In today’s digital world, it’s become essential for every company to have a website. Whether your site has one page or 100 pages, your site is the “sweet spot” your customers will visit to learn more about what you have to offer.
Developing an effective website requires time, research, and great communication between you and your web designer to bring your vision to life. Here are five things we at Stray Media Group recommend learning before diving into the wonderful world of website creation.
Understand What Your Customers Want
The first step to building an awesome website is putting your personal preferences aside and truly understanding who your customers are and what they want. This is where your target audience will come into play. Have you done your homework on what problems they seek answers for and how your service will help them? Once you do, you’ll have a better idea of what information and features to add to your site.
No matter what, your target audience should drive every content and design decision you make for your new website. You may personally love the color magenta and pictures of buffaloes, but if that resonates with only 5% of your target audience, you need to let it go.
Expect the Process to Take Time
Like anything in life, there’s more to building a website than you think. Website planning and development require time, attention to detail, drafts, revisions, more revisions, and did we mention revisions? Timelines also depend on the depth of your site. A simple one-pager will take less time than an 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 you can do to help move the process along more quickly, though. One thing we advise is to build an image library of your own photos instead of relying on stock images. This helps your business look more personable and authentic.
Another key is quality content that’s written in your company’s preferred tone of voice. Is it friendly? Quirky? Edgy? Straightforward? If writing isn’t your forte, professional writers are well worth the investment. Our writers provide high-quality, tailored content for web pages, blogs, and more, all with your audience in mind.
Finally, you’ll want to be on the ball when your web developer has something ready for your review. Often we hear “When will the site be ready?” for weeks, and then when the site is ready for review – crickets. Working with your web designer to review the site and provide feedback will help speed up the process.
Trust the Experts
Something that companies often do (especially small businesses) is turn to their friends for marketing services. If you want your website to align with your vision and finish on time, it’s vital to hire a professional. A good developer will give you the attention you deserve and help you navigate areas that are unfamiliar to you.
Concerned about the price tag a professional web designer will put on your start-up company’s website? You’ve got options. Suppose you want a stellar website with XYZ but you find out that your current marketing budget will cover a fraction of just that: X. You’re better off starting small with a pro and updating your website in phases to work up to that full XYZ. Hiring a friend of a friend who offers you XYZ for $500 is tempting, but risky. You could end up with a website that works fine for a while but unexpectedly breaks down a year later. Your business deserves better than that.
Make Your Website Easy to Find
Now that you’ve invested your time and money into building a beautiful site, everyone wants to check it out, right? Of course they do – once they know it exists. They need to be able to find it first.
The solution is search engine optimization, or SEO. Solid SEO strategies that emphasize your company’s unique selling points are two key areas to focus on. This will set you apart from your competitors and help your target audience find you on the web.
Update It – Again, and Again, and Again
Technology changes at an alarmingly fast rate. To ensure that your site provides the best possible user experience, it needs 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 overwhelmed? We’re here for you. At Stray Media Group, we work with companies of all industries, sizes, and budget levels. With the proper guidance from professionals dedicated to your success, you can have the website of your dreams. Chat with us about your vision today!