This week I have spoken with several small businesses who already have a website. They’re now asking how to make it work…
The problem is when you build a website without understanding how the web works, you can be left with something that looks amazing and doesn’t do its job. Unfortunately, web designers have a habit of being great at design but totally clueless about how the web works and human nature.
When you build a website, you have two bosses – your target audience and the search bots.
You do need to give the search bots clues about where you are and what your web pages are about. You also need to play the popularity game and have other websites linking into you and social mentions. This is known as search optimisation and the whole game has changed over the last couple of months too.
You also need to know your audience, what they want and let them know what you want them to do. Yes, tell them what to do next. Tell them to pick up the phone, fill in the form, click the buy button.
It is certainly not a case of building your website and people just turning up and picking up the phone or clicking a buy button!
7 questions to ask before you build a website
1. Who is your audience? No, it’s not everyone.
2. What are their issues and how can you help them?
3. What type of words and phrases do they use when searching?
4. What do you want your website to achieve?
5. What actions do you want your viewers to take?
6. How are you going to promote your website?
7. How are you going to measure results?
When you come to build a website for your business, or redesign your current site, answer those questions first. Your web designer should be helping and working with you to answer them. How can they design something that is search and people friendly without knowing the answers themselves?
It is a lot to take in and a lot of work up front, but it is worth it. You’ll save time, effort, frustration and of course money in the long run. Understand that when you build a website it’s not a one off job, it needs updating, maintaining, analysing and promoting.
If you are not prepared to put in the time and effort to build a website with the basics for it to work for you (or hire someone to do it) then what is the point in investing in a website in the first place? Your thoughts are welcome in the box below