This is the first in a series of posts that I’m discussing how to ensure you get results with your website. If you’re thinking about getting a website or re-designing your current one, consider what I have to say first. Yes, it is critical that you have a website, but it shouldn’t just be a site on the web.
Ironically, most designers/developers don’t know what makes a website effective. Most just focus on the direction given to them. You must take control of your website development so it’s done right the first time. I hear [horror] stories and see websites all the time that don’t exemplify or get results for the business it was made for – simple because of some cut corners and oversights in the process.
There is a lot of work an energy that goes into an effective website; most clients don’t realize what this means for them too. I know the headline says save energy… and these posts will help, but you can’t escape what’s needed.
In the first post of this series, I’m discussing…
The first key to great results: Your thought process and approach to your website
The number one reason people waste money, time and energy on their website project is lack of any form of a business plan, goals, objectives, structure, policies, procedures, organization and/ or marketing strategy. These are the foundation of any business which support everything else. Missing these elements cause website projects to be drawn out, constantly changing, or just completely unfinished. These things should be worked out before the start of any website project.
Your website is your virtual reality. The key here is reality. If there really isn’t a solid foundation for business growth, your website isn’t going to magically make it happen.
If your business has foundation in place, use that information to decide the purpose and functionality of your website. Every aspect of your website, including imagery, copy, layout, functions, etc., should all be intentional and driven by strategy.
The websites that get the best results seamlessly incorporate, and are built around, their business model, processes and marketing plan while keeping the user in mind. Here are some questions to help you get started:
- Who is your target audience? (link to great article via @fabienne)
- How do you pitch to prospects face-to-face?
- What major concerns do your customers have?
- What expectations do your customers have of you?
- What do you provide that differentiates you from your competition?
- What do past customers appreciate the most and least about your business?
- What processes do your customer go through from A to Z?
Whether your website project is for a business, organization or personal brand, the above basic questions will lead to many more. The more understanding and organization you have, the better you will be able to approach your website project, and get results.
I will be sharing more tips and advice to ensure you get results with your website. Get updated as soon as I add to this series by subscribing via RSS.