Back when I was in school, I had to write a lot of essays and term papers. Quite often, before I ever turned in the actual, finished paper, I had to turn in an outline. My outline was supposed to be the ‘map’ of how my paper was going to get from Point A to Point Z. I loved creating an outline, because it helped me plan. My friends, on the other hand, disliked outlines immensely because it meant they had to plan. They couldn’t just pull out their trusty Olivetti typewriter about midnight (anybody remember the manual typewriter?) and turn in an essay the next morning.
I was thinking about this the other day when starting a website project for new clients. They are architects, and planning is their lifeblood. By the time I had met them they had been planning their website for many weeks. They spent a great deal of time thinking about what they wanted it to look like – down to drawing diagrams of how the pages would lay out. They spent hours thinking about each tab, and whether the tab titles would relay their intended message. They thought carefully about their content. They knew what they wanted their website to do for them – which for architects is very different than for someone who – as an example – sells widgets. They were organized and they had a plan.
Here’s why this is such a big deal in my mind.
A lot of businesses know they need a website, or they have a site and they know it needs a serious upgrade. But they don’t really know … as in really know …
- Who their intended target is
- What their site needs to do for them
- What tools they need to make their site work for them
- What they want to say to their potential customer or client
- How they’re going to get business from their website
A website doesn’t really do a whole lot for you – or your business – if it doesn’t meet the needs of your intended target. That … plain and simple … takes some thought. And PLANNING.
If you’re starting to think about a new website, or perhaps a website upgrade, and you’re not sure where to start with your planning, let’s talk. Not only can I help you think through the answers to the bullet points above, I can help you create a plan that you – and your website designer – can follow. Along the way, we can also work on your CONTENT – because without great content, your site very likely will be on page 3 or 4 of someone’s Google search. And you won’t get much business from a website that nobody sees.