“Can you create a website for my business that will help my business make more money?”
You might not ask it that way or that directly and you may never bring it up with a web designer, but isn’t that the real question you have when you go to build a website for your business?
When I was in web design and development I had to learn to listen for the real issues and questions that my prospects and clients had. Rarely were the real issues ever on the surface. It was just an assumed “unspoken” know.
“We want a website that will either introduce us to new leads who become new customers or we want immediate online sales.”
The reality is that many businesses have spent a lot of money websites that just don’t work for them the way they expected them to. So they end up settling for what they have and are content because who wants to keep throwing thousands and thousands of dollars at something that is not working according to expectations.
If your website isn’t fulfilling expectations, do you assume that the problem is with the web designer? Maybe it’s the technology?
The truth is it probably isn’t either or maybe it’s both?
So what are the problems and how can we solve the critical issues for you?
4 Part Blueprint of Successful Websites
Behind every successful website there are four things that have to happen so that you can have the website of your dreams.
#1 – What is your Consistent, Identifiable Message?
According to a recent study titled “The 2015 B2B Web Usability Report,” the #1 reason that people leave a website immediately is because of a lack of a message.
It wasn’t technology, load speeds or layout (not those things are important because they are but they may not be as critical as once thought).
While you know your business inside and out, that doesn’t mean you’re visitors or prospects do.
They don’t want initial long explanations about how wonderful you are or anything that has to do with something other than why they are on your website.
They want to understand how you can make a difference for them or solve a specific problem.
When it comes to messaging too many of us are stuck in an old mass marketing paradigm where we share information too broadly and as a result we don’t say anything meaningful or helpful to our visitors.
So how do we discover our core message that separates us from our competition and brands us in the minds of our website visitors?
By learning the following:
- What business you’re “really” in from the consumer’s point of view?
- What are the tangible values that people experience through your business and how do they feel about those experiences?
- What “specific” problems does each tangible value solve?
- Who are you “specifically” solving the problems for?
- How is your product or service “a” part of “a” solution?
Once you learn the detailed answers to these questions you can begin to see the common themes that make your message stand out.
#2 – What is the Purpose of Your Website?
Once you’ve identified either the problems you solve, needs you meet or desire your business fulfills and who you do it for; you can then turn to define the purpose of the website.
This is critical for both you and your web designer to understand.
There are several different purposes for a site and each one determines the layout and how they are presented to deliver your message.
What are the purposes of a website?
Your website’s purpose will always be one or a combination of the following purposes:
- Marketing a product or service
In essence the purpose of your website is to deliver your message and how you do that is critical to your success.
#3 – Hiring the Right Web Designer / Developer
Hiring the right web designer is critical to your success. They are going to create the face and brand of your business online so it’s imperative you know what to look for in a web designer.
Here are four critical questions you must be able to answer about each one you interview:
- Do they understand your industry?
- Do they understand your business?
- Are they up-to-date in their industry and can they make recommendations?
- Do they see themselves as your partner or just your web designer?
In order to hire the right web designer, you also must understand what a web designer does and does not do.
Good web designers do not:
- Create your message or decide upon your content – and they shouldn’t be asked to (note: that’s what someone like me does).
- Do SEO or social media. They are web designers skilled in a specific task for a very specific need.
- Create and produce videos for your website.
- Write or proofread your content or blog articles.
- Take control of your domain name or hold you hostage.
- Rush your project or delay your project unnecessarily.
What do great web designers do:
- Communicate and work with you throughout the process and beyond.
- Create the look, feel, color palette and layouts for different pages of the site as determined by the content.
- Ensure that the site is ready for launch and that everything works the way it’s supposed to work.
- After launch they support their work and ensure that the site remains working the way it is intended to.
Hiring the right web designer is critical to your success!
In my upcoming webinar with SEMrush on October 15, I will share with you a three-part process to help you qualify a web designer. If you’re about to build a website or will in the future you won’t want to miss this webinar!
See more below about the webinar.
#4 – Build Your Website Around Your Message and Purpose
The final step in the blueprint pulls it all together. Now that you have a clear message, know the purpose of your website and have hired the right web designer it’s time to give them the content they need to make your website a reality.
If it sounds complex or overwhelming, that’s okay. The key is to continually simplify the complex. I always start with the scope out the site first and create the sitemap on paper (or screen) that will make up the pages of your website and how each page relates and flows from to one another.
Your content should be built solely around your message and your prospects.
Working side-by-side with your designer (and perhaps an expert consultant like myself), you should have a fully functioning and operating website in no time.
That is as long as you and your designer are on the same page and have the same expectations.
Would you like to learn how to pull all of this together in more detail?
If so, consider joining me in my live webinar with SEMrush on Thursday, October 15, 2015. Click here for local time and registration details.
Specifically, I will go into:
- Messaging: Identifying your audience and how to offer a solution to their problems
- Crafting a purpose for your website
- Hiring the right web designer/developer
- How to design a site layout around your message and purpose
Click and register today! I hope to see you there and be sure to bring a pencil/pen and paper and take lots of notes and be ready to ask lots of questions afterward.