So you want to create website. This site may be for your new blog detailing your fitness journey or maybe all the amazing gluten free recipes you’re creating. Maybe it’s detailing the incredible world voyage you’re on to find out who you are. Maybe it’s because you’re an expert in your field and you want a more creative outlet to impart your wisdom. The site maybe for your business, whether it’s new or mature but you realize a web presence is mandatory. You probably have some really great ideas, and, most likely, a really clear vision of how you want. You find yourself almost giddy with excitement just thinking about your digital brain child and how it’s going to be the “best site ever!” because you know how to fix all the things that bother you on other sites. You’ve learned from their mistakes right!?
Wrong! Well, maybe not entirely wrong but not entirely right either. There are a couple different reasons why you feel annoyed about certain aspects of other websites. First, you most likely are not the target audience the site was designed to attract or engage with. Second, the site’s design was most likely created with what the site’s owner had in mind. So why are these an issue? When you design a web presence, don’t you want something you’re proud to show off? The answer my friends, is quite simple. To attract an audience!
Of course you want your site to be something you’re proud of, something you intend to share with other people, consumers, who too think it’s a pleasing virtual place to visit. The important thing to keep in mind here is that you are designing a site for OTHERS to visit, not you. So when creating content on your site, keep them in mind. Of course you want a balance here, something you as the owner likes and holds true to your brand’s image, but do that with you’re consumers and target audience in mind.
An article by TJ McCue suggests that before getting started on your site, ask yourself a few questions. What is it that you want to accomplish? Who is the audience you’re targeting? Do a little research about them and figure out how your business goals best match their characteristics. Next, establish what your site goals are. These will help facilitate your business goals. When doing this, be sure that you have a clear and specific idea of who your target audience is. This will help to understand what they are looking to do in the website, what appeals to them visually, and what content will be of interest to them. Another important factor to remember when creating goals is set timelines on them. Without a finish line in sight, it’s hard to determine if your site is successful or if you’re getting closer to reaching your goals. Some might be on going, but not all of them should be. Don’t worry if you come up short on achieving your goals; that means you have the chance to reevaluate your site and improve it. A nice way to lay all this information out before creating your site is to design a “wireframe” and sketch to get the image and goals clear to all those involved in the process. BootstrapMaster has great advice in this preparation area.
This system of researching, measuring and adapting is an ongoing cycle you will track during the life span of your site. It may sound time consuming but trust me, it’s worth it! The worst thing you could do to your site, the one you’ve put so much work and car into, is to make it live and leave it to waste away in the virtual wayside. Keep your site competitive, keep your site engaging, and keep it adapting to your consumers changing wants and needs.