It's All About Your Visitors

When you understand your customers and your customers understand your offer, magic happens

I build websites and everyday, not suprisingly, I get asked ‘Can you build us a website?’

My answer is nearly always ‘Yes, I can.’. I have nearly 3 decades experience building all kinds of websites for all kinds of people and organisations with a wide range of goals and problems to solve. My experience gives me a very particular view on the way people approach building their website, but more on that later.

The next question is ‘How much will it cost?’

How much? So now we have to have a real conversation because before I can answer that I need to know a lot more about what you want to achieve with your website.

A very important point to bear in mind is that your website, the public face of your organisation, is never truly finished.

Modern organisations react to their market without delay. Being able to update your website 247 is essential. A website that shows no signs of change over time gives an impression that the organisation behind it is not on top of things. Your website is a living entity that must be maintained and monitored.

People make decisions based on their perception of the organisation behind the site. Given the choice between an organisation that is alert and communicative or one that looks like it has stopped communicating, most people choose the former.

When you have your website built by me it will include all the tools, just like the hosting, at no extra cost. Over time you will appreciate their presence in your marketing toolbox.

LEARN MORE HERE (CMS version control media library analytics testing email marketing form handler)

You see, I prefer to work with people who have clear goals. Goals keep everyone involved on their toes. More importantly goals are a destination and when we have a destination we can plan the journey.

A typical website journey starts with your customers(your audience) and their goals.

If we create a website that does not help your visitors reach their goals then you will not reach yours.

I am not a magician I am a human with a specific skill set and experience. I am only successful when I help my clients reach their goals.

Don’t worry if you haven’t got your goals 100% crystal clear. That is quite normal. Nobody can second guess their audience. By watching and listening to your audience you will succeed and I can show you how. <!–

Approach

Building a website without understanding visitor needs is bound to fail. And grabbing a fashionable website template to shoehorn some content into will never create the wins you desire.

The more traditional approach to website creation starts by getting a website design agency involved. They will show you recent projects they have done, ask a few questions about how you want the website to look. They might ask you some questions about your target audience. The job of the design agency is to sell design. They will have a bunch of specialists on staff who all need paying.

After a bit of to and fro you will receive and accept a quote and work will start. For a period of time you will not hear anything whilst the designers design and the coders code. All the time eating up your budget. You might have progess meetings along the way. Eventually the day will arrive when the website is ready, signed off and launched. Now you wait.

After the back patting and initial euphoria of launch, when everyone you know and their cat has had a look, the dust settles. Do you get the hoped for stream of enquiries? It’s early days. Give it time. You wait… Still nothing.

Where are you now? Your budget is spent. You have a website it looks great but it is not performing. Why are visitors not converting? Where are they dropping out? Where did they come from? Your budget is spent. What would you do? How do you avoid this avoidable scenario?

Your business and it’s success are too important for this frivolous design led approach. You need an approach that delivers. A platform and tools that allow you to manage your online marketing. You can then spend your budget on the important things such as words on the screen that connect with and persuade your audience. You can run experiments to compare different versions of a page or page elements. The data from your tests show you what your audience prefers. Some elements of the offer will need to be removed or changed and even new elements added. Your goal is to improve conversion and remove any friction points. By working diligently, engageing with the process of continual improvement and monitoring visiors reaction you will get the wins you deserve. A bonus to all this is you will gain the skills and knowledge that you can use repeatedly to launch new products services or whole new businesses.

In a nutshell, your website should predominantly focus on helping visitors achieve their goals (and therefore yours). To do this just be very clear about your offer and make it very easy for visitors to obtain it. Start with your value proposisition.

Once you have nailed your value proposition and planned what a visitor journey might look like, we start quickly with a minimum viable site setup to monitor visitor behaviour. Over the following weeks, we work with you to facilitate your content experiments to increase conversion. We can continue to support you for as long as you need or train your team to go it alone.

The behind closed doors design and build leading to heraldic website launch is great for rudderless fantasy projects with money to burn but not the way to reach your goals and, ultimately, grow your organisation.

The sole purpose of your web pages should be to move the visitor to a desired goal. Any negative force (friction) that prevents visitors from reaching the goal should be removed. Any positive force (lubricant) that propels the visitor towards the goal needs to be added.

help your visitors quickly say yes.

Push them up the funnel not falling down the funnel

Add Remove or Change (ARC)

Negative forces Positive forces Reduce Anxiety Remove Friction

design not to impress but leave an impression

Launch fast and pivot based on data

Landing pages purpose is to articulate your value proposition

The best website for you customer and you is the one that delivers a winning offer that converts

What Works - Measure every significant thing

Your website and the CMS that drives it need to be very adaptive

Save Time and Money

There are many reasons you might have for getting a new website but all too often the reasons driving the decision making are the wrong reasons. Designers want to sell design and coders want to sell exciting widgets. In most cases no thought is given to the user of the web site and what they need or want. After all if you make your users happy they want more of what you are promoting. One of the biggest turn offs for web site visitors is slow loading pages. Slow loading pages are often the result of too much fancy design and whizz bang widgets. “What is wrong with our existing dynamic CMS driven website?”, you ask. Let’s compare what happens when a visitor requests a page.

End Slow Page Loads

CMS systems like WordPress have to do more work to serve a page. When a web page is requested, the server must determine the request, run programming code to generate a database call, make a call to the database, create an HTML page (by inserting the data returned from the database into a template) and, finally, serve the requested page to the visitor. With all these steps required just to get the page to the visitor you can start to see that there could be room for improvement. Cutting the number of steps would be a start. If the site has a lot of requests then the choices are - make visitors wait or add more resources to allow your website handle the requests more quickly. adding more resources costs more money. Once the extra resources are in place you must cotinue to pay for them even though traffic does not always require their use. Additionally, unless the dynamic CMS has been distributed to data centers, all page requests are handled by the one unique version of the website. This one point of weakness design can be exploited in a number of ways by bad actors. Mitigating attacks requires yet more resources and costs.

Fast Page Loads as Standard

In comparison a Cloud Hosted Static Site interprets the request and immediately returns the requested page to the visitor. The Static Site is able to return a usable page to the visitor much faster. How? All the pages are generated in advance and distributed to multiple worldwide data centres close to visitors in all regions of the world. A dynamic site is much more complex due to its reliance on intermediary layers of programming code and database server. These extra layers mean that distribution of the website is highly complex and costs a lot of money. The distributed cloud based site can do everything that the modern organization would ever need and, with the addition of microservices, can achieve the same results as an expensive monolithic web application. –>