Make Over Your Website with Just Three Questions

Small Business Branding Tip #4

Hi, we’re back with our tips on strengthening your brand. We’re all about DIY (on the cheap too!) but we’re also here for you if you need a helping hand! Just get in touch >

So, your website.

When I first heard Marie Forleo talk about “website shame,” I had a website I had originally built off a Dreamweaver tutorial back in 2009. And I think it was 2015. So yeah, she was talking to me. I definitely didn’t want to tell anyone to visit my website!

I know you want to see it, so here it is:

It doesn’t exactly want to make anyone want to hire me to do their design! But the good thing is, it was gotten easier and easier to have a stellar website! Or at least one you’re not ashamed of. We built a brand-new website because there was really no saving the old one and we continue to refine it to this day. Your business grows and changes and your website should evolve to reflect that.

Does your website need a makeover?

Here are the three makeover questions. Simple, right?

1. Who’s your audience?

2. What’s their problem?

3. How does your company solve their problem?

We’ll dig into each of these below. But your wheels should already be turning.

You probably thought we were going to talk about design because we’re a design company, right? We agree, design is very important! But if you’re not meeting your potential clients’ needs, the design will only get you so far.

1. Who’s your audience?

Who is the person visiting your site or the person you want to visit your site and become your client? Visualize them as much as possible. Think about things like age, gender, background, interests, amount of free time, other sites they’d frequent, how fast their internet is. Use any analytics from your current site or Facebook page to dig into demographics. It’s best to narrow down your target audience rather than create a site that’s for “everyone.” Or, if you have a broader audience, make sure you plan your site in a way that includes all of them. Now write your copy and design your site with them in mind. This is your first step to connecting with them.

Here’s an example: You’re a non-profit and use your website primarily for fundraising. You know that most of your donors are 60+ years old and are in the top 20% wealthiest in the U.S. The tone you set and the information you provide (ways to give, etc) will be a lot different than if most of your donors are under 25 years old and have an average donation of $10–20.

2. What’s their problem?

As you thought about who they are above, now you can talk to them about their problem. This is your second step to connecting with them. Hopefully they’ll think “Yes, I’m in the right place.” Think about it in terms of what your users want (why they’re there) and what they want to do. How did they end up on your site? What do they want to click on? How can you make it easy for them to achieve what they want?

For example, there’s a virtual project manager that we work with. Her website talks to visitors about how overwhelmed they’re feeling or how they might be losing money. And then on every page at least once, she has a button that says “Get Help Now.” She knows the people visiting need help so she makes it easy for them to get it!

For an example of what not to do, please see our old website above. {cringe}

3. How does your company solve their problem?

Hopefully your company does actually solve their problem and they’re at the right place! Now that you’ve connected with them, you can tell them why you’re a great choice to solve their problem. They probably have other choices, but they’re at your website now, so make the most of it!

  • Do you offer something unique that others don’t?
  • Are you a better value or will they get a better return?
  • Have you been in business longer?
  • Are you local to them?
  • Has someone they know used your services?
  • Are you just better at what you do?

This is where photos, examples, and testimonials really come into play. If you have external reviews, also look at how you can feature them here.

Steps to make these changes

Now that you know some ways you want to change your site, here are some steps you can take to make progress in the right direction.

First of all, think about whether it makes sense to make small changes or just completely replace your site. Sometimes starting from scratch is the best option. Or you may want to make some tweaks first to your existing site while you work on a new site elsewhere.

Mini makeover

  • Update your text or move it around to best connect with your audience and their needs
  • Add calls to action. What do you want them to do? Can you make a button for them to do that and put it everywhere?
  • Refine the colors and fonts so it’s easier to read or more appealing or appropriate for your audience
  • Replace or add images so that things are fresh and connect with your audience (Read our post where we talk about image selection >)
  • Add testimonials or reviews which amounts to others vouching for your company

Complete transformation

Make a brand-new site! Here are our top three recommended ways to go about this:

  1. HIRE US to help you plan out the most effective site and build it for you
  2. Build your own WordPress site. If you want to go this route, feel free to use our link for $50 off shared hosting at Dreamhost (who we’ve been using since 2006) with WordPress preinstalled.
  3. Build your own site on Squarespace or Wix

Whatever route you decide, make sure you have your website analytics set up so that you can track how people are getting to your site and what they do once they get there. Also, make sure it’s easy to update and then come back to these three questions periodically to make sure your website is being the best it can be!

Happy makeover-ing!

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