Be sure to choose the right one.
The combinations are endless on how your website can be designed and built. There is a lot of pressure to get it right. And although a website is truly a living entity that we must continually tend to, we can substantially increase our chances of getting it right earlier on in our journey by doing the following activities: creative brainstorming, information gathering, collaboration and experimentation.
The worst thing you could possibly do when making a decision for your website is pick the first thing that comes to mind and run with it. The creative process by definition requires multiple iterations.
You need to do some exploratory work, letting your imagination lead the way. It can be helpful to visualize and draw out a map. Multiple maps if necessary. It is very instructive to transfer what’s in your head onto paper and, unfortunately, you might realize you have a lot of work to do. Sometimes we can gloss over the details in our heads.
Be very careful to refrain from injecting negative comments, excuses or assumptions into your brainstorming exercise and stop settling for average outputs. Write down exactly what you want in terms of performance and success measures and then come up with 20 ways you can make this happen. The best ideas present themselves after you’ve come up with 20 so-so solutions. If you are an impatient person, you will need to force yourself to stick with it. Gold usually takes a while to find.
For example, creative brainstorming is sometimes carried out in corporate as the sticky note exercise, especially during team meetings. Everyone has a chance to write down their ideas and share them with the group, reviewing and discussing them one by one. This is a great way to solicit a variety of views, opinions and perspectives from many people at once.
Since you aren’t in corporate any more, you can still make this fun by getting a bunch of colored sticky notes and using your wall as your working area. I’ve even used the floor and moved piles of papers around in order to figure out abstract ideas and projects.
Many times, we take someone’s brilliant idea and make it our own. It’s important to stay on top of trends and see how other people are doing it in your industry or professional space. Even if all you find out is how “not to do it,” this exercise is always extremely valuable.
Additionally, when was the last time you stopped what you are doing and had a heart-to-heart with your target market? I’m not sure why doing market research is such a chore, but it’s so easy to skip this step because of procrastination and resistance. Maybe you don’t want to know what others have to say or put yourself in a vulnerable position of having to admit you weren’t on the right track and need to make substantial changes.
Again – write down all of your hesitations on paper. What’s on your mind? What should you do, but are delaying out of laziness or lack of time?
Once you open the door to influencers in your industry, associates, clients and potential customers, having those conversations can be quite enlightening. This is the age of the group!
Sometimes we are buried so far inside our business that we aren’t objective anymore or a reliable non-biased creator working for the best interests of ourselves and our business. Find a trusted business coach, mentor or friend to help you with your website. Two eyes are better than one. Four eyes are better than two 😉 You get the idea!
There’s this thing in the web design industry called A/B Testing. This means you get to put your laboratory coat on and conduct experiments. You test web page A against web page B, changing specific variables and naming constants. One page usually comes out on top for engagement, click-through’s and conversions. Then you can remove the loser and create a new web page B to continue the testing and comparison process.
I guess the question is, how successful do you want to be? Greater success will come from diving into experimentation and making continuous improvements until you find your winning combination, which may still change over time.
Channels like Facebook Ads is a great way to affordably carry out experiments, have fun doing it, and advertise your wares to gain traffic and exposure at the same time.
It sounds like a lot of work, and yet this is an important step for entrepreneurs to create a winning website.
Measure twice, cut once.
When you focus your energy on your business’ website and maintain this focus over an extended period, your mind has a chance to really take it in and let it simmer. Your intuition will get involved and start handing you higher-level ideas and solutions that could be absolutely perfect. Your genius enjoys all of the activities and exercises I’ve suggested above in this article.
If you would like to start the web design process with me and have someone walk you through these steps in my website framework, contact me.