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This week’s education article was authored by Stephen Slappey, the CO and Marketing Director for Creative Consulting in Summerville, SC.
Every day I sit down with business owners and hear how they never get clients online. They explain to me how they are spending money on paid ads, social media, SEO, all of it, yet they still aren’t receiving any phone calls. 
This must mean their audience isn’t online right? I have a much more plausible reason. What is much more likely is that your website’s flow and design is ‘off’. “But Stephen,” I hear you ask. “My website was created by a fantastic graphic designer that made it exactly how I wanted. How could my flow be off?”. Don’t worry baby birds I’ll feed you. Just stick with me and I promise you will be looking at your website in a whole new light in just 739 more words. 
A well-designed website can still be a website that doesn’t do its job. The job of a website is to inform and create a question or goal in your target audience’s minds that only you can answer or fulfill. I can follow all the design rules and never even think about your target audience which means your site won’t do its job. So how do you fix this issue? You have to review and enhance your current site and build it in a different mindset. 
First, you need to remember a few things that business owners sometimes have trouble remembering or considering: 

  1. You are not your customer – Everything you design needs to be created for your clients not for you. Even if your favorite color is blue, your audience may hate blue.
  2. Your clients are not everyone – The more focused you can be, the better results you will have. You are not excluding anyone, you are refining your search to mainly hit only clients you get the best results from. Think of it like this, picture your perfect client walking through the door right now. Describe them and design your site around their wants, needs, etc.
  3. Your clients are constantly changing – This is an ongoing process that should be repeated usually once every 3 – 5 years.
  4. The world is constantly changing – You have to remember that design trends change every few years as well. What worked in 200,1 does not work today.
  5. Be uniform – Humans crave consistency and order. If you don’t follow the same style throughout your design people will be subconsciously turned off, you’re your business before even beginning to read. 

Here is some information that you need to learn about your target audience before redesigning your site. Please remember that you are not going to be excluding anyone, your goal is to reach your perfect client every time. 
What is their gender? 
What is their average age? 
What is their reading level? 
What are their favorite colors? 
Do they like a lot of detail or are they straight to the point? 
How do you sell to them? Are they an emotional, value, price, or goal type of customer? 
Do they want to be taught how you are different from your competition or do they need to learn what you do (if your business/industry is not common ‘use’ such as a mechanic, dentist, etc.)? 
Don’t just think about these questions, ask them to as many of your clients as possible and then compile the data and find out exactly how your website should be designed. I would highly recommend not making the questions open-ended when pertinent; give them choices. 
So now that you are empowered with the gift of knowledge from your clients, it is your job to either use all of this information to create a properly designed website yourself or contact your preferred design company to help redesign your site for you. Any designer worth their degree will know exactly how to design your site around your clients as long as they have the proper information.
Call to Action: 
This week build yourself a list of questions and start asking your clients everything you need to know, let’s see how many people’s sites are actually created with their clients’ best interest in mind.