Develop your next website with a solid foundation and a focused direction – yielding better than ordinary results for you and your visitors.
Building a website is not about checking boxes… Testimonials Page? Check. Meet the Team? Check. FAQ? Check. About Us? Blech!
A website is so much more. This is a real chance to convert, exhibit, sell, engage, and inform – efficiently, and potently – when built around a clear strategy.
Before you choose a WordPress Theme, install any Plugins, or even write your content – Give the following “8 Things” some consideration.
Your website should be fit for purpose – Designed to achieve your goals, and the goals of your visitors. First, you’ll have to define that purpose.
Why does your website exist – and what do you hope it achieves?
More enquiries? More foot traffic? Improved attendance? Shared Knowledge?
Make a site that does that thing!
Don’t start by lumping everything you have to offer into a website. Attempting to cover all bases, or spreading it thin – may shift focus away from the core offering and message.
You’ll have opportunities later in development to showcase your peripheral talents and services – but keep the bellwether goal in mind during all development phases.
2. The Elevator Pitch
After landing on a webpage – most visitors will ponder: Am I in the right place? What is this? Who are you? Will you benefit me?
Answers to these questions should be provided upon arrival. Assume you have a few seconds to explain yourself and capture their imagination.
- If your offering solves a problem, then tell the visitor that it will. You don’t necessarily have to immediately tell them how – but they need to know that they’re about to get some satisfaction.
- If you Sell a particular niche of goods online – make it obvious – a picture of the products with a “Shop Now” button.
- If you have a point of difference or offer a bespoke service – Spruke it straight away.
This is where a “Hero Banner” really shines. A few choice words overlaid onto some relevant imagery – can inform visitors of what you’re all about – and what problems you solve.
3. Visitor Goals
Help your visitors achieve their goals from the moment they land on your website.
Ask yourself – “Why do people come here – and how can we help them reach that goal in a click or two?”
Are they looking to buy something? Seeking help? Wanting information? Registering for an event?
Whatever the answer- ensure that your website helps visitors do that thing. If they can’t do it relatively quickly, or easily, your website may just be generating missed opportunities. Don’t muddy your message – the most popular and profitable services/offerings should be front and centre.
A website is often the first impression someone has of a business – So, capture your brand essence in style – don’t shy away from using the medium to invigorate and upgrade your persona; Especially if it will appeal to your core and fringe demographic.
It’s important to understand going in – who your visitors are. Knowing how they use technology, and what imagery/writing style they respond to. Research the competition, analyse the aesthetic, font, colour, and language choices that the advertisers for your industry utilise. Ensure consistency of that style across the website and all correspondence.
5. User Experience
How someone feels when using your website will influence their initial perception of your business as a whole. You must ensure that your visitors don’t have a bad experience. In fact – you should aim to make it an enjoyable experience. They are never lost, frustrated, or uncertain. The website will be an intuitive, engaging, and enriching experience. Speak to people in conversational language, and appeal to their common sense. The novelty of the Internet has worn off. Trim the fat – More action – Less distraction.
Your website will have the expected elements that visitors seek (Breadcrumbs, contact forms, maps, search boxes) – But only when adding value to the overall experience.
Well chosen imagery and thoughtful design can evoke an emotional connection with visitors, and show the humanity beyond the website – Just ensure that you hit the right notes. A human element is powerful, so use the opportunity wisely.
Show the results; This can be achieved in the Hero Banner – Showing people (from your demographic) benefiting from your offering. Include short and sweet Testimonials – with a corroborating happy profile style photo (again, from your demographic).
7. Ongoing Engagement
You want visitors to return, share, and remain engaged with your brand or business. Plan to keep your website content up to date, and provide News and ongoing Guides/Stories/Event info in the form of Blog Posting. You can then share links to these periodically on Facebook or Twitter etc. to increase site awareness (for Humans and Search Engine Bots)
Invite visitors to join Newsletters – where you can send occasional special offers or News, things that call them back to your site for another look.
Don’t just create arbitrary Social pages everywhere – ensure that you have the bandwidth to engage with people on each social platform you create.
8. Professional Development
Work with a Website Designer/Developer to establish the desired Purpose, Style, and Features of the website, and then let them build it for you. Web designers follow proven principles in design and marketing – to deliver a site that meets or exceeds the desired outcomes. They should give you what you need, and not necessarily what you want.
Your website will adhere to current web standards – including responsive design, high quality typography, graphical elements, suitable WordPress Themes, Plugins, and Hosting Technology.
Having an amazing website with all the “bells and whistles” is not much use if it does not convert visitors to fans, leads, or sales.
Contact Snug Site if you would like further guidance with getting you next WordPress website project off the ground!