So you’ve decided its time to get your website happening? Whether you’re planning to hire a professional, or built it yourself for free, there’s a few important things to figure out before you start the website build process.
The following why, who and what affects everything about your website build – from its design, to its copy and even its SEO.
Understanding these key things can help save you time, and ensure you end up with a website that truly works for your business.
1. Figure out the why of your website
Take some time to consider why you want a website in the first place. Many clients come to me without giving this any thought at all – their only reason for getting a website is because they think they should have one. They look at it as just another step in getting their business up and running – a box to tick off after getting their logo and business cards.
But having a website is a big decision, and it’s important to think about why you want one and what you hope to achieve with it. Otherwise, you might end up with a website that doesn’t really serve any purpose and doesn’t help you reach your business goals.
Another way to think of this is, what is the #1 thing you want your website to do for you?
- Is it to make sales?
- Generate more leads?
- Book more clients?
- Build your brand?
Knowing your reason for getting a website helps define its purpose and its goals. Once you know what you want your site to do, you can start planning what content, features and functionality it will need to achieve those goals.
2. Figure out who your website is for
In other words – who is your target audience? Who are you trying to reach with your website?
I’ve found its all too common for clients to view everyone as a potential customer or client, and to not want to narrow down their audience, for fear they may be excluding someone.
The above quote sums up why its so important to define who you are trying to reach with your website. If you try to appeal to everyone with your website, it will end up not appealing to anyone.
In fact, the more specifically you can define who your ideal client is, the better you can understand them and the more likely you are to create a website that deeply resonates with them – and the more likely they will be to take action.
You need to figure out exactly who you’re talking to, what they care about, what they want from your website, and what the site needs to offer them.
The target audience can dictate everything about a website’s design – from the choice of colours, fonts and images to the layout of the pages – as well as the tone of voice you should use for your content. Depending on who you are trying to reach, you may want to use a more formal or casual tone in your writing. The overall goal is to make sure your website’s design and content are working together to attract your ideal client.
3. Figure out what makes you unique
Chances are, you aren’t the only person who does what you do in your market (whether that’s your local city, your country, or the entire world). You need to find a way to stand apart from all the others.
By understanding what makes you and what you offer unique, you can find a way to differentiate yourself from your competition. And, how to set your website apart from all the other offering that same service.
In marketing lingo, this is known as your “unique value proposition”.
To figure out what makes you unique, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my unique skills and strengths?
- What unique experience do I have?
- What can I offer that nobody else can?
When you take the time to sit down and think about what makes you and your offering unique, you open up a world of possibilities for your website’s design and content. By clearly defining your point of difference, you can ensure that your uniqueness shines through in everything from the site’s visuals to the way its content is written.
Not only will this help your site stand out from the sea of sameness that is the internet, but it will also give you a valuable north star to guide your decision-making whenever you’re working on the site.
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you of the importance of figuring out the why, who, and what of your website before you start building it.
Without a clear purpose, target audience, and selling point, your website will likely be lost in the crowd of the millions of other websites out there. So take some time to figure out what makes you and your business unique before you get down to the nitty gritty of the website build – it’ll save you a lot of time and effort in the long run, and set your website up for success.
Did you consider all the above points when building your website? Let me know in the comments!
Hi, I’m Debbie
I’ve been running my own web design business for over 20 years now. During this time I’ve learned a thing or two about how to operate successfully as a solopreneur, and am still working on making it as stress-free as possible (for both myself and my clients!).
I want to help others become successful and stress-free solopreneurs too, by sharing my knowledge, experience, business trials and tribulations!