Websites are more than just pretty faces. Developing a custom website is no small feat – it takes research, countless sugar-powered brainstorms, ample amounts of time, and great communication between you and your web developer to bring your vision to life. Here are 5 key things we at Stray Media Group advise you to know before diving headfirst into the wonderful, wacky world of web design.
What we really mean by this is “understand what your customers want and how you’re going to provide it.” Do you know who your target audience is? Have you done your homework on what problems they seek answers for and how your service will help them? Putting your personal preferences aside and digging deep to truly understand who your customer is and what they want is the first step to building a killer website.
It’s important to note here that you have to put personal preferences aside and focus solely on the customer. Love the color green and pictures of cute kids? Green is awesome and cute kids rock, but if that only resonates with you and 5% of your target audience, you need to let it go.
Like pretty much every single thing in life, there’s more to building a website than meets the eye, and it takes longer than you would think. It takes time, attention to detail, drafts, revisions, more revisions, and did we mention revisions? Timelines will also depend on the depth of your site – if it’s a simple one-pager it will take less than an in-depth e-commerce site, but all in all you’d better call it “Rome” because a good site won’t be built in a day (or month).
There are a few key things that you can do to help move the process along more quickly, though. One thing we advise is to begin collecting and taking photos, so you have your own image library to work from – the fewer stock photos the better, and the more personable your business will appear.
Another key is content – ‘tis king, after all. You don’t have to be a professional copywriter – psst, shameless plug about how our Stray Media Group team has your back on this one – but even a general direction or voice you know you want to portray to your audience will help speed up the content process.
Final note is to be on the ball when you do have something to review from your web developer. We see this a lot, where it’s ‘When will the site be ready?’ for weeks and then when the site is ready for review – crickets. Working with your web designer to turn things around quickly will help speed the overall process along.
We’ve touched before on not trusting friends with your marketing and the fact that you get what you pay for. If you want someone dedicated to making your website as great as you want it to be and on a reasonable timeline, the best route is to hire a professional. A good developer or company is going to give you the attention you deserve, and help guide you in the right direction in areas that are foreign to you.
Scared of the price tag a professional web designer will put on your start-up company’s website? You’ve got options. Let’s say you want a baller website with XYZ but you find out that your current marketing budget will cover a fraction of that X. You’re better off starting small with a pro and updating your website in phases to work up to that XYZ, rather than resorting to a friend of a friend that can give you XYZ for $500 and finding yourself a year down the road with nothing. We may or may not know you, but we know you (and your business) deserve better than that.
You invested your time and money into building the brain child that is your beautiful site. Everyone and their mother will recognize this and be chomping at the bit to check it out – right? If you live in a fantasy world, yes. Reside in the real world? Great, us too – and no, that’s not how it works.
Turn that frown upside down – there are solutions. Solid SEO strategies and emphasizing your business’s unique selling points are two key areas to focus on. This will help to A. set you apart from your competitors and B. make you easily found on the web by your target audience.
Technology changes at an alarmingly fast rate. In order to keep up and provide your customers with the best possible user experience, understand that your website will need to be continually updated. Plan for monthly if not weekly updates to stay on top of things, and keep your site at that top level.
Building a website is a big project, and we hope these tips will help ease the journey for you a bit. Feeling a little lost? We’re here for you. At Stray Media Group, we work with companies of all types, sizes and budget levels to help point you in the right direction and give you the killer site you deserve. Chat with us about your vision today.