Is your website a playground…for your web designer?
This is how you miss out on online opportunities to bring new clients and brand recognition for your offline business.
Keep reading to see an example of a start-up business, which attracted new clients within 1 week of launching the website and within 3 weeks of starting the business.
Will it work for you?
How do you see your website?
Do you see it as a business tool that sets you apart from other businesses like yours, or a business tool that makes you look like them?
There is no right answer here because both choices have an equal potential for success or failure.
So, it depends.
Firstly, you need to be clear on your business and brand strategy – to know how you want to be positioned, who you want to attract to your website (your business) and what you want your website to achieve.
Then you can look at businesses with similar market positioning, to get ideas about their online image, including their website, and know which elements you can copy and which you should never do.
Your website is your business online and it is a strategic decision first, before it is an operational (design) one.
Secondly, you cannot succeed in copying anyone else’s site, be it the whole look or just the individual elements, unless you know with 100% certainly how this website is performing. Until you know what sales it brings in and what client goodwill it creates, you wouldn’t want to copy it.
Your website is a business performance tool, not an image tool.
So, if you agree that your website is your strategic and business performance tool, why would you give the task of creating it to a non-business person or company?
It’s not unusual that a business owner will ask one of their kids (the IT savvy one) to do their website. This can actually work in some cases depending on the nature of the business!!!
Or most often they will ask a web developer or a web designer, who may be local or overseas.
If you’ve ever followed this path, you would know that you would be offered a suitable industry web template and you would be asked to provide the text, to fill in the blanks.
So, you would go and check the competitions websites and see what they’ve done, which as we know, may or may not work.
Every business has a unique brand (and therefore brand story), unique way of operation (business models), different services and set of valuable features most appreciated by the people they serve.
So, the site layout and itsinteractive elements would differ for every business.
By the way, most website templates are “feature” and “product” driven (easier to design them that way), whilst the reality of what is appealing and important to a client of a professional service business is very different.
The service/product pages of a website of a service based business is only the 5th most visited page after the Home page or Landing page, About us, Our team and Contact us pages.
In other words, your potential clients are first interested in who you and your business are and why they should trust you, before they look at what you do.
Building your website is the same as building your business, it just happens online.
Our company has recently built a business website for Vincent Noviello, a legal and property expert, dedicated to helping people buy their first home.
Maybe you know someone who can benefit from his services, his help and the monetary incentives he is able to source for first home owners. This is his website:
When Vincent came to us, he didn’t have a clear idea what his business model should look like – but he had the passion, the knowledge and the experience of doing the work and helping people.
He asked us for a website and some advertisements to bring traffic to it, so we helped Vincent package his gifts into a strategic business tool, to give him the best chance of success right from the get-go.
We deliberately didn’t do what his competitors were doing and still are – creating websites to suit their own needs, which are process driven, rather than suit their customer needs, which are service-driven.
The home loan lending and property buying/selling services are heavy on legal conditions and requirements and most people in the market for these services understand this.
But this doesn’t mean that they want to be subjected to reading through copious amounts of information; neither will they be willing to give away personal information before knowing more about the company asking for this information.
So why would you ask your potential customers to do that on your website?
It doesn’t look/sound right but it is hard to know what is right when you are not there/online to gauge the body language of your visitors or ask them questions.
Business owners are just too close to their business to be able to put themselves objectively in their client’s shoes and see their services from the other side.
We help with this:
This is the design framework we use for our clients, which you can use too, to have a great, well-performing website and business:
Business and Marketing Design
This is the representation of the value your business provides in your market place – it’s a summary of the problems you solve, the benefits your services create for your clients, your unique product and service offers, your client success stories.
Since every business has a unique brand (a combination of unique set of skills, capabilities and personality), no two website designs can look the same.
Sales and Technical Design
This is the functional skeleton of your website, most of which is hidden for you and your site visitors. And it depends on the type of site content management system, just how complex the technical design will be.
We design the site with the user experience in mind, which is the most important part.
Your visitors will interact with a range of action buttons, lead capturing forms, and other functions. If you want to use your website to generate more sales regardless where they are completed – offline of online – you also need to include performance tracking codes, and a range of other programs that run different components and they need to be updated regularly.
The visual design is what most people will picture in their mind when they think of website design.
Whilst this is mostly an aesthetic and therefore a subjective design element, it needs to match closely your brand image as well as your ideal target audience.
It’s no coincidence why big brands choose specific images of people who reflect their target market.
We create a visual reflection of your company’s values as well as your clients’ values and preferences, not blindly following what may be trendy but unsuitable or ineffective for your business performance.
Let us know if we can help and don’t forget to check out Vincent’s website and great offer to first home buyers.