How To Create A Website That Works

If you want a website for your business, you need to understand how to make it successful so it works for you. Without this information the chances are you’ll waste most of your money, time and effort.

A lot of websites these days have one thing in common…

… they don’t work! At the very least, they are not generating the results their owners wanted and expected.

Imagine you set up your website; you sit back and wait for more business…and nothing happens. Do you have any idea what to do next? Or, perhaps you get visitors to your site, but you´re not getting calls or visitors – any idea why?

Here’s why – when you have a website designed, 99% of design companies won’t even ask you WHY you want a website. They don´t try to dig to find out what you want to achieve.

Some of the key questions I ask when I design a new website for a client is: “What do you want to achieve with your website?” and “What outcome would the website have to achieve for you to say ‘Fantastic, it’s working!’?”

Yet most people, when they choose a company to do their website design, focus on how the design of the website will look and feel.

The problem is your website visitors don’t all have the same taste as you. They’re not looking for the same things as you are. What they’re interested in is information, and if you don’t deliver the information in such a way that it generates AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action – then you won’t achieve your outcome.

I have clients who don’t care much about the look and feel, and I have clients who spend hours trying to choose the correct colour for a text link. I work with a number of trusted graphic designers, all of which  can produce an incredible look and feel for a site, if the budget is available.

But unless you’re a graphics designer trying to sell your skills, having a brilliant looking site isn’t enough.

When you meet with a web design company, they should ask you questions like: “What are you trying to achieve?”, “Who is the target audience?”, “What impression do you want to make?”, “What information need to be provided?”, “How do you want the visitor to feel?” etc.

When you meet a web design company and they launch into discussing the graphics and the look and feel right away, then you’ll know they are only able to help you with a very small part of the website design process. The way your site look comes way down the list – because the site design can and should be influenced by what you want to achieve!

If you take a look at the most successful Internet marketers (contact me if you want any examples) you’ll notice they all have one thing in common – very limited graphics. Instead they’re concentrating on making the sale.

So you have to ask yourself the question – and it’s an incredibly important question that will seriously affect the results you can achieve – what is most important to you, an effective website that delivers results or a pretty website which makes you feel good when you look at it?

Let me say right away – your website doesn’t have to be ugly; not at all!

Sometimes having a pretty website is incredibly important. My point is that you need to know what you want to achieve before you can decide what’s right for your site. If you start out thinking you want a pretty website before you know what you want to achieve, chances are you’ll get it wrong.

Let me give you an example. I was recently working with a holiday company on their websites. One site gives information about one of their resorts. We want people to know it’s pretty (actually, it’s gorgeous, especially at night time!), that they can relax, unwind and really enjoy their time in luxury apartments and surroundings.

So my aim for this particular site might be to create an emotion in the website visitor of longing and wanting to be there (of course, we have more aims than that but I can’t tell you all of them…)

How would you achieve this particular aim? It’s won’t be with text only – the kind of emotions we want to evoke requires pictures. And it requires beautiful pictures, soft focus, maybe some taken in the very early morning in the special light you get at sunrise, and some taken at night time to capture how the lights are shining softly into the palm trees and bringing a feeling of serenity and tranquillity to the resort.

But photographs aren’t enough. Even pretty photographs in a gorgeous design won’t be enough to really sell the resort to the visitor. The visitor might be sitting back home in the UK, and just putting pictures in front of them won’t be enough to make them pick up the phone to book the resort, the flights and hire care, especially in this tough economic climate.

I also need to evoke certain feelings in the visitor. Remember the question above, “How do you want the visitor to feel?” It tells us how we need to write the text on the site. In this case I would need to use words that help to paint the picture in their mind, to bring them to a relaxed state and increase their desire to be there; so much they pick up the phone and make a booking.

Your site might be completely different. A restaurant may want to get across that a visit would be a culinary experience  or maybe has a great family feel to it. An accountant would want clients to understand they’re in safe, professional hands and that nothing, absolutely nothing, will go wrong with paying correct taxes, correct wages etc and keeping the accounts in good order. Graphics design is much less important for an accountant.

And a marketing company would want potential clients to understand I have the skills and the knowledge to help clients achieve the results they want from their website and other marketing material. I would therefore choose to have a website with lots of different articles to demonstrate my knowledge. Again, graphics design is less important.

Finally, promotion of the site is incredibly important. After all, if no-one comes to the site, what’s the point of having it? There are many options ranging from free to expensive, and I can help you achieve the best possible results within your budget range.

There’s much more to telling you how to create an effective website than can’t be included in such a short article. If you’d like to discuss your website requirements, whether you’re a sole trade just starting out or a big company, contact me now!

Leave a Reply