Is there anything more exciting than launching your first website? All those late nights of hard work and finally, finallyyyyyyy, your baby is live. But, of course, the hard work is just the beginning; launching your website is not a one and done project (if only). Over time, as your business needs change, your website needs will change too. As you reach a groove in your business, you’ll want to expand your web presence — a blog, a newsletter, fresh photography for your homepage (and don’t even get me started on “tech glitches”). A team of developers sounds lovely, but who has the budget?!
Free sites make so much sense when you’re starting out — your budget is small and your business is just blooming, so you’re taking it slow and scaling as you go. But trust us, now is your time. Our preferred platform of choice, Squarespace, offers affordable plans that have so. many. added benefits — so you can upgrade with confidence. We’re highlighting some of our favorite features below that will take your website (and your business) to the next level.
1. More Website Metrics
When you start an online business or blog, you are your own boss, (feels good, am I right?). But, you also become the accountant, PR rep, and marketing director. To tackle all of your new responsibilities, you have to have a firm handle on your website analytics — and it’s actually really fun to get down in the nitty-gritty and learn more about your audience, customers, and readers. Squarespace offers easy-to-understand metrics about your site so you can make the most informed decisions for your business. You need to know where your traffic is coming from, which of your website pages are most popular, who your customers are, and which of your marketing efforts are paying off. In case you need it, here’s a little refresher on how you can use your website metrics to your advantage.
2. All The SEO Help
Making sure your website is search engine optimized (SEO) is one of the most important keys to online success. It’s also a free and easy way to keep traffic coming to your site (read: handle it once and then let it do its thang). SEO can be tricky to learn and can take a lot of work to implement throughout your website — that’s why it is so helpful that Squarespace offers built-in SEO tools that require no plugins. No. Plugins! This means that you don’t have to figure out how some plugin works before you can even get to the SEO bit. Squarespace even helps you optimize your images to show up in search — that way you can sit back, relax, and let the page views roll in.
3. Expert Designers
Who here has pulled an all-nighter trying to get their website to look the way they want it to? I know I have, and saying it’s stressful is quite the understatement. Unless you’re a web developer by trade, designing a website isn’t exactly a smooth process — even for the professionals, it can be tricky! Which is why using a pre-made template for your website that has been properly designed and tested makes the most sense for your wallet (and your stress levels). By upgrading your website to a paid version, you’ll get higher quality options for your site design. We love Squarespace because their website templates are beautiful, minimal, and look wayyyy more expensive than they actually are. Score.
4. Mobile Optimization
Speaking of design, did you know that when you design a website, you need to design it so that it looks and performs well on desktop computers and mobile devices? And in 2018, that doesn’t just mean two different screens — we’ve got big phones, bigger phones, biggest phones, iPads, tablets… oh my! You could spend hours designing the perfect website on your computer only to load it on another screen and see a completely different — and malfunctioning — website. That’s why it’s a total life and time saver that all Squarespace templates are equipped to scale correctly across devices with designs that are cohesive, easy-to-navigate, and beautiful on all screens.
5. Email Marketing Tools
Gathering email addresses is one of the most important moves you can make for your business. Think of it like gathering a tribe of people you already know are interested in what you’re doing — whether that’s the products you’re selling, the services you’re offering, or the blog you’re writing. This tribe is a great resource — you’ll want to send them updates on new blog posts (and up your page views as you go), clue them in on special sales or discounts available in your shop (and encourage more sales), and alert them about new services you’re offering (and garner excitement and pre-orders). It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement that helps you and your audience live your best lives. Win, win.
Good news for you: Squarespace just released an integrated email tool into their paid plans — meaning that everything you could need to create beautiful and successful email campaigns is already in your dashboard.
6. E-Commerce Assistance
If you’re looking to sell products through your website, then you’ll love Squarespace’s sales functions. You’ll have access to a visual report that shows you how many visits result in purchases, where customers are dropping off, and how changes to your site affect conversions over time. You can also track key performance metrics — such as average order volume and revenue per visit. If you’re always on the move, you can even download a corresponding mobile app that will help you run your business on-the-go. The app provides access to your orders, customers, and inventory; you can also scan tracking number barcodes, fulfill orders, issue returns, manage stock levels, and contact customers — all from your phone. No need to be chained to your desk with tools like these on hand. Your online shop will be up, running, and selling in no time. Now it’s just up to you to spend the dough…
Bonus: 24/7 Support
If at any point in the process of creating or managing your website you need help, then you can access Squarespace’s 24/7 support team. If your website isn’t functioning the way it’s supposed to on a Friday night, then you’ll be so relieved you don’t have to wait until Monday morning to resolve the issue. You’re killing it at this whole solopreneur thing, but it’s still nice to know someone has your back when times get tough.
Don’t forget to use the coupon code “EVERYGIRL18” for 10% off your first Squarespace purchase!
This post was in partnership with Squarespace, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.