It is easy to say, ” I have a new website! It’s live now!” But what do you do with it then? How will people know about it? And why should they be coming to your site?
Most businesses will have a game plan in place for their website. They understand their purpose with it, they have identified their audience, and have a plan of engagement. There are also businesses that do not know what to do next. They just know they need a website because it is just standard these days to have one. It’s similar to needing a business card or a logo.
Let’s take a look at…
Understand Your Purpose
You need a website. Great! We can help!
What are your intentions for the website? Is it just an informative site of your business and purpose? Will you be doing posts? What kind of content do you want to have? Do you need e-commerce? Will clients need a portal? If so, what is the purpose of the portal?
About 8 years ago I was working with a client. They wanted a website for their heating and air business. From the start at least I was able to identify that the project was going to be an informative website. What is the story you want to tell? What content? The client then pulled up his competitor’s website up.
” Can we just use what they say?”
The client wanted me to literally copy and paste the content of his competitor’s website to his. I told him that might not be a good to do. At the same time I understood where he was coming from. The client was a small business owner. There was not a marketing team in place to help plan this out. He just knew he needed a website. At the time I was just freelancing. I was focusing on just the build of a website and he wanted me to do the copy. At first I pushed back but then I accepted and learned some new things. He was string of many clients I worked with who needed a website but didn’t really know why or what he wanted on it. Luckily most projects were small business owners and it was easy to ask a few questions to help direct the copy and the content of the website. Knowing your purpose helps in planning the direction of the project and sets the proper goals.
Identify Your Audience
This is very key in any business. You have to know your audience in order to know your direction.
Who are you targeting? Where are they? How can you reach them and with what message?
Going back to the client above. He ran a heating and air business. He also did B2B and B2C. His audience was easy to define. Pretty much any home owner or business owner that has a building with an A/C unit. That is easily anyone and everyone because in Atlanta you just can’t live without one. When it came to writing the content and the message it wasn’t a very challenging task.
Let’s look at different example. Let’s look at a rock climbing gym. You want to expand your business to more than just your traditional rock climber. So, your target audience might be people who are generally into fitness and living active. They may be into crossfit and be willing to try out something new like rock climbing. The age range might be on the younger side. Perhaps young professionals who are usually very active and have the income to afford the membership to the rock climbing gym. They could be the low carb consumers. They enjoy the mountain or outdoor life.
I think you see my point though. Once you are able to identify your audience it becomes easier to identify where they are.
Plan of Engagement
Now that you have identified your audience how are you going to get them to your website to understand your purpose?
This is mainly marketing and networking. However, knowing your audience helps in planning your engagement. Once you know your audience you know where to find them… hopefully. Also, you should know how you want to send your message. Knowing how to communicate with them is key. You don’t want to throw technical jargon to a group of farmers. They won’t know what you trying to sell to them. So, it’s very important to have your message and really connect with them. Knowing these items will really help in your engagement with the audience.
This is all very high level and really applies to more than just your website. It really applies to anything you are trying gain notice in. A product. Your career. Etc. Also, there are more items to consider but these are some key things help kick start the ideas in your head.