If you’re working on Internet marketing for a lighting and energy control company, you want the work you do to look good. After all, making homes and businesses look good is a huge part of what these companies are all about. If you look at some of the photography that lighting and energy control companies use, it’s pretty impressive stuff.
There’s no question that quality design in the web solutions you provide to attract customers is critical. But if you focus exclusively on the design—without paying attention to your marketing strategy—you’re putting the cart before the horse. And that can really hurt your success.
Before you spend too much time figuring out how you want your online presence to look, spend some serious time thinking through what you want it to do. Here are four questions to ask in order to get started.
1. What is your key message? A word of warning here; they may not be what you think they are. You may be impressed with the quality and design of your products. You may be proud of the awards you’ve won. Your potential customers, on the other hand, only care about one thing: How will your products and services help them solve a problem or make their lives better? That’s your key message.
2. How will you drive people to your site? It’s not enough to have a cool-looking website. It really doesn’t matter how cool it is if nobody sees it. It’s kind of like having a big splashy billboard in the middle of the desert. Just because you build it doesn’t mean anyone will notice. You have to draw people in.
3. How will you generate leads? Getting people to your website is a good start, but it’s not the end goal. Visitors don’t spend money with you. Your site needs to be a lead-generation machine. What’s your plan for turning visitors into leads?
4. How will you know if you’re succeeding? A lot of businesses think that if they’re selling more, they’re succeeding. Of course, that’s what we all want. But just because you succeed once doesn’t mean you’ll automatically do it again. How can you track your results so that you know what’s working—and what’s not? If you don’t know what works, you can’t repeat it.
Once you know what you want your website to do you can turn your attention to the design. Even then, however, good design is more about facilitating your strategy than it is about simply looking good. Is it wrong to have a great looking site? Of course not! Make your site as attractive (and easy to use) as possible. Just don’t put the cart before the horse.