When a business owner first thinks about building or redesigning their website, they typically think about how it looks. “Where does the logo go?” “What color should the navigation be?” “What pictures do we want to use?”
Those details are important, but they are just that – details. They aren’t were you start the conversation about a website. Here are a few things to consider before you start the design process.
What do you want your website to do?
For businesses like restaurants their websites have typically been a place to get information. Menus, specials, hours, happy hour, events, catering, a phone number and maybe a way to make reservations. But now we are starting to see more dynamic websites where customers can place orders online. That is an entirely different focus than a static information website.
Have a mobile site
It is the rare business today whose customers are exclusively or even mostly coming to their website from a computer. More than likely they are clicking in from your newsletter or a Google search from their phone. Websites that come up teeny tiny are archaic (If your site still does that, it’s way past time to upgrade). You want your site to look good on a huge desktop monitor, a laptop or tablet and on a phone. If you don’t, Google will penalize you in the search results.
Make what you do clear and for whom
It is easy to assume that anyone who lands on your website is there because they already know you and what you do. But that isn’t always the case. If right on the home page a website says, “Knitting tips for all skill levels” you know straightaway if you are in the right place or not. Don’t make people guess if what you offer is right for them or not.
Of course, that means you have to know who your customer is and what they want to buy. That’s a topic for a different post.
What do you want your customer to do when they land on your website?
All websites have information about the company. But what your customer DOES while they are on your site is important.
If your website is trying to do all the things it will end up confusing your customer and they will end up doing nothing.
How can customers reach you?
There is nothing more frustrating than having to search for a way to connect with someone you want to give your money. Your contact page should be, at most, one-click from the home page. Be sure to include your street address (if you have a brick and mortar location), your phone number (that someone will actually answer), an email address (that someone is actively monitoring) and a contact form.
Should you build it yourself?
There is a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes from saving money and doing something yourself. But building a website that is going to be the first impression of your business for many of your potential clients, likely isn’t the best place to pinch pennies and look for self-gratification. If you want people to take your business seriously and spend their hard-earned money with you, having a professionally built website is a no brainer and worth the investment.
Call Russ at 302-273-0514 to get your website project started. Or email him at Russ@RgBDesignGroup.com