There’s no doubt about it, the technology we have to run an online business today is super impressive! The new reality is you can have a website up in just a few hours or days without having to know a single piece of code!
But knowing how simple and easy it can be to build an online business can set you up for unexpected setbacks as it encourages you to take the right actions in the wrong order ultimately creating a website that simply doesn’t work.
One thing these technologies don’t teach is what needs to happen before you place a single word or picture on your website. Instead, you quickly find yourself fussing over what shade of violet to settle on and the placement of your logo both of which have no impact on building a website that meets your goals. That’s why today, I’m sharing 4 things you simply can’t ignore when building a website so you take the right actions in the right order.
Knowing exactly what you need your website to do for you should be your top priority before any work is undertaken to develop your website as it directly informs how the site will be designed and structured.
If you know what you need it to do for you up front the act of developing it will be so much smoother and makes it a lot easier to prioritize and focus on the tasks that really matter like collecting leads, filling your client roster or online programs and essentially making bank .
Consider your audience.
It’s so easy to skip this part but the fact is, the success of your website depends on understanding what your audience needs so it’s simply crazy not to consider them when planning your site.
Knowing who you’re building your website for, what makes them come alive, their challenges, what they need from you and being able to anticipate that in advance is priceless.
It will help you craft relevant messages and content, decide what information is most important for them to know about your business and create services and offerings that they’re actually willing to pay you for.
Related Post: 8 Ways to start acting like a brand
Organize your content
Ultimately, you want to make it easy for your users to find the information they need with little effort. If you don’t put in the effort at the very beginning your website can quickly become confusing to understand and navigate for them and over time it’ll become increasingly overwhelming for you to manage.
So spend some time organizing and prioritizing the information for your site – by doing so, you’ll be better able to visualize where your content fits into the overall structure and identify other pieces you may have overlooked.
WriteMaps is a wonderful tool to help create a flawless flow of content in an effective and sustainable way.
Create a great experience
Something you might not have thought about yet is the fact that your users will be communicating and interacting with you via your website, sometimes in the subtlest ways. It might be clicking a button, filling in a form, adding a product to a shopping cart or downloading a PDF.
And when they do, they’ll be expecting some kind of feedback to acknowledge that the action they just took was noted.
Have you ever purchased something online and not received some form of communication to confirm your purchase or it’s delivery status?
It’s a terrible experience that leaves you feeling confused, frustrated and wondering if you’ve just been duped out of your cold hard cash.
You can spare your users the same pain by spending some time outlining these types of interactions and the feedback required to make the process easy to follow and less stressful for them. Doing so will help you to craft relevant responses and ensure they aren’t forgotten when it comes time to build your site (you’ll be surprised how often these essential responses are neglected).
Let’s recap the 4 things you absolutely can’t ignore when building a website:
- Know what you need your website to do for you
- Know what your audience needs from you
- Organize and prioritize your content
- Craft relevant responses for a better user experience
Armed with this information, and my Essential Website Planning Checklist, you’ll be better equipped to build an effective and sustainable website to support your business.