If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. It’s rare for people to be over the moon with their website – just ask people in your circle and they’ll tell you. It drives me nuts. There are lots of reasons for peoples’ unhappiness, but I think the main one is that their expectations weren’t realistic at the outset and (unfortunately) their developer didn’t dig deep to help them on this. That’s why I always recommend to my clients that rather than starting with a chunky upfront website investment, they start small, making sure they deliver their message effectively, get some online traction, and only invest more in their website when they see a return. By following this approach, they build a website that not only pleases them and lets them feel in control, but also one that resonates with their audience and accurately positions their business.
Embarking on the journey of creating your first website is an essential and exciting step in today’s digital landscape. Small business owners often pour their heart and resources into this endeavor, expecting a transformative online presence. However, the path to a successful website is riddled with soft steps that are frequently neglected, leading to dissatisfaction regardless of the investment. The proof of this for me is in the number of clients I meet who are gutted at what their website is(n’t) doing for them.
In this post, I want to explore the things that are most commonly overlooked, specifically the lack of content prioritisation, customer focus, and the over-reliance on developers to get stuff right. At the risk of stealing my own thunder, I conclude by highlighting the significance of starting small and growing when you see a ROI.
Content – the forgotten King
In the excitement of website creation, small business owners often gloss over the most crucial element: content. The content on a website serves as the voice of the business – your message to your best client/customer. Your content conveys your values, mission, and services. Unfortunately, many business owners either rush through content creation or delegate it to the wrong person. This leads to vague messaging, disconnected pages, and a lack of engagement.
Neglecting the all-important customer-centric approach
A website’s ultimate purpose is to serve its visitors, yet this fundamental principle is often lost in the shuffle. Small business owners frequently design websites based on their preferences and ideas, rather than focusing on what their customers need. They make the big mistake of talking about them and their solution rather than about the client/customer and their problem. A website should be a platform that addresses customer pain points, answers their questions, and provides solutions. A good rule of thumb is that your content goal should be to speak 80% about your client/customer 20% about you. Failure to do so results in a missed opportunity to establish a meaningful connection.
The developer dilemma – realising the developer isn’t King
While developers play a pivotal role in translating ideas into functional websites, small business owners tend to over-rely on their expertise. Developers are skilled at coding, but they may lack an in-depth understanding of the business’s nuances, goals, and target audience. Relying solely on a developer to shape the website’s structure, flow and narrative can lead to a disconnect between the website’s essence and the business’s identity.
Here’s how to change tack:
a. Prioritise content: Start by defining your business’s core message. Craft engaging, informative, and consistent content that resonates with your target audience. Consider the questions and pain points your customers have and address them through well-structured content.
b. Embrace customer-centric design: Put your customers front and centre of your website design. Design your website’s layout, navigation, and content flow with their experience in mind. Try to think of it as a funnel where they come in at the wide end where you show them you understand their problem and move them down to the narrow end by demonstrating how and why you’re a cool solution.
c. Get close to your developer and don’t expect miracles: While developers bring technical expertise, it’s essential to collaborate closely with them to ensure your business’s essence is accurately reflected. Provide clear guidelines, give them deep insight, and regular feedback to align the website’s development with your vision.
Your roadmap to website satisfaction
1. Start small, grow smart
Rather than aiming for a grandiose website from the get-go, consider starting with a basic version that highlights your core message and services. As you witness returns on your investment and gather customer feedback, you can strategically enhance and expand your website’s features and content.
2. Iterate and improve
Website creation is an ongoing process. Continuously gather data through analytics, user feedback, and market trends is essential if your website is to play a useful part in your sales process. Gather and use this information to refine your content, design, and functionality, ensuring your website evolves to meet your client/customers’ evolving needs.
Creating a website for your small business is a journey that requires careful attention to the often-overlooked soft steps. Prioritising content, adopting a customer-centric approach, and collaborating effectively with developers are critical to crafting a website that truly represents your business and supports your sales process.
Rather than relying on a large upfront investment, focus on delivering your message effectively, starting small, and growing your website in alignment with your returns. By following this approach, you’ll build a website that not only pleases you but also resonates with your audience, driving business growth and customer satisfaction.
How happy are you with your website?
Would you like help to ‘Get comfy and confident on LinkedIn’ or to ‘Get your website looking and sounding like the real you’? Yes? Then book a chat directly in my diary. That way we can have a virtual coffee together to see if/how I might be able to help you. The call will cost you absolutely nothing, you’ll be under no obligation to do anything further AND I GUARANTEE you’ll get value from our call – otherwise I’ll pick up the tab for the virtual coffees 😂