Many people mistakenly think that the quality of their website has nothing to do with them and everything to do with the web designer they have contracted. While it is vitally important to engage the right people there are several things you can do personally, that will have a dramatic effect on your end result, if you want amazing results, keep reading.
Good web design companies, will ask you lots of questions which may not immediately seem to be on topic, but believe me, it is vital.
When I have my first meeting with a new client, it usually takes the form of a business consultancy meeting rather than a web services meeting. We talk about the current state of the business, their challenges, goals, target market, existing marketing plans and more.
The reason we do this is because, the internet is no longer simply another place to paste an ad, it is a complex extension of the business world. One in which your business can succeed or fail depending on the decisions that come out of that initial meeting. So when you notice your web developer sounding more like a business analyst, don’t be concerned, be excited that he or she “get’s it”. Trust me, if you answer their questions and provide honest information, you will get a much better result.
BE CONTENT SMART
You know your business better than anyone else because it is your business. This makes you the most qualified content creator imaginable. So don’t expect your web agency to automatically populate your website with great content.
Usually it is the responsibility of the client to provide all content, but if you are not gifted with the sales copywriter gene, or you just want a pro to take over, ask your web design agency as they will most likely have a copywriter on hand or be able to refer you to one that will make your business sound awesome.
Remember, quality copy is one of the most important elements to creating an effective website, for this reason, copywriting is not cheap. Crafting good copy is time consuming and requires just as much education and diligence as any other part of the process.
MAKE COMMUNICATION A PRIORITY
Don’t sit in silence and wait for a website to pop out, your web agency will be sending you questions and drafts throughout the process for approval. If you wait a week before replying to it, that will slow your whole project down. Not only that, it is possible that the quality of your work will degrade as your apparent disinterest will mean other projects will need to be taken in ahead of yours to keep the project flow moving.
Staying on top of communication will ensure you stay at “Priority One” in the mind of the developers resulting in you getting their best work.
When we design a website, we make sure we understand your objectives first then we craft every design element and every colour in a way that will help you meet those objectives. Before asking us to change a design feature, make sure you ask us why we chose it first. The answer may surprise you.
It is hard to trust someone else with the design of your site, but often the results for your business will be best if you can trust the designer you are working with to make the styling decisions.
GIVE MEANINGFUL FEEDBACK
Never, never, never give feedback like this “The design needs to ‘pop’ more” or “thats not it, but I’ll know it when I see it” because it means nothing to the hearer. You will get the best results by focussing on the objectives eg:
“I THINK THE DESIGN IS A LITTLE TOO SERIOUS FOR MY TARGET MARKET TO ENGAGE WITH IT, CAN WE LIGHTEN THE MOOD SOMEHOW?”
Now that is something we can do something about! Thats great feedback. Having said that, ideally we would already have your target market nailed down at this point, the aim is to create a design that does not need revision in the first place, but if it is needed this is how you get the best results.
Meaningful feedback means you get a better design because you are letting your designer do their job by helping them identify needs, rather than trying to do their job for them by requesting changes to specific elements.
GET THE WORD OUT
This is the bit you really get to be involved in. You see, there is a myth out there, that if you build a good website, your target market will set their alarm clocks on launch day to make sure they don’t miss their chance to experience your new site.
This may be true for Apple, but sorry to say, not for most launches. You have to earn traffic. Once your website is launched its fate is in your hands, your success will be dependant on getting your name out there on a regular basis and keeping your content fresh and up-to-date.
READY TO GO?
There you have it, if you have picked a good web agency, and you take these steps, I just know you will be very happy together. Making a successful website is a challenge, but one that pays big dividends. If you are ready to get your hands dirty and be the next person to experience runaway online success, here are the first steps.
Are there any surprises in the list? Tell me about it below in the comments!