Q: Why build a website?
A: It’s an extension of your business marketing, reaching new customers and new markets.
Your website design is the key component in your internet marketing ecosystem
Your website and other internet properties are part of your business marketing ecosystem, and an extension of your brand on the internet, and should be viewed in that context and not as isolated objects. You website design should be reinforcing your brand and extending your marketing messages to reach potential customers on their terms.
Think about what you want to say to your potential customers and also think about what they may be looking for. For example here’s a humorous look at law firm website design …
To help with your website design it’s useful to know what your goals are for having a website and how the website fits with the rest of your marketing.
Here are seven questions that will help you understand what you need for your website
- Do you have a brand statement (What is a professional branding statement?) what is it and how does your website help you reach your target audience?
- Do you have specific goals or objectives for the website? Realistic quantitative goals that we can measure and track, like “increase sales of product line x by 20% in 12 months”, or “add 20 qualified contacts to our sales list each month” are better than “we want more business” or “we want more potential customers to consider us”.
- Is you website a showcase of your work that you can point folks to who are interested in custom work? Or, do you want to display existing inventory and generate inbound sales calls, or do you have anything you want to sell directly from the website?
- How often do you want/expect to update the site with new information for existing and potential customers including, new projects, new items, where you will be presenting or showing your products?
- Do you have interesting information (documents, photos, videos, audio, newsletter) that would be of interest to potential clients, educate and/or entertain them, and increase the likelihood that they will choose your business when they want to make a purchase?
- Do you have, or do you want to build an email list of potential clients? If so, what do you intend to send them, and how often? Do you already have customer and leads lists that you want to combine with your new contacts? Are you already using a mail list provider, if so which one?
- Do you have any other presence on the internet, like a Facebook or Linkedin page, do you have a Yelp account or YouTube channel? Are you members of any associations that have websites that would point a link to your website?
The answers to these questions will help you create a website that not only looks good, but is a functional component of your marketing ecosystem.