When I meet with business owners and operators about improving their small business website, I run into a lot of the same issues.
- It’s not easy to change or add content
- There is no blog, or it has been left unattended for some time
- The owner doesn’t have any real idea of what they expect the site to do, they just know it isn’t doing a lot for them.
In some cases, they tell me that the site is still in progress. In other words, they haven’t even finished the website and it is already a lost cause! Why does this happen?
Mostly, it’s because websites are planned backwards
People are easily distracted by shiny objects. The Internet equivalents of shiny objects are themes, image sliders, and widgets. Not that there is anything wrong with these things, it’s just that they are the cart, not the horse.
More problematic are the so-called easy to use website builders (“As seen on TV”) that allow you to create a pretty online brochure and little more. And, there are some people out there who use these cheap tools as a way to market themselves as “web designers.” They do their clients more harm than good. Were I a violent person, I would suggest that they should have their pixels cauterized. (OH MY!)
Don’t get me wrong. The look and feel of your website is critical. It attracts attention, conveys your brand, and helps set you apart from your competition. But it should be the last part of the design process, not the beginning.
What should be designed first?
The business case for your website, and what it needs to do for you, should be the first things you deal with. Unfortunately, most small businesses make that the last thing they consider, if they consider it at all.
1SmartPuppy’s 5- Step Small Business Website Pre-Design Checklist, we outline the critical things most small businesses skip when designing or redesigning their website, including:
- Determine who is your ideal website visitor
- Decide what you want them to do once they find your site
- Lay out paths to lead them to and through your sales funnel
- Choose a content management system
- Retain the best aspects of your current websit
You’ll find the meet of these five steps in the 25 bullet points on this one-page checklist. They will help keep you and your organization on the path to success, instead of making the same mistakes that small businesses make over and over again.
Download 5- Step Small Business Website Pre-Design Checklist now.