First Things First

Continuing our conversation from our last post about the process of walking a client through a new website build, the first things we covered with our new client were:

  1. What do you want your site to do? Are clients going to be shopping for products on it? Are they going to come to your site primarily for information such as location and product pricing? Is it more just to have an on-line presence, ie: a page for clients who search specifically for you to land. In the case of this client, the website we were building was for a salon. She wanted a basic place for clients to find when they searched her site, of course, but she wanted it loaded with a service & price menu that the salon offers, contact information and hours of operation, information on the salon and staff and some images of their work. Additionally, she wanted their clients to be able to utilize their scheduling software’s on-line booking and on-line store features directly from their website.
  2. What kind of message do you want your site to send? It is so critical to know this before you start any kind of advertising or marketing campaign, but it is even more critical for a website. Imagine that you are at home eating your breakfast and drinking your coffee, and a client walks up to your closed business, but the door is unlocked. They get to wander around unsupervised, peering into all of the nooks and crannies they can find. The only thing they will know about your business is what they see, because YOU are not there to greet them. You are at home. A website is much like your un-staffed business would be. Sending whatever messages that a visitor interprets from the content you put out there. It is absolutely vital that your content is intentional in the message that it delivers. Do you want that message to say you are serious? High quality/high end? High-value/low cost? Professional? Cool? Fun? Relaxed? Are you approachable? Whimsical? Are you an innovator? Experienced? Reliable? You can’t be all things to all people, and only YOU can decide who your business is. This is branding 101. Decide who your target customers are and then decide what they need from you.  In the case of our client, her business had already been in operation for 14 years, so she had a really good idea of who her target demographic was. She wanted her website to feel clean and uncluttered, high end and professional, with just enough whimsy to it that potential customers would know that it was not a snooty, stuffy, pretentious salon that took itself too seriously. The message that she wanted her website to deliver was, “Welcome. Come in and relax, receive high quality services, don’t be afraid to put your feet up and let us entertain you. You will leave looking great and feeling refreshed.”

So, there is the homework assignment for the day:

What does your website need to do, and what message do you want your website to send.

Stay tuned for more in coming posts!