How To Build An Effective Business Site
Building an effective Website for your small business is a lot like building a house…
If you’re getting ready to build or remodel a house, you don’t just grab hammer and start pounding away, right? You consider your wants and needs, the purpose of the house and the rooms in it, as well as how traffic will flow from room to room.
Then you create a plan or hire someone to create one for you. Otherwise you’re likely to end up with a house you hate or that isn’t functional.
Try adding rooms or changing things willy-nilly and you end up with what I call a “remuddle”. You know, one of those houses with odd sized rooms, weird hallways and things (like fridges or heating oil tanks) stuffed into strange places. Exactly the kind of place buyers walk away from as fast as they can.
That’s why most people hire an architect to create a blueprint of the house they want before they start building. These professional understand exactly how to make a house meet your needs while staying within your budget.
Yet all too often no one (including the Web designer or developer) creates a blueprint—or site plan—before building a Website. You just get a site that, hopefully, looks nice. But it isn’t designed to meet your business needs, or the needs of your site visitors.
The result is a site that’s hard to navigate… Or a site that grows over time like that “remuddled” house into something no one can find their way around. Instead of a Website that leads the visitor on a sensible path towards signing up, calling, or buying.
The reality is, MOST small business Websites aren’t planned or designed to sell a gosh-darned thing—not you, your services, or even your products. They’re designed to look nice. Yet all too often even the best looking sites don’t make a dime (no leads, no sales, no nothing!).
That’s because making money online isn’t just about having a pretty Website.
Instead it’s about setting yourself apart from the competition and making a connection with your ideal client. Then giving them the chance to get to know, like and trust you—and sample the value you offer—so they feel confident taking action.
That requires careful thought and planning. And you can’t expect your Web person to do this for you.
You’re the business owner. You understand your goals and the wants, needs and problems of your ideal client, better than anyone else. And you also know what content you have available or can put together.
So if you want to get a Website that works the first time around, it’s up to you to know exactly what you want and need and why.
Below are seven things you should have in hand before you hire a Web designer or developer, or start building a site on your own:
- A description of ideal client and target market, and their wants, needs, problems and goals so your entire site can be created with them in mind
- A list of the top 5-10 questions prospects typically ask before doing business with you—answer them on your site and you won’t be answering them on the phone!
- The goal or purpose of your site and each page so you can plan it with intention and get results
- A site plan showing the pages you want on your site, and how they’re going to be linked and organized
- All of the content you want and need on the site organized by page
- A storyboard showing how the content is going to be organized on the page to make sure the most important info is front and center
- A sense of the overall look and feel you want your site to have to make the right first impression
I know this may seem like a lot of work, but it truly doesn’t have to be. And once you have this pulled together you’re going to save tons of time and money on the design/build side.
Because your designer won’t have to guess at what you want and go through endless rounds of revisions. And because you actually end up with a site that brings in revenues and does a whole lot more!
About the Author: Practical Marketing Expert and Business Lifestyle Architect Stacy Karacostas is on a mission to end Entrepreneurial Overwhelm and Marketing Madness! Discover how to grow your businesses with less effort-so you can help more people, make more money AND still have a life-by grabbing your copy of her FREE "Success without Shackles Starter Kit" at http://www.theunchainedentrepreneur.com.