Your website will be the first impression many of your potential customers will see. That impression may be the clincher of a big sale, or it might be the thing that sends them running to your competitors. This is why when creating your website, we think there are 3 important must-do steps before doing anything else.
A good website should communicate these things:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- What you promise
Your website should do this using Content, Organization and Appearance (look and feel). Think of your website as a sales pitch, and just as you wouldn’t deliver your sales pitch to your customer in your pyjamas, your website should not be dishevelled either.
Step 1 – Analyse
Before you decide what you are going to say and how you should say it, you really should spend a little time analysing your audience, competitors, industry and yourself first.
Starting with your audience, you need to find out more about them
Who are they? What are they looking for? Will they need educating about your product? Do they respond better to an emotional or intellectual pitch, or maybe both?
Next, you should analyze your competitors.
Do not copy your competitors, be different, be better. You will need to know what your competitors’ domain names are. It is important that your domain will not be confused with your competitors’. Are their websites good or bad? It is important to not use the same dominant colour as your biggest competitors – colours play a large part in customers’ memory recall. Consider what can make your website better and more appealing. Decide what will motive your customers to buy from you
When analysing your industry, you should be looking at the trends.
Your industry’s history, present and future. Depending on your market you could find that technologies evolve quickly (it certainly does in website design) you need to be ready for this! Maybe you can even use this as an opportunity to set yourself out from the pack.
Analysing yourself comes next: what’s your business personality? Formal? Fun? Technical? How can your website be built around this?
Step 2 – Clarify
So now we know a little about your audience, competitors and industry, it’s important to begin by narrowing your focus down, picking a niche. Find a market that you can focus on and give them a specific offer for a specific product/service that features specific benefits. For example, instead of selling bags online, you could sell airline laptop bags to businessmen looking for quality and protection for their laptops.
Remember, the more different you are from your competition you are, the less competition you have and the harder it is for consumers to replace your product with something else. This makes price less important.
Step 3 – Strategize
Content & Organization
Split your website into blocks, making sure each block covers a user’s needs identified from the analysis above. Then fill each block with the relevant information. Your home page is where the important stuff goes like your main sales pitch, links that take the user from the home page should bring them to more detailed information.
Develop your navigation, map out your top navigation bar, your left navigation bar and your footer links – remembering that you want to help users quickly and easily find the content they want.
The appearance of your website is so important, we can’t stress it enough! Your aim is to create a quality website that reflects your brand. Remember, professional-looking sites are clean and understated, with an airy feel. Avoid a busy looking website with too much going on, simple is better and less is more.
Thanks for taking the time to read my little write up and I really do hope it helps you to plan the best website possible for your customers. If you would like us as your professional web designers to help create the perfect website for you, then get in touch. If you have any suggestions, questions or other ideas feel free to comment below.