Business Owners Guide To Planning And Building A Great Website

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Want to find more customers and make more money in your business…Start with a great website. Sounds logical, right? So why is that so many business websites miss the mark with customers? It’s easy, they aren’t web developers they are business owners. When they start working on a site owners can get distracted by the bells and whistles of the site and lose focus on what customers want from the site and how to how the site can convert.

Here are three MUST DO’s for your site

  • Be conversion focused. The site should serve your customers and make it simple for them to do business with you.
  • Be Mobile Friendly. People are doing business from their phones. If your site can’t meet the customers’ needs while they are on the move you will lose them.
  • Be Social and Fresh All of your social media activity and your website have to work together. Your social platforms should drive people to your site and your site should be able to convert.

How to build a great website

Planning  ~ Things to do before you move forward

  • Take the technology out of the site at this phase.  Focus on your business goals.  Make your site about customer and what you would like them to be able to do on your site.
  • Assess your brand identity and how that should translate to your site.
  • Produce a starter sitemap that outlines content needed in your site.  This is a roadmap of your site that shows how the pages of your site connect.

Design ~ Things to do as you develop

  • Your brand is how people perceive your company. Your site is part of that brand.
  • Capture and communicate emotional benefit to customer.
  • Create immediate connection.
  • Be consistent throughout.
  • Make sure your site works.

Identify Big things ~ What are the two or three big things you want the site to accomplish

  • E-Commerce to sell product
  • Drive visitors to a specific conversion
  • Multimedia
  • Social media integration
  • Event and news promotion
  • Current customer support

Identify Little things ~ the details

  • Make the site efficient and functional
  • Make it easy for the users to navigate.  Well organized with white space and multiple ways to access information.
  • Have a High Functioning Content Management System that allows you or your staff to publish, edit or modify content from a central interface without the help of a developer.

Things to do when selecting a developer

  • Design: Request examples of work they have done that are similar to what you want.
  • Technology: What platforms have they developed on?  Remember, if they only have experience with one or two platforms they may not be able to meet your needs if you need something different.
  • Search: Do they have demonstrated experience in developing sites that perform in search engines.  Ask them to explain SEO to you?
  • Content: Do they talk content – the most important/difficult part of a site design.  The person should understand your business. Are they making technology or design suggestions?  Design starts with your strategy/goals/needs.  One size technology does not fit for all.

Pulling Everything Together

  • Great Software + bad design = FAIL
  • Great design + bad software = FAIL
  • Great Design + Google hates it = FAIL
  • Great Design + Search Friendly + Great Software = Success!!!

A website that looks beautiful is good but a sites that works, gets your business found and makes you money is GREAT!