There is one forehead-slapping mistake that I see DIYers make time and time again. It has nothing to do with color or fonts or logos or anything like that. In fact, it's a much simpler -- but still insanely critical -- mistake:
Most DIYers design a website for themselves and not for their ideal customer.
Most small business owners can tell you a lot about who their ideal customer is: their gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, where they shop, etc. These business owners know their ideal customer backward and forward, but when they sit down to DIY their website they all typically do the same insane thing: design a website to their taste. What they like. Crazy town.
The result is a site that doesn't appeal to the core needs and desires of their ideal customer. In the best cases, the site looks good and functions well -- in the worst cases the DIY'ed site is well below the style and taste-level of what the ideal customer expects.
So, why does this happen? I address this at length in this week's ep. In a nutshell, I think many business owners (particularly we ladies) assume that we have more in common with our target market than we actually do and thus assume that making a site we like gets the job done.
In reality you need to be asking yourself these questions...
- What other sites does my target audience frequent?
- When a target customer visits those sites what words and feelings immediately come to her mind?
- When someone sees my site for the first time, what impression does it make?
- What are the visual discrepancies between my site and the other sites that your target market visits?
I talk about visual discrepancies in my 10 Minutes to Website Revolution Worksheet. These are the essential design and content bits that keep your site from reaching the style, taste-level and strategic goals that are expected -- by you and your audience.