Yes, you read that right. When getting started getting your business, side-hustle, hobby, or passion online, you’re thinking too much about design.
Don’t misunderstand what we’re saying. We’re NOT saying that design isn’t important, because it is. Design is arguably just as important as any other component of a website, but don’t jump to that step yet. There are too many other bits and bobs of websites that you need to figure out before you even start thinking about how your website might look. Here is a list of some of the priorities that you should spend more time thinking about before you jump head first into design.
Purpose and Strategy
Before you start exploring Wix templates or WordPress themes, you have to solidify the vision for the purpose and strategy for your website. Dig deeper than just “lead-gen” or “e-commerce”. What are you really trying to accomplish? Are you trying to just sell a product or are you looking create a loyal and regular customer base? Are you trying to fill up an email marketing list or are you trying to fill your email marketing list with qualified and primed leads?
Discovering your website purpose should be the first item on your to-do list. After your purpose is nailed-down, this is where the fun begins.
Being strategic with HOW you accomplish your purpose makes all the difference. What is the best way to sell your product? Do you want to lead your visitors through a funnel structure or lay it all out there and let them decide what they want? Should you display your most profitable products and services first or should you start with your “best sellers”? Of course the answer is something you don’t want to hear… it depends. It depends on price point, profit margins, industry, target demographic, and so much more.
Marketing Automation & Tools
Before you start sketching out your landing pages and curating images for your website, you need to know which marketing automations and tools you are going to use for your website. Setting yourself up for success by using the best marketing automations and digital tools for your company and industry should be a priority when getting started.
- Are you wanting to set up a newsletter or offer a discount or incentive for subscribing for updates? Then you’re going to need a CRM like Constant Contact.
- Are you going to have interactive or maybe even multi-page forms or quizzes? Then you should consider using Gravity Forms or Typeform embeds.
- When a customer orders something or submits an inquiry via your contact forms, are they getting answered by your highschool @hotmail account, or do you have a business email set up with Google Workspace.
- Are you going to be accepting reservations or bookings online? Consider using something like Calendly, or even better, Setmore.
We could go on and on. But you need to set yourself up for success by proving the smoothest and best experience for your visitors and potential customers. Use these powerful tools to your advantage and decide what you’re going to use BEFORE you start thinking about design. These integrations and tools are going to impact the layout, structure, and flow of your website, so deciding which direction you’re going to before your design is created is going to save you both time and money in the long run.
Your Content Matters More Than Design
We all want our websites to look pretty and flow smoothly. On average, a visitor is only going to spend about 54 seconds on your website’s homepage. This means that they are not consuming all of the content you’ve put on there. They are not looking at all the images, they are not reading all the headers and they definitely are not reading anything longer than a paragraph or so. What does this mean for you? It means that the small of content that they do consume is that much more important. The first photo of your team, the first header introduction to you and your services means that much more. If you haven’t seriously revised and condensed your messaging to be as potent and effective as possible, no website design can save you.
Your clients appreciate a good design and a smooth digital experience, but they value your expertise and knowledge more. Don’t lose potential clients by having watered-down written content. Focus on getting your content as concentrated as possible while still communicating fully what you do, how you do it, and why they should care. Take care of your content before jumping into design, and your content will take of you.
It can seem overwhelming when you’re getting starting building your own digital experience for your business. Big Red Jelly has done this for literally thousands of businesses, both big and small. Reach out today for a free chat to see what recommendations, tools, and introductions we can make for your business success.