Just asking for ‘a new website’? You are wasting your time and your company’s money!
Over the next few weeks I will post a series of blogs to help you prepare yourself and your company to hire a web designer or builder to create your next website that will put you ahead of your competition.
Make sure you understand your online business first.
You know your business better than anybody else. But when it comes to bringing your business online, it can be a whole different game. To make your business effective online, you have to re-evaluate how your business will work for you on the web.
Knowing and understanding your online business targets before hiring a website designer not only helps you to appreciate your business better but also to hone in on what you want to get out of this project.
To do this we are going to focus on these three points to ensure you understand your business and know what targets you need to meet.
- Creating online business goals.
- Deciding on who your ideal customer is.
- Creating an ideal customer journey – their purchasing process.
1. Creating Online Business Goals
Creating online goals helps you hone in on your ambition and states your intentions very clearly for your business. At first they will be your hopes and dreams but as you develop the concepts further you should be able to clearly write down your objectives in clear actionable points.
Ask yourself these questions and write down their answers so you can refer back to it at a later date:
- What am I selling?
- How am I currently selling it?
- Is that working? If not, why?
- If yes, why do you want to change?
- How many people will depend on this being successful?
- How many products do I need to sell to break even?
- What is one client /lead worth to me?
- What do I hope to achieve?
- What are my goals? – it could be personal and/or professional. Mine is to retire as a millionaire of course!
Develop your answers until you come up with a list of goals you want to strive to achieve.
Now you understand yourself and your business goals we will now develop the ideal customer who will fulfill these objectives.
2. Who is your Ideal Customer?
Having an ideal customer profile for your company goes a long way to helping you understand the likes and dislikes of your target market. You are able to cater your website look and feel towards them rather than your own tastes and then hone in on what makes them convert into a sale.
How do you create an ideal clientele sketch?
Take the time, to think about what your ideal customer is by breaking it down and jotting down their age, gender, income and location. Then start to fatten the profile out by developing their personality type and preferences. It might help to think about what particular behaviour they may have, similar likes, dislikes and hobbies to create an overall well rounded picture of them.
Create Client Persona’s
It might help you to create individual profiles of your target groups or individual people. This will include points from the previous task and might even include imagery to help you set the tone right.
Understand Your Ideal Clients Purchasing Process
Now you have a customer sketch, start to get inside their purchasing process by reviewing what needs will make your customers purchase your product or services. Start with answering the following questions
- Where do they begin their research?
- What are their problems or needs?
- What are the benefits to finding a solution?
3. Creating a Customer Journey
What is a customer Journey?
Whether you are an eCommerce shop or selling services, you need to have an idea on what the client is looking for and how is it best served to them. It will give you a better idea about why a client comes to your site, what he/she is hoping to act upon and what are their possible frustrations.
Why you should create one
Having a simple site structure and a clear information flow will not only help customers get the information they are looking for without bouncing away, but it will help you increase your conversion rates on your website.
Here is how to create a Customer Journey:
First off, we will break it down to lifecycle stages:
A lifecycle are all the different stage a customer might go through before making the final purchase. This is from having a problem, to inquiring at your site, contacting you, to actually following through and purchasing. There can be many different life cycles within your site. I just explained onboard a new customer but it could also apply to upgrading an existing client or offering a new service that you think they may need.
These could include the following but obviously adjust it to suit your website project. Assign a timeline – a number of days to execute each stage within the lifecycle.
- Pre Sales
- 1 week
- 3 weeks
- 3 months
- 1 week
Then for each section of the lifecycle fill out the following points.
- Possible Contact Points
- You want to write down all the points when the person can come directly in contact with you. Whether it’s via the contact form, phone, or a site meeting. You can even break this down further by developing sections within this. For example, tech support, CEO, sales team.
- Write down possible frustrations that your ideal client might endure along the way. These could come directly from comment customers have made in the past or potential holes you can see in your own site structure.
- You should attached metrics to each stage of the customer journey so you have something to benchmark each stage and to ensure ongoing improvements. Not sure how to do this? Then make a note of what metrics you are missing and would like to track. Your web developer will be able to help you convert them into a measurable benchmark.
- Possible Contact Points
- Improvements and Possibilities.
- At first you may not have anything here, but as client comments roll in and you start seeing results from your metrics, over time you will develop this section.
You now have got a better idea of your business goals, decided what the ideal customer is and developed a customer journey map. Now, you can hand over this information to your web designer knowing you are fully aware of what you want from your website and how a customer must interact with your site to get the best returns from your online business venture.
At Keetrax we are not looking to just make money we want to help our clients grow and develop their business. We see a lot of companies just purchase an out of the box website, without stopping to think what they want it for and it ends up not making any conversions.
Speaking from my personal experiences, if I (a website designer) knows what my client is trying to achieve, I can help them make the right choices, grow their business online and share the excitement of reaching your target.
So, how did you get on? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below or email us directly.
Need more help in the planning stages?
Hire Keetrax to create a online business strategy for you. We’re here to discuss your company’s needs, advise you on the best methods, and set up the system for your website.