3 Strategic Questions to Ask Before Designing Your Website

You’re ready. So ready. You’re gonna blow this business up online.

Now, all you need is a beautiful website and you’ll be ready to take on the world.

So you start looking for a designer and you’re ready to invest some big money in your design because you just know it’s going to pay for itself many, many times over.

At least that’s what you’ve been conditioned to believe. And you know you can’t afford to not GO PRO when it comes to your online home.

[clickToTweet tweet=”But here’s the truthbomb: Building a website is like buying your first house.” quote=”But here’s the truthbomb: Building a website is like buying your first house.” theme=”style2″]

When you’re a first-time homeowner, you typically don’t just buy the biggest, most luxurious home ever so you can feel like a “real’ homeowner. You buy a starter home – something that you can afford that also allows you to begin the journey of homeownership without over-extending yourself (because having a too-expensive house doesn’t make sense when it becomes a money pit that has you eating ramen every night).

Why do that with your website? Having a fancy, big-money website doesn’t make you more “legit” as a business owner.

And you definitely don’t just look at the Brazilian cherry floors and large ensuite bathroom and decide it looks good and plunk down your money right away. No way, right? You get a home inspection and make sure that you’re not buying a house full of termites or one that’s built on swamp land.

Just like buying a home, when it comes to creating a website for your business, you need to make sure that you’re doing it with a strategy in mind and not just being wooed by the idea of what’s pretty. You also have to consider how it will help your business become more profitable.

If you spend thousands and thousands on your site but then need to cut corners everywhere else in your business, you’re doing you – and your clients – a disservice. I’m always hearing from entrepreneurs who spent every last penny on a beautiful website, leaving them without any cushion to invest into the right software, hiring a virtual assistant, or resources to build their community.

Ultimately, it’s a tradeoff between strategy and design. Don’t get me wrong, I value design deeply, but if you’re only focusing on the design and don’t have the rest of your biz under control, that site isn’t worth the pixels it’s coded on.

Before you even worry about fonts or colors, here are a few strategic considerations for your website project:

Q1: What Do You Want People to Do On Your Site?

Have you ever landed on a webpage that’s absolutely stunning but you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing next?

It happens all the time because design takes over and people forget that the purpose of the site is to serve, not entertain or just look good.

Cool factor isn’t enough. People need to be clear on what they’re supposed to do on the site (or they will likely leave). When I do strategy site reviews for my clients, my number one feedback is often to strip down each page to focus on ONE GOAL per page.

Ask Yourself: What action do you want visitors to take? Subscribe to your email list? Book a free consult? Read your best content?

Get clear on the exact goals you have for EACH PAGE on your site so the design serves this purpose.

And don’t expect your designer to be able to answer this for you. Designers are rarely strategists! They take direction from you, so if you’re not clear on your goals, they’re not going to able to do it either.

Q2: How Will You Get them to Do It?

You’re all set with the goals for the site, but how are you going to move people into action?

Consider your master plan ensuring the copy and design work together to move your visitors towards taking action. Sure, you want your site to be a place that people come to read podcasts or learn what’s new, but if your site is the 24/7 marketing team for your business, you want to provide decision points where people actually do something.

If you’re running a business, you need to convert your visitors into action in the form of email signups, bookings, consults or sales. Before you start working on the design, you need to know exactly HOW you’re moving people into action to ensure the design is working towards that purpose.

Ask Yourself: What is your call to action? To sign up for your freebie? To join your community?

Q3: How Will I Handle Content and Copy for the Site?

Design is only one side of the coin. The words on your site – the copy and content – matter as much, if not more than the design. Yet, the biggest pet peeve of my designer friends? People who obsess over all the design elements for months… and wait until the very last minute to whip up some copy.

If you land on a gorgeous site but the headline is confusing or unclear, it’s not going to matter. If it’s not clear exactly who you serve, what you do, or why your work matters, readers will not stick around to figure it all out. Confusing copy with no real strategy behind it is a deal breaker.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The most profitable websites start with copy that informs the design.” quote=”The most profitable websites start with copy that informs the design.” theme=”style2″]

In my opinion, people are more forgiving of design than they are of copy. The sheer number of ugly, yet highly popular and profitable websites out there is proof of this.

Thanks to the democratization of design (with beautiful themes like Divi by Elegant Themes and design tools like Canva), the simplest, cleanest website with a great strategy behind it can help you grow your business. I know, because this is the exact strategy I’ve used to grow two multiple six-figure businesses, and the one I encourage all of my Conscious Business Designers to embrace fully.

It works, and your bank account and sanity will thank you later.

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