Our Strategy for Small Business Websites
97% of people go online first to get information about a small business. Think about that. That’s enormous! In fact, for our purposes, that’s basically everyone. 93% of those people are using a search engine like Google to find you. The people you want to engage as clients are spending up to 5 hours a day online. They may be on their phone, their computer, or their tablets, but they’re connected and they’re looking for you. If you want them to find you, to hire you, to spend time and money with your business, you simply have to be where they are already are.
That’s where I come in. I specialize in designing professional websites to engage customers and drive business for small businesses just like yours. For the next few days, I’ll give you a behind the scenes look at my approach to small business website strategy and design.
STEP ONE: DISCOVERY
I want to learn everything I can about your business. What got you started? What are you best at? Who else is doing what you’re doing and what sets you apart from your competition? What is the basic operational information your clients need to know? This includes things like: When are you open? Where are you located? How do people contact you? The basics.
Here’s a peek at the questionnaire I send all my clients at the very beginning of the relationship:
Tell us about your company.
What specific services does your company provide?
What sets your company apart from your competition?
Who is your target client?
Do you currently have a website?
What keywords will your audience use to find your website?
What do you like about your website?
Why do you want a new website?
What features will your website need?
What similar websites do you like and what is it you like about them?
Who will provide content for the new website?
Does your company have branding (logo, colors, marketing materials)?
Do you need a new URL?
Do you need hosting?
Will the old site be moved to a new location?
What is the deadline for the website?
What is the budget for the website?
Do you want us to handle maintenance of the website moving forward?
Next, I want to learn as much as I can about your audience. Who are you talking to? Why are they going to listen to YOU, specifically? What are the wants and needs of a person visiting your website? I already know we’re going to communicate the basic information about your business to them- what I want to make sure we do well is communicate that information in a way that is delightful and compelling. What ultimately sets you apart in the marketplace is not necessarily WHAT your website says about your business, but HOW.
Remember what Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will always remember how you made them feel.” We want potential clients visiting your small business website to feel confident in your expertise, connected to your style, and compelled to act.
Next on the blog we’ll look at the next stage of our Small Business Website strategy: Design!