety of different contact methods. In addition to a telephone number and email address, consider using Foxyform to integrate a contact form so that visitors can send a message without navigating away from your website.
clients are your most powerful marketing tool, so be sure to feature
testimonials on your website. Genuine reviews provide reassurance to
prospective clients, showing that you are trustworthy and can be counted on to
deliver results. You don’t necessarily need a separate page for testimonials --
you can simply integrate them into your homepage. As long as they are clearly
visible, positive testimonials work wonders when it comes to procuring new