3 questions to ask before building your website
Let me ask you, is your website making you money and getting you clients?
If you’ve got a sinking feeling that your website isn’t doing its job then let's do something about it!
I know that your website can be something that actually works for you and your business and doesn’t cause you frustration and stress. It can multiply your impact and income.
Keep reading to discover the secret to building a website that captivates the attention of your dream clients, captures hot leads and converts into sales. It is a simple process that helps my clients see epic results from their website. I can’t wait to hear how it is going to help you create a website that captivates, captures, and converts!
But first, a quick story about my first website.
I spent hours on that website. I could not decide between sophisticated or playful for my brand style. I vacillated between Montserrat and Oswald for my headings. I agonized between badass fire brick red and super-serene Indian red for my color palette.
Finally, I launched my beautiful, brand new website. I was so excited. I had images of clients clamoring for my services. Money rolling in. Going from zero clients to fully booked out for two months.
Instead, all I got was...
*the sound of crickets chirping*
At that point, I was no longer worried about fonts and colors palettes. I was wondering “Where is my next client going to come from?”
Maybe you’ve asked yourself the same question.
People come to me all the time frustrated because their website is doing nothing for their business. Here’s what I see happening.
Everyone wants to start with the fun, sexy stuff. Colors and fonts.
However, a website is an extension of your business. It’s not like your website and your business are each in their own corner doing their own thing. The two are so connected that you can’t look at one, without considering the other.
You start with your business first, because this is what will define what your website needs to reflect. This is what will create the overall framework for your website.
This is where I always start with my clients.
I do a deep dive into their business first, so that we can incorporate their key business objectives into their website.
I call this process Strategic Website Design.
Total clarity about your business is a prerequisite for a winning website strategy. This is where you need to start. I can't stress it enough.
Then, you want the strategy to dictate the web design.
When your website design is dictated by the strategy, it's a winning formula every time. This is when the magic happens.
This is how you build websites that build businesses.
Start creating your website only after you can answer with absolute clarity the following three questions:
#1 - WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MY WEBSITE?
Before you sit down to create your site you have to know why your website exists. What actions do you want your website visitors to take? What do you want them to do or know after they have left your site?
Most websites are going to do one of these three things:
- Sell your services or products
- Produce a warm lead via phone call or contact form
- Generate opt-ins for your email list you can nurture for a later sale
If the purpose of your website is to generate leads, then guide potential clients through the website pages in such a way that they are getting all the information they need in order to make an informed decision to contact you.
- Add a visual portfolio of your work to showcase your skills
- Add a blog to demonstrate your knowledge
- Add customer testimonials to establish credibility and trust
- Add a Call To Action on every page telling your website visitors exactly what to
Once you know what you want your website to do, then you can use this as your starting point and design the website to fulfill that purpose. Keep that purpose in mind with every decision you make.
#2 - WHO IS MY IDEAL CLIENT?
Before you even start thinking about creating your new site, take a step back and be crystal clear about who this new website is intended for.
There are different tips and techniques for how to define your ideal client. I am going to make it super simple for you. Focus on your ideal client’s problem.
- The first step is to identify: What are your client’s urgent needs? What problem must they solve right away?
- The second step is to identify: What are your client’s compelling desires? What do they want to move toward?
- The third and most important step is to get really clear on the biggest result your clients get from working with you.
Now you can position yourself as the guide that will solve this problem. You can speak directly to the wants, needs, and desires of your ideal client and communicate with them in a way that makes them feel understood.
Once you know who you are talking to, design your website around your ideal client so that when they land on your website you are able to establish an instant connection with them.
#3 - WHAT MAKES ME UNIQUE?
It is no secret that it is a very crowded, noisy, competitive online market these days. It is getting increasingly harder to stand out above the noise, be memorable and make sure that your message gets heard.
The key to attracting more of your ideal clients is to stand out from the competition so that you become the obvious choice for the right people.
The first thing to do is to think about the story behind your business. Why did you start your business? How did you get to where you are today? You have a unique perspective because of your story. Even if you do the same thing that 1,000 other people do, you do it differently because it’s you.
Your journey and your story make your business unique. Use that to your advantage when figuring out how to position your business and establish your mission.
Once you know what makes you unique, then showcase this on your website so that it becomes clear to your website visitors how your services or products are special, why they should choose you and how are you different from the competition.
WHAT I LEARNED
So many valuable lessons were learned from my first beautiful, but ineffective website.
- You have to have goals, or you won’t know what steps to take to get there
- You have to know who you’re talking to, or you won’t know what to say
- You have to know who your competitors are, or you won’t know how to stand out
I learned that you have to start by doing a deep dive into your business before you start building your website because this is what will create the overall framework for your website.
I learned the process that I now use for all my website projects - Strategic Web Design.
In case you were wondering what happened to my first website, let me tell you.
I took that first website and started all over again. This time I ended up with a website that had my business as the framework. A website that had my purpose as the foundation. A website that resonated with my ideal client. A website that showcased my special something - the thing that sets me apart in this noisy digital world.
I launched my redesigned website.
This time I landed 12 new clients in the first few months without even trying. Money started rolling in. My business was off and running.
None of what I’ve just mentioned has to do with fonts or colors. Why?
Because they’re some of the last things you want to address in website design. All the other strategic items need to be in place or the “pretty” stuff isn’t going to matter.
Why does this work? Because the design is being dictated by the strategy. It is the strategy that is influencing the design decisions.
And strategy is the building block on which all great websites are built.