All the time I see people asking what’s the best way to get a website up quickly. The thought seems to be that having a website up now as opposed to two months from now is going to make all the difference in getting your business going. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything waiting those couple of months can pay huge dividends in the eventual success of your site and your business.
Before you can have an effective and successful website you need to put in a little work. The most important needs to be defining what the goals for your site are.
You need to understand what your website will be doing for your business. Is it meant to be a way to provide information for your customers? Is it meant to be a sales pitch to convince them to call you? Is it meant to directly sell?
You also need to know who your customers are so you can decide the best way to reach them. A 15 year old boy and a 65 year old woman will react to different stimuli. Each will respond better to different language and different imagery. Remember your site needs to be designed for your customer not for you.
Before you rush to get your site up ask yourself
- who are your customers?
- Are they younger? older? male? female?
- Where do your customers live?
- How do your customers interact with the web?
- Are you customers internet savy?
- what action(s) do you want your customers to take on your site?
- do you want them to buy from you or contact you or simply visit your site?
- How can you best organize your content for your customers?
- Why should your customers buy from you?
There are many more questions you can ask yourself and your answers should affect the kind of site you put up. You may want to add a forum to your site, but your customer demographic might be one that takes a more passive role online.
Design is creating something given a pre-defined set of rules. The questions you ask yourself and the answers you come up with will be the rules that lead your design.
An effective site is one that is designed with your visitors in mind and ultimately gets as many as possible to take your desired action. Taking the extra time to identify your customer and define the actions you want them to take will do more for building a better website than getting it up a few weeks or months sooner.