25 Mar Getting your website right
Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash
A quick 5-step series on building a website to attract your perfect client and drive conversion.
Step #1 – Strategy first
Don’t get carried away thinking about imagery, your intro movie or where you can use that awesome quote you found on Insta the other day. The first step to building an awesome website is to look at the bigger picture before anything else.
Step 1 requires you ask yourself some important questions, such as –
- Why do you need a website?
- What is its purpose? and,
- Where does it sit in your sales process?
Then, you should consider…
- Who it is you are building it for?
- What are they hoping to see on their visit?
- What will they need to see on your site to inspire them to purchase from you?
While any Tom, Dick or Harry can build you a website, not everyone understands how important it is to do the strategy FIRST before you begin. Whether you are DIYing it, or working with another party, be sure that before you build your site you start with questions like these. In doing so, your site will be built from the ground up, with direction and purpose.
Step #2 – Lockdown your customer journey
Now that you have done the groundwork and the ultimate goals of your website have been pinpointed, it’s time to focus on nailing your customer journey.
In a nutshell, you need to know who your customer is, what they desire from you and, to know what they want to see from your site’s pages to motivate their purchase. I like to do this with post-it notes for each, and every, target audience, so you can consider everything they may want to pinpoint when they visit your site. If you need a hand nailing who your target audience is, we happen to have a handy blog about that here >
First up, dissect your information into your site map. From there, I would highly recommend creating wireframes to map out each of the site’s pages before you begin to build. If you haven’t heard that term before, wireframes are basically like blueprints to your site. They are created using simple shapes and dummy text so you can map out each page, ensuring all the relevant information is exactly where it needs to be before you start work on anything else.
If you can, use a prototyping tool so you can build a live website frame to test out the structure and experience it firsthand. This will ensure all the information is in the right place, all your CTAs are doing their job and, that your customer finds the information they want to see.
Step #3 – Content and Design
This part is my personal favourite, because now is when things get super fun!
You’ve done your strategy, your site pages are mapped according to your research, now it’s time to make sure your audience has the BEST possible experience with your site!
You know who your target audience is and have hopefully done a good deep dive into what they do and don’t like. This is when you can use the magic of words and imagery to make them fall in love with the promise of working with, or buying from, you.
My top tips for creating the ultimate web design:
- Design for your audience, not for you;
- Don’t try anything too fancy with your website whether it’s your navigation, or by introducing too many fancy fads. People like consistency. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for with simple navigation and clear and obvious CTAs;
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS use quality imagery;
- Make sure your design looks amazing on mobiles too. Google now ranks your site from the mobile view alone;
- Keep it simple and uncluttered – white space is your friend.
Now, when it comes to content:
- Make it all about the CUSTOMER, not all about YOU!
- Always start with a leading benefit statement on each page and then back it up with evidence-based content;
- Keep it simple, concise and to the point;
- Always include testimonials, your credentials, affiliate partnerships or certification to cement your professionalism and expertise;
- I would recommend an investment in SEO research, if the budget allows. For a more DIY solution @KateToon has some great courses for around the $100 mark, if this is better suited to your needs;
- Use your keywords in your H1 and scattered throughout your content;
- If you want some tips for DIY content, we wrote a blog which will help you navigate your website content here >
Step #4 – Building the site of your dreams
When it comes to building a website, there are lots of different options available. The tried and tested ones which I believe will stand the test of time include – WordPress, Shopify, SquareSpace and Showit.
Each platform has its own virtues and its own pitfalls. What you’re trying to achieve with your site, your budget and your level of technical skill will determine which platform is right for you. Want more guidance with that? Here’s a blog where we compare all the different platforms for you, right here > (Showit to be added soon)
Step #5 – Launch time!!
Now it’s time to pop the champagne and launch with a bang 😎
My old business partner used to say that not marketing a new website was kinda like putting up a billboard in the desert. When you launch no-one will know your new website is there if you haven’t told them about it.
Make the launch of your new site the biggest marketing campaign of the month. Create a hype for the launch on your socials, make it the perfect excuse to reconnect with your old customers. Talk to your followers about it every day and tell everyone you know, ensuring you drive traffic to your new site.
Tell them why you created it, what the benefit will be for them, and how it will make their purchasing experience better than before.
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