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Building a One-page Website

You've designed your logo, and you're ready to print your business cards and other marketing collateral materials. You want to include your website address (also called a URL) to build your credibility. However, you're not quite ready to write and design a full website. At the same time, you don't think it's a good idea to distribute your new printed materials showing your website URL and to have only a blank web page waiting for your potential client's inquiries. What to do?

Does this sound familiar? Many entrepreneurs who are starting small businesses find themselves in this position. We suggest that you build a one-page website to use in the interim. Elements to design into your one-page website include:

- Your brand identity graphics. Include your logo and visual vocabulary elements on your website for a consistent look and feel across your materials and to build your brand recognition.

- A short description of your business. This description should be between one paragraph and one page in length when typed into a Microsoft Word document, and it should also be concise. You don't want your one-page website to be a scrolling monstrosity, website visitors will read the content of a shorter page. And, the ultimate goal of your page is for people to read it and learn more about you!

- Your contact information. It's very important to include information about how to get in touch with you ? in case someone stumbles upon your website, becomes interested, and wants to hire you! It will also serve as a great reference for any of your current clients or anyone you meet while networking who loses your business card before they have a chance to call you.

- A testimonial from a client, to enhance your business's credibility. An enthusiastic, signed testimonial by a real person ? you provide a link to their website as "proof" of their existence ? will begin to calm any fears that a potential client may have. This makes even a basic one-page website compelling.

You will see that even a one-page website can bring in new clients and help to convert prospects to clients. And, since having a website is a "must" in today's business world, your marketing package will be up to date as well.

You can use a one-page site as a starting point for a much larger site in a step-by- step manner. Writing one or two web pages at a time and developing a five- to six- page (or more!) site over a period of time is a much less daunting task than developing a full site all at once. Even my 330+ page (and counting!) website started as a one-page site.

The most common excuse that people have for not having a website for their business is that they don't know what to include on it. If you have a hard time writing a single page about your business, try recording yourself talking to a friend or client about your business ? it's often easier to tell someone your story than to stare at a blank page.

Another reason to have a one-page website developed would be to get a jumpstart on building search engine rankings. You can include search engine keyword phrases into the text on the page, and then submit the one-page site to the engine's ranking software. You'll get established in the search engines and will be able to begin building your site's search engine profile and history. This is the beginning of excellent search engine optimization and the first step on the path toward great rankings that will drive many visitors to your site.

A great advantage of having a one-page website is that you can include your URL on your printed materials. You won't have to reprint your cards and collateral when you do launch your full site!

About the Author

Erin Ferree, Founder and Lead Designer of elf design, is a brand identity and graphic design expert. She has been helping small businesses grow with bold, clean and effective logo and marketing material designs for over a decade. elf design offers the comprehensive graphic and web design services of a large agency, with the one- on-one, personalized attention of an independent design specialist. Erin works closely in partnership with her clients to create designs that are visible, credible and memorable ? and that tell their unique business stories in a clear and consistent way. For more information about elf design, please visit: Logo design at http://www.elf-design.com


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