First Step Towards Building A Professional Website

Websites are like salespeople. A sales person, sans the heart, the voice, the enthusiasm or the excitement, the exuberance or any of those physical attributes of a human that your potential customers interact with. Yet, these days, a website is a formidable sales tool. Now, in Covid times, more than ever are businesses dependent on websites to attract, retain attention and generate sales or drive conversions.

But where do you start? There are professional companies who earn their bread and butter from building fancy websites and then there are DIY folks, doing it themselves. Many solutions online like WIX, Squarespace cater to these DIY enthusiasts. And some of these DIY sites are pretty impressive. 

Insights Into Professional Website Development

However, in this blog, I wanted to give you an insight into how professional development houses build websites. Perhaps this would help you integrate yourself into the development process in a more collaborative way. Or perhaps it gives you some valuable intel, facilitating a more meaningful conversation with your web developer. Or maybe you can use the free tools, calculators, tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your own DIY website.

Feel free to download some of these tools as they become available in this series of blogs on “How Professional Web Development Companies Build Websites.” The series will dissect each aspect of web development, explain the purpose, why it exists, what role it plays and what are some of the techniques that would apply to each of these phases. 

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, should you have any comments, feedback, please let us know. If you feel like we should/could expand 

Much like anything else, the process of building a website starts with articulating a purpose. What is the purpose of your website;

  • Is it to sell a product or a service?
  • Is it to educate and share information or knowledge?
  • Is it to build trust in you as an individual entrepreneur or your business?
  • Is it to just share your expertise in a specific area, to render yourself as an authority in your space?
  • Is it a hobby site – like publishing your grandma’s recipes while documenting those precious moments & stories with her?

Step 1: Document the Purpose

The purpose will set the tone for the rest of the site. Most often our customers happen to be small businesses that have a product or a service to sell and sometimes the business owner or entrepreneurs themselves are the product and service. 

Step 2: The Wish List

Start a wish list;

  • I wish for my site to sell more services/products
  • I wish for my site to attract new customers
  • I wish to better service my existing customers
  • I wish to educate and inform my customers

Make your wish list as specific as possible. Making it specific allows you to measure its performance once it has been operating for a while. Setting a target now and measuring it every 6 months (or any other frequency your business requires) allows you to measure how effective your website is for you. It answers questions such as, 

  • Has it achieved its intended goal?
  • How close or how far away from the goal are we?
  • Are we in sync with our audience’s vision or expectations of us?
  • What can we learn from current behaviours and how or where do we need to tweak our goals & expectations?

Thus a wish list of specificities looks like this. Note there are measurable and tangible attributes to each item in the wish list.

  • I want 20% of my sales to originate online
  • I want 30% of my inquiries to originate online
  • I want 100% of my customer’s queries answered online
  • I want to process all my payments online
  • I want all transactions to generate traceable invoices
  • I want to increase my website visitors by 50%

How about this as an exercise, download the following worksheet and create your wishlist. Even if your site has been up and running for a while, create a wishlist. If your site has been live for a while, capture the current state. Answer each of the questions and capture how your site is performing against that wishlist you set out with.

[Download Worksheet – Define Purpose, Wish List & Track Performance]

Watch this space for the next blog that introduces the next step to building a website, the way professional companies do.