If you’re reading this, then you’re probably about to start building a website for yourself, a friend or perhaps even a client. Regardless of where you currently are, I always find it wise to revisit the following four fundamentals, to launching a successful website.
But before we get into that, let’s define what a successful website site is:
successful | adjective
accomplishing a desired aim or result.
website | noun
a location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more web pages.
This can be achieved when the following are working in unison.
Purpose + Design + Technology + Marketing = Success
Define the purpose of your site
What is the purpose of your website? If you can’t answer this question chances are you’re wasting your best online asset….
Before you even start thinking about the nitty gritty details of your website, the first thing to get clear on is its primary purpose. I.e., what do you want most from it? Quotes, sales, memberships?
After considering this, you’ll need to realize that people who visit your website may not be ready to take that action right now. If this is the case, what would you like them to do instead? What are your secondary goals for your site? Would you like them to opt ‘into your newsletter’, download your eBook, or follow you on social media?
Regardless of what business you’re in, all websites should accomplish something, and that ‘something’ shouldn’t just be too ‘make more money.’
For example – do you want the site to:
- Get more inbound leads, quote requests, phone enquiries?
- Increase brand awareness?
- Educate your audience?
- Encourage sales?
- Collect email addresses and build a list?
- Encourage onsite or social media interaction?
Once you’re clear on the purpose of your site, the rest becomes much simpler, and you’re able to set a benchmark of what success looks like to you.
A well-designed site should take into account the journey you want to take visitors on when they visit your site. It should be able to communicate effectively and get visitors to take a predetermined action that you desire.
When it comes to designing your website, there are core actions you want users to take. You may want them to sign up, download something, buy something, subscribe or share your site with their friends.
It’s this attention to detail and user experience that separates good websites from great. You need only look at sites like airbnb in comparison to VRBO to see just how huge of an impact design makes. Quicksprout does a fantastic job of illustrating these differences in one of their recent articles.
Think of technology as the building blocks to your site. To have a solid building, you need a strong foundation. The same rationale applies to your website. Start by getting your domain and hosting setup with a reputable provider that can support to your needs.
After deciding on your hosting provider, the next thing to consider is what features you’ll need to make the best use of your website. The key here is to keep things simple.
What features do you want your website to have?
- A shopping cart?
- Social media implementation?
- Email collection and email marketing capability?
- Auto-responders for nurturing?
- A blog or news feed?
- Photo galleries?
- Onsite videos?
- A slider banner?
- A mobile site?
- A responsive site?
- A blog or news page?
- The ability for people to leave comments?
- A quick contact form, quote request or booking form?
Sales & Marketing
Sales & Marketing is the core of any business. Without a solid sales & marketing plan, all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality, and I feel it is our duty to make you aware of this. It’s not as simple as ‘build it and they’ll come’ any more or ever for that matter…
Now knowing this, you are at an advantage. You can now start looking at where those most likely to need your business hang out online and start marketing yourself there.
Before spending a cent on marketing, the very first thing you should do is create a clear picture of who your ideal customer is, where they hang out (online and offline) and what motivates them. We call this building a customer avatar; we go into this in greater detail in this article.
Once you know these details, you’re in a much better position to choose where to focus your advertising spend and to create a message that is most likely to convert your visitors into clients.
Building a website can be a highly profitable exercise, but it needs to be done right. If you fail to plan, then ultimately you’re planning to fail. When building a website you need a properly thought out and planned strategy, otherwse you could be throwing your money down the toilet…!
If you found this article useful or have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.
Born as a serial ‘thinker’ I’ve always had a fascination for understanding how and why people do the things they do. As I’ve grown up this fascination turned into a career in film & tv, then sales and marketing. You name it I’ve probably sold it! (and have a lesson or two to share about the journey)
I’d love for you to connect with me here or on Facebook/LinkedIn.