Your website is your 24/7 customer service representative, is it representing your quality? Are you proud of your site? It might be time to upgrade your website.
I’m a huge advocate for having reasoning and strategy behind the decisions you make in your business. And when you put up a website that focuses on what is “trendy” or diving into the “pretty” part of the design you aren’t going to end up with a website that serves you.
Say what?? I thought you were a designer…
Yes, I’m a designer and I love picking fonts and colors as well as photography styles. It’s part of what I’m passionate about. But I genuinely hate hearing from small business owners that they hired someone and didn’t get a website/design that really resonated with them and they were changing things on their own within a month.
There are many reasons why this could happen. One way to avoid this is to get clear on the strategy and reasoning behind the goals of the website. Having a clear strategy sets it up so you can create a site that fits you and your purpose.
Ready to create a strategy and improve your website?
Start with your goals
I’m a big advocate of starting with a strategy for almost any business decision. Focusing on the reasoning and the why you are doing XZY activity will help you take action to reach your goals. And websites aren’t any different.
Always start with your goals for your website. Knowing what you want and how you are going to measure success will help you create a website that is your best employee 24/7. I’m all for adding personality and making your website you but starting with a design and not your goals is going to having you coming back to tweak changes in a few weeks.
I know because this was me in the beginning. Everyone goes through the “shiny object syndrome” and follows the trends. There is a reason they are trends they are popular. But the thing about trends is they come and go. But when you start with your purpose and mission and build your strategy from there your website is
✨ unique to you
✨ fits with your mission
✨ has a true spot in your business strategy
So how can you start creating your goals? Ask yourself the following
✨ what is your number 1 website goal? Sign people up to your list? Sell your services? Educate? Create Raving fans?
✨ how are you going to measure the success of this goal?
✨ what are the secondary and tertiary goals for your website?
✨ how will I measure the success of these goals?
Map out your site
Mapping out your website is important to your website strategy. Why?
✨ visually see how pages are linked and nested
✨ identify areas to combine information
✨ adjust the flow
✨ know all the content you are going to need to make your website effective and reach your goals
Not only is this important for yourself or your designer when creating your site it will help you plan out the user experience on your site and make sure that the navigation is working for you.
Having a map is going to really help you think through the entire user experience on your website. You’ll find those “opps forgot to include this bit” before it becomes a matter of squeezing it in. It has happened to all of us. You think you have it complete only to realize you need another set of bullet points to explain your package and now your sales page isn’t as cohesive as you had wanted it to be.
On the other hand, it also helps you keep your website from getting bloated with too much information spread out. You know what I’m talking about… the I’ll just add another page, and another page and another page… and pretty soon you’ve got 3 pages that are very similar but slightly different and you have no idea how to make it better.
A map of your website is similar to a brainstorm web and it a visual “map” of the page layout of your site.
Plan the flow ahead of time
When you created your site did you figure out how you want visitors to flow through your site? Where are they going to come from and go next?
Planning your flows are all about planning out each step a user takes to get to know you and get in your funnel. You could have a Paid Ad > Website > CTA > Email list > blog post/service/product. This process can get incredibly complicated or as simple as your website needs it to be. But it is an important part of the website planning process.
When I first started hearing about sales funnels I was way overwhelmed. Then I realized they were the same concept as user flows. How are we moving people from just landing on your site to getting to know you is all a part of the flow. I was making it way too hard.
Don’t make it harder on yourself. Spend a few minutes thinking through how you want to get people to your site and what you want them to do while they are there. It’s really that simple but makes a huge difference to how you display content on your site.
Create your content
Have you ever landed on one of those websites that has a menu at the top a big picture then what looks like a wall of text? Can you quickly recall what the important information was?
This is why creating your content ahead of time is important. It will allow you or your designer to identify the important information and highlight it so that potential clients will be able to see it quickly.
Beautiful website design highlights you and your business. It doesn’t just look pretty it works for you. It’s your 24/7 customer service representative and the perfect place to showcase your expertise. The content is really the foundation for creating an informative, interesting, site that attracts your ideal clients to you. It should be a part of your planning process.
Once you have the content for your site, the story, you can plan out how to best present that story so it aligns with your goals.
Simply & Streamline
Once you’ve set your goals, mapped out your site, created your content and planned the flow you will be able to make decisions that will help you simplify your website.
In my psychology classes, I learned a lot about the human brain. And one of the things that I remember very clearly is that because of the vast amount of input our brains receive at any given time we are great categorizers of information. I can go into great detail on this but that is for another post, the point is making things simple for the brain helps with memory and understanding. And because of this if a website is hard to navigate or doesn’t highlight the information quickly our brains can categorize the information as unimportant and we move on.
✨ how can I simplify the content to get the really important stuff front and center
✨ how can I make finding the information easy
Some quick tips
✨ don’t spread out your navigation throughout the page
✨ put all contact info together either on a page or in the footer
✨ ask yourself why is XYZ important to your goals and if you can’t find a reason consider removing it Your website plan
Now you, what was your biggest takeaway on the strategy to improve your website.
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