Today there are so many “do it yourself” web builders available, it’s easy to be tempted to save money and create your own website.  There are design templates, but how effective are they for you or your customers? That depends, what are your goals? Without goals or a strategy, you could waste many hours and dollars creating something that is ineffective.

Although money is saved, time is wasted trying to aim for a moving target – while wearing a blindfold. This one good reason why planning is critical to complete PRIOR to setting up a website. Without planning, it’s like throwing ideas at the wall hoping one sticks. The benefit of working with a professional designer is the guidance will provide you with a site that meets your goals. Together, we will get very clear on who your ideal client is, and how to attract them to your business. By taking the time to understand your ideal customer, we will know what motivates them to provide their email address, make a purchase, or sign up for an event.

The old adage is true – “time is money”. DIY sitebuilders or cheap website companies will provide you with a quick template that allow you to put up a few pretty pictures, cram some words/text into a small area, and you’re done. Sometimes, they’ll entice you to spend more money taking their design video courses which confuse you even more. The problem occurs when too much time is spent on the layout with no thought given to the actual web visitor. The final product is a confusing chaotic site that provides way too much (or too little) information.

Here are a few steps to incorporate before laying out the web design:

Get clear on your customer value proposition


Businesses that attempt to be everything to everyone end up being nothing to no one.  Defining who it is that you serve, what their painpoints are and how your service or product solves it for them is key to succeeding.  Studies have shown that when presented with too many choices, your web visitor is less likely to buy.  Reduce the number of options available and you’ll reduce the cognitive load on your web visitor making it easy for them to take the next step in your sales process. Testing during a website build will also provide key insights into what your customer wants.

Develop and define your sales process


What is your online sales strategy?  Do you provide them with helpful content (blog, podcast, videos) to get their attention? Do you collect email addresses in order to promote your products or events? Grab a pen and a piece of paper and make a list of each step in the process that you can identify. This piece of paper will provide a great compass as you go forward. Combined with your web designer’s knowledge of design, this will be a powerful step that pay dividends.

Focus on what you do best


Clear the clutter.  You have certain skills that your clients pay you to for.  There are a lot of “rabbit holes” when putting together a web design that will beckon to you. This leaves you with less time to relax and hone your own valuable skills.  An investment in a professionally built site will pay great dividends down the road.  It also means more time to work “on” your business strategy, rather than working in your business.

Planning is key to maximize your time.  Do this in the beginning with a trained web developer.  You’ll be glad you did.

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