Change how you approach a website by understanding the purpose it is meant to serve and closely examining the brand's audience.
That was a meaty episode wasn’t it?
It was really just meant to help you set a strong foundation for both business and marketing before we dive into actual website development. Let’s take a moment and give you a bit more context on what we’re trying to achieve in this chapter and why it plays such an important role in you being a great website builder. The one thing that is going to set you apart in a crowd of web developers is your ability to think.
While most other web development courses will focus on teaching you how to build a website right away, the time we invest in understanding brand and business will help you think in ways very few other developers can.
What do we mean when we say think? Let's give you an example: Imagine you have a real estate firm approach you to build a website. They give you photos, location and features of their properties and ask you to build a good website.
Now what do 90% of all web developers do from here? They ask the client to send them a few related websites they like and ask for web 'content'. Whatever that is. They would then pull up 5 templates that look similar to the reference websites, get the client to pick one template and then proceed to dump all this information into that template. And bam! You have a website.
But what would an intelligent web developer - one who puts real thought into what he or she is doing - what would they do? They would probably stop and ask these questions.
Who is the perfect target audience for this real estate developer?
What are these people like? What is their demographic - income, age, location?
What would make these people really want to buy a property from this realtor?
What features of these properties would catch the eye of this target audience?
What should the brand say to its audience in order to get them to want to buy a property?
If you think like this, you will not just build websites that actually work but also set yourself apart as a premium web developer. This episode is going to focus on helping you think and plan out how you would approach any website. We are going to look at 2 core topics -
How to understand a brand's audience?
How to decide what the website is really meant to do?
Let’s start with the first one. Understanding the audience. The last episode taught you how to understand a business, i's audience and sales process as a whole.
In this episode we dive a bit further into understanding the audience. So in order for you to build a website that really does well, you need to understand a few things about the brand's audience. A. Who are the audience and what is their demographic? This is just to generally understand the type of audience the brand serves. It would include understanding the age bracket, the location, occupation and other details like income and culture, I guess. Understanding the audience's demographic gives you an idea of the kind of website you want to be building.
Let's take an example of a luxury resort. You could assume that most of their customers are in the slightly older age group since they are probably in a stage in their life where they are earning enough to allow them to spend on a luxury vacation. You could also make an estimated guess of their income, interests and to some extent - their lifestyle choices. Having this information then helps you curate your website to best suit this audience. I hope this is making sense.
B. How would this audience relate to this brand and it's offerings Now, this includes a couple of things - what need of the customer is the brand fulfilling? Would this audience trust this brand to fulfil this need? What would this audience expect of a brand like this?
Let's take the example of a hospital. The audience of a hospital is looking to solve a specific need - making sure they don’t die, basically. Getting better or having good health is a priority for everyone who walks into a hospital. To put their health needs in the hands of a hospital, they really need to trust this hospital. The audience also expects the hospital to have competent doctors, have the necessary facilities to treat them and for the hospital to care for them. Now when you have this clarity, you’re able to apply it in design, content, experience, to build a website for this hospital that really does the job.
The second thing we want to talk about in this episode is understanding what a website is meant to do. Once you have understood the audience well, this is the next step. Different brands and businesses have different needs that the website needs to meet.
An e-commerce shop looking to sell shoes needs to put it's product on the store and create a shop online. A real estate establishment needs to put up details of it's available properties and get interested customers to drop their contact information so they can be contacted. A blog just needs to get visitors to read their content.
All of these businesses have different needs that their website is meant to solve. Here are some of the broad purposes of a website.
Online sales - Basically to sell anything online
Lead generation - Getting people to give their contact information so you can nurture them towards becoming a customer.
Build credibility - To build a reputation and credibility in the market
Content sharing - Basically blogs, vlogs or resources that add value to people
Support - Helping you get information or solve a problem you may have with the product or service.
Based on the context you have from understanding the business and the audience, you can now decide what the website is meant to do.A good starting point would be to directly ask the client what they would expect from the website, but as an expert, it is important for you to advise them on what the website can do so they make an informed decision.
In the next Episode, we are going to go over all of these in a little more detail.