On average I have at least one, if not more, conversations a day about websites. As a CEO of a web design company I guess you aren’t that surprised by that. It’s not like I’m talking about brussels sprouts every day, which I feel would be just as cool. When I started to write this I was a bit surprised though. I know that I’m passionate about websites and how they affect businesses but it doesn’t mean everyone else is; so the fact that I have this conversation often is exciting.
This does mean that people are starting to think of their website more strategically. Here at RedTree, we’ve always had goals and solutions in mind when creating a site. (Check out of case study video series on YouTube). I want to spend some time breaking down some of the most common conversations I’ve had with people.
Every business needs a website
As we enter 2019, now more than ever, websites are necessary for any business. I would be at a networking event and someone would say to me, “I don’t have a website,” and I used to shame them with my shock. But that just felt disrespectful, so I started to ask “Why?” and here are some of the answers:
- I don’t want any more business – I want this person life
- I get most of my business from word of mouth
- I serve a specific niche market and I don’t need one
There are a ton more but these are the heavy hitters. Except for the first one, I don’t think people understand the typical process people go through when looking up your business, even from a referral.
Let’s say you’re at a party one night and you ask the host where they got their beautiful centerpiece. They respond with “Pittsburgh Center Pieces”. Are you going to turn right away and just order a centerpiece without checking them out? If you are, I know a great web design company you can use as well. No, you’re probably going to look up their website, check out their social media for reviews, see what kind of other work they have done and then purchase.
So even for companies that grow by word of mouth or in a specific niche market, how many opportunities are you losing because someone recommends you but when a potential client goes to check you out and can’t find a website, they make an assumption that your company isn’t big enough or that its closed down, so they continue their search and go with a competitor?
Is your website telling the right story?
Now on the flip side of this spectrum, I’m having conversations with people about how their website is fitting into their business. If you take a look at our website video case studies, you’ll see that no two projects, or businesses, are the same and their website shouldn’t be either. A lot of time the business is trying to tell a story, which could include a new product or service, the growth of their brand, an extension of their sales process, but your visitors might feel more like you’re yelling at them.
Let’s use some examples
Herrmann Associates wanted to use this redesign to help their sales. So we needed to sit down with their sales team and make sure that we identified issues and needs before even opening up any design software. If we tried to have their website be a whole new salesperson and throw everything they did out there, it wouldn’t be effective. So we needed to know what the sales team needed from the website to help prequalify a customer before calling or help finalize a sale.
The PT Services Group had the unique position of wanting to slim down content and create a clear path for users to take. When someone signs up with them to do appointment setting, PT guides them through the whole process and only explains what the clients need to hear. We minimized the main navigation to have visitors follow a specific path. If someone wanted top-level summary info, it was there, or they could dive a bit deeper and read more information about the services or business.
MFA Wealth wasn’t doing a good job of showcasing the connections they had made to people through their financial advisor business. They used a lot of black and white photos of buildings or icons to add in visual elements to their website. We incorporated a video of MFA engaging with clients and the community and then also incorporated lifestyle photos to show that they are focused on their clients.
Do you know if your website is telling the right story? Do your users feel like they are reading a fairy tale and you’re trying to tell them a biography? Get a User Experience Assessment on your website to find out.