Where do you start when you want to build or redesign a website? As a business owner, your initial inclination may be to pop open a web browser and start surfing the web, picking out a few big brands in their industry and visiting their sites.
If you own an Italian restaurant you may visit sites by Wolfgang Puck or even
“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” — Caterina Fake (Co-founder of Flickr)
While this exploration may be a good strategy to set a standard of the style and design of your site, these brands have had decades to build on to their website and likely have a workforce of people—with a clear understanding of their brand’s story—dedicated to developing new written and visual content for their site every day.
Take an inventory of your content
Take a moment to think about how much content—information in the form of written words or media such as videos or photos—do you actually have? Have you put in writing what sets you apart from other companies in your industry? Do you have professional looking photos of your work, your workspace, your products, your staff? If you are like most companies out there, the answer is an echoy sounding no.
Now take a deep breath and congratulate yourself because you have just completed the first step in building a website: understanding the largest challenge that faces each and every website designer and developer. Take that knowledge and use it to plan out what is going to go on to the website first. Keep in mind, until you build a strong vision of your messaging, YOU THE BUSINESS OWNER will have to be at the center of the creation of the content and storytelling because you are the one who knows your business better than anyone else.
Understanding the importance of content, and where it should come from, will make the process of developing and designing your website move more naturally. Plus, with a strong and clear vision of your business' story, everyone on your team will have a clear understanding of where your website needs to go.