In a recent web-tip, we focused on identifying your customer and the solution that you give them. With the foundation laid, we want to start building the walls of your website – a website that your customers will love.
Today we’ll look at the key elements you need to consider as you’re planning your website – whether for the first time or for a refresh on your existing site. These items are important regardless if you’re going to build your own site, or if you’re working with a web guru on it. Pull out a notepad so you can follow along with the exercises.
Identify the objectives of your website
Do a Google search for terms in your industry, and look at how many search results are returned. At the very least, there are thousands of others who do just what you do. So, what makes you unique? Why should people buy from you instead of the next search result or the business down the road?
A big hint can be found where we ended last week’s tip, in talking about Carewords©. People will choose to buy from you over one of your competitors by the emotional connection you are able to build with them from their first “touch” of your business.
The second part of identifying objectives is to answer WHY. Why do you want a website? You’ll want to brainstorm on this one, and use the “So What” exercise we shared in the last tip.
Design for your customer
If you’ve done your homework to this point, you know what will resonate with your customer. First impressions count! You have less than 5 seconds for someone to make the decision whether to stay on your site or leave.
If you’re in business, you’re a professional! Your website needs to project that professional image. Keep the site clean and neat. Your revenue will come from solid content, NOT flashy animations. And, need we say it? Proofread, spellcheck, proofread, spellcheck!
We’ve covered writing content in previous tips (How to properly structure your content and keeping the Search Engines in mind), so we’ll simply summarize:
- Keep your sentences short.
- Keep your paragraphs short.
- Organize your content in an outline structure using subheadings.
- Write your content focused on your customer (1st person, “you”) not company-focused.
- Tell people what you want them to do with effective Call to Actions.
Here are some facts to consider:
- 92.6 percent said that they put most importance on visual factors when purchasing products.
- When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7 percent of the total respondents think that color accounts for more than half of the various factors important for choosing products.
- Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.
So, whether you sell products or services, the colors you use on your website are very important. In a previous web tip, we provided an in-depth look at “color and your website”. If you’re new to our tips, take a browse through the tip before completing the following exercise.
Identify your site needs
We touched on identifying your site needs in our previous tip, but let’s take a deeper dive and consider the following (which is a summary of what we’ve covered in the last couple of tips):
- What are the tasks your customers want to accomplish?
- What pages do you need in order for them to be successful?
These pages should be your core “funnel”. They must have this information in order to become your customer.
- What secondary pages do you need?
The About Us page is an example of a secondary page. If people like the way that you are solving their problem online, they don’t care who you are.
Every page on your website that requires action should answer the following three questions:
- What action is required?
- Who must take that action?
- What information does your visitor need to take the required action?
Your Online Partner… for Success
Would you like to have someone with experience help with a review of the results of your exercises? Reach out – and schedule a free 30-minute session with Christy.