Many service business owners find themselves putting “website makeover” (or even “website development”) on the back burner because they just don’t have time – even though they know they are leaving money on the table. Others are too busy working with their current clients to develop their own compelling online presence.
The truth is, you don’t have to wait till you get some time freed up, which might not happen for another decade. And you don’t have to settle for a half-baked website that looks pretty but doesn’t bring you clients, sales and traffic. You can get a new website up fast, when you apply just 3 strategies for working with your website designer.
Strategy #1: Create your content – all your content – before you even think about developing your logo, color scheme or website layout.
Many business owners call a web designer or even a web development company as their very first step. After all, most of us are conscious of what a website looks like. We’re often taught to associate “website development” with “web design.”
My clients have been surprised to find how much time and money they can save by starting their website makeover by writing content, either as a DIY or by hiring a copywriter first. Here’s why.
— You can lose your place in the designer’s queue if you do not have your content ready. Your web designer can’t complete your project without content. When your designer has to wait for your content, he or she moves on to other projects. When you finally call to say, “Content is here!” your designer may be in the middle of another project. She needs more time to re-learn your requirements and you probably will be charged for the extra time. Besides, she can’t stop work on her current project. You may wait a month or more to get your project going again.
— Your designer relies on your content strategy to create a header graphic and choose the colors. Otherwise the design you choose will not support your message and may even clash with your USP (Unique selling Proposition). For example, I worked with a client who had paid for a high-end graphic of a relaxed beach scene. When we reviewed her niche, she realized she needed an image that was stark and strong. Mountain cliffs and stormy waves would have been more appropriate. My client was then faced with a choice to keep a graphic that didn’t fit her strategy or acknowledge that she had paid for an online presence that would be confusing rather than compelling?
Strategy #2: Develop content to communicate exactly how your audience will benefit.
When it comes to websites, many business owners focus on eye-popping graphics and they agonize for hours over website colors and typefaces.
Yes, when you stand out from the crowd, you earn more revenue with a whole lot less effort. You can command higher fees because prospects realize you are unique. However, they won’t respond if you just LOOK unique. Your prospects and clients want to be sure you haven’t just taken an old brown cow and slapped on some purple paint.
That’s where expert copywriters make the difference as they can paint word pictures and introduce you as a 3-dimensional, standout professional. The truth is, your copywriter can set up the content so your designer can’t help developing a website that’s your own version of a purple cow.
Strategy #3: Put your players in the best positions to win the profit game.
Often, business owners expect the web designer to win the whole online marketing game single-handedly with color, design, traffic and navigation. The truth is, if your website were a football game, the content would be the quarterback and the design would be your offensive line.
On the football field the quarterback calls plays and makes sure the ball gets down the field to score points. The job of the offensive line is to make sure the quarterback gets through, unharmed, without interference.
On your website, your designer’s job is to make it easy for visitors to read your copy. Just as good linemen protect their quarterback, your web designer makes sure your graphics support your message and your site is easy to read.
Your copywriter calls the plays: How do you identify your niche so you know how to reach them easily (and motivate them to take action on your offer)? Which pages get featured on the main menu bar? What metaphors and stories will frame your content?
Once you’ve created compelling content, it’s time for your web designer to implement the technical and visual components of your site. Some copywriters will even guide your designer and manage the entire project, just as a football quarterback is the coach on the field.
Get More Clients When You Begin Your Web Design By Writing the Content
The simple strategies described in this article will multiply your marketing efforts, whether you are a beginner who’s trying to develop a website while creating a new company, or a seasoned veteran who is busy seeing clients but desperately needs an upgraded website to keep prospects in the funnel. Now you can skip the hassle and time-consuming detours that many business associate with online marketing.
Author: Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.