All Posts By

Hannah Rigby

7 Questions to Consider Before Starting Your Website

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While it’s tempting to dive right into web development when you get a flash of inspiration, taking time to think through your idea and plan your website beforehand can go a long way. Considering your answers to these questions now can make starting your website a breeze in the future.

Why do you want a website?

Some clients we work with at Big Red Jelly realize they should have some kind of web presence, but don’t really know what they want their website to accomplish. Even the most beautifully designed, perfectly formatted site can flop if it appears directionless. Having clearly articulated goals and objectives before starting your website makes a huge difference throughout the development process. Whether your website is meant to help increase brand awareness, educate browsers, or encourage online sales, understanding the “why” behind its creation is invaluable. 

 

Who is your ideal visitor?

While first-time browsers don’t spend much time on your website, they take in every specific detail in that initial glance, from design to content. If your website doesn’t appeal to the audience it’s intended for, potential customers will move on before they know what they’re missing. Be proactive about the design and accessibility of your website from the perspective of your ideal visitor. Identifying and personally understanding your target audience ensures you will address their needs and turn those browsers into lifelong customers. 

What do you want visitors to do?

Now that you’ve identified your target visitor, what do you want from them? Chances are you’re not starting your website only for fun (although if you are, that’s okay too). Your site should encourage visitors to take specific actions (CTA’s or “calls to action”). No matter how well you’ve designed your site, visitors won’t know what to do unless prompted directly. Clearly visible links helping clients sign up for your email list, donate to a cause, contact you, or purchase a product make the difference between a stagnant page and a functional, efficient website.

 

What features do you want your website to include?

This one connects back to your “calls to action” from question #3. Now that your objectives for starting your website are clear, it is easier to consider what activities you want available for clients. Defining the types of features you want to be included on your website works best when done in the early stages of your project, not further down the line when you’ve already perfected some other, less important element.

 

What are your favorite websites and why?

Chances are, your vision for your website is likely a combination of several other successful sites you aspire to emulate. Compiling the links to 3-4 of your favorite sites can help your web designer (or your own imagination) have a better idea of what you find appealing. While the importance of establishing your own unique brand cannot be overstated, using examples as a reference can provide highly valuable inspiration.

What do you envision to be the brand/style of your website?

You might already have a clearly defined style that is carried across your logo, social media accounts, and Powerpoint presentations. Don’t be afraid to use this in your web design! Providing your web developer with vision boards, merchandise, photographs, or other graphics to help them understand your existing aesthetic provides access to the look and feel of your business. If you want to change your style, go for it! (Just make sure your branding stays consistent and recognizable).

 

How much money are you willing to put in?

Pretty much all of the above questions are affected and influenced by how much you want to invest into your site. Creating a website isn’t necessarily expensive, but it can be, depending on your requirements. If you’re about to launch a website for a company, it is especially smart to have a budget in place before you proceed. Once you have figured out how much you want to spend, divide your budget into categories for jobs like hosting, web design, and marketing.

Whether you’re just getting started or looking to do a little spring cleaning on your current website, our team of strategists is here for you to support you through each step of getting your business online. Contact Big Red Jelly today to get your ideas for website development in motion!

Tips to Think Like Your Target Audience

By Marketing, Sales, Small Business, Website No Comments

Establishing a target audience is essential to knowing where to focus your efforts most efficiently. However, simply identifying your target audience is not enough. Thinking like your target audience is key to growth. Getting to know your customer base on a personal level will provide invaluable information on how to sell your product. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the psyche of your audience: Who are they really? How do they view the world? What are they looking for? What do they care about? By applying these tips, you’ll be thinking like your target audience and leaps ahead of the market in no time.

Skim your website/social media like a newcomer

First things first, you’ve visited your website more than anyone else and are keenly aware of every detail that went its design. When was the last time you looked at it with fresh eyes? Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer who stumbled upon your site with zero background knowledge. Take note of questions you might have or elements that may be a little unclear. This is a great practice to perform regularly to ensure the content you are producing isn’t getting overcomplicated or too specific. 

List benefits to THEM

Next, listing customer benefits is a great way to identify key marketing points and better define your brand. Make it obvious that ordering your custom t-shirts will allow customers to revamp their wardrobe, receive a cute package in the mail, support small businesses, save on shipping, AND earn discounts in the future. Even the most selfless shopper couldn’t care less about what you will gain out of a transaction if they cannot see the plus sides for themselves. 

Consider how they want to communicate

We’ve all been added to an email list we had no intention of subscribing to and growing more pessimistic each time another newsletter rolls in. Maybe your client wants to be kept up to date via text, keep your number handy, or just want to visit your website on their terms and timing. Think about your target audience’s life and how many notifications are appropriate to receive from you. Offering your customers open communication without bombarding them will help you turn a casual browser into a lifelong, committed consumer. 

Identify stresses they might be experiencing

Depending on your product or service, you will likely have a portion of customers who arrive at your website in a state of panic. Whether their caterer canceled, they realized they have no clue how insurance works, or need medical assistance ASAP, your business can be a healing balm. Simply adding an item to an online shopping cart can be difficult when blinded by urgency. Having the hindsight to address these worries and make your services easily available earns the trust of your target audience.

Look at your competitors’ websites

If you’re having a hard time reviewing your own website with fresh eyes, try investigating your competitors. Can you understand right off the bat what their product is and what they can do for you? How does it feel to be on their page? Is it easy to contact them? Take note of what you think while playing their target audience and incorporate that into your own website. 

Remember how you felt when you first started

With any long-term passion, it can be difficult to recall a time when you didn’t know what you know now. Recall your first exposure to your product or first day on the job. Though some details of the business may seem self-explanatory, patiently helping your customer understand the basics can avoid confusion in the long run. Acronyms, specificities, and advanced information can turn potential clients away and make you seem unreachable. Let them know you hold their questions with the highest consideration and will be there for them every step of the process.

Ask current trusted customers

Lastly, the best way to better understand the perspective of your target audience is to ask them! Surveys, follow ups, and in-person conversations can provide vital insight. Ask your target audience what they think and how you can best support them. Offering free samples in exchange for feedback is a great way to show clients you really care about how they feel.

In the end, even the best service in the world can leave customers dissatisfied if their perspective seems to be ignored by the business. Learning to think like your target audience on a more raw, personal level is key to successful growth. Contact our team of experts at Big Red Jelly today if you have questions about strengthening your client relations.