What Successful Businesses Know About Websites
Who else is sick and tired of all the “formulas”, “blueprints”, and “cheat sheets” out there in the marketing world designed to magically catapult your business into six-figure powerhouses while you’re working with your laptop on a beach somewhere?
I know I am.
And, um… hate to break it to you, but if you have your laptop and you’re working at a beach? You’re vacationing alllllllllll wrong. I’m looking at you, every stock photo ever.
I just can’t help but heavily sigh every time I see those kinds of messages because though these six-figure formulas may work for some in a very specific niche of business, there are so many other variables unaccounted for.
Let me explain.
Over the summer, my friend Chrissy and I went to Vancouver BC for a business conference and we rented an Air BnB to stay in. To pick up the keys, we had to go to a “key cafe” in a 711 down the street, which sounds waaaaay shadier than it actually was.
(Seriously, it was very clean, brightly lit, and I Googled the whole “key cafe” thing ahead of time to make sure it was legit. I also loooooved the idea of not having to deal with any humans to get into the Air BnB. I know, I know… anti-social much?)
I got the keys without any problems and the instructions on how to get into the apartment. We parked in the parking garage, got out our bags, walked to the elevator, pressed the “up” button, and… nothing happened. We couldn’t even hear the elevator moving.
I consulted the instructions on how to get into the apartment, and the only thing it said was, “Use the FOB to get into the elevator. Your room is 2616.”
Chrissy and I looked at each other blankly, which after 8 hours driving was easy to do, and said in unison, “What the f*ck is a FOB?” We laughed and made comments about how we’re both college graduates and run successful businesses… we should be able to figure out HOW TO USE AN ELEVATOR. But alas, we couldn’t.
Finally, a small plastic piece attached to the keys must have hit a tiny elevator sensor that magically called the elevator down and the doors opened. Chrissy and I celebrated, brought our bags inside, and hit the 26th-floor button. But nothing happened.
“SERIOUSLY?! This canNOT be happening!” we cried.
Becoming impatient, I read aloud the directions on how to get into the apartment again, and all it said was, “Use the FOB to get into the elevator. Your room is 2616.”
“But HOW do we USE the FOB?” I laughed. “The word ‘use’ tells me nothing! There are clearly other steps involved on how to USE this thing…”
It was then a man with an armful of groceries opened the elevator doors and was surprised to find us inside. He got in, ran a small plastic piece over an unmarked black transparent square next to the elevator numbers, and pressed the button to his floor.
Shocked, we peppered him with questions on what he just did, he walked us through the steps very nicely (because Canadians are the nicest) and thankfully, we were able to get to our floor. Eventually.
(I swear, those sensors in the elevator and on the FOB only worked like 30% of the time. The thing was either damaged, needed new batteries, or… something.)
So, what does this story have to do with anything?
One person’s formula, blueprint, cheat sheet, or, in this case, instructions may not always work for everybody because it’s ignoring so many other variables.
For starters, the Air BnB host was under the assumption that Chrissy and I knew what a FOB was, and how to “use” it. We didn’t. Clearly. Yes, we eventually got to the 26th floor, but it took roughly 900 times (and yes, I wish I was exaggerating about that.)
Perhaps if the instructions said, “To get into the elevator, take the key’s keychain and hold it up to the red light on the elevator keypad until you hear a beep. Then select the ‘up’ button.” Imagine! The whole crisis would have been averted, and we wouldn’t have been so afraid to leave the apartment the full 4 days we were there out of fear we wouldn’t be able to get back in!
And what does this story have to do with what successful businesses know about websites?
Well, they know “pretty” isn’t enough.
Though there are tons of WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify (and more!) website themes out there that look damn good, having a pretty theme isn’t enough to have a website that makes you money.
In fact, you need to know:
- What the real purpose of your website is
- How to design the site around your goals
- Which website themes are better than others
- Your positioning in the market
- How to create branding and design elements that illustrate what’s already fascinating about you and your brand
- How to get the best photos of yourself and your products taken
- What kinds of text should be on your website page-by-page, and
- How to get testimonials from your customers so they do the selling for you
All of those pretty themes out there only capture just one tiny part of the equation and leave everything else on the table for you to figure out and scratch your head at.
I’m tired of seeing businesses with websites that don’t help them reach their goals or make them money.
I’m tired of seeing of you spending too much money and wasting too much time with Web Designers or WordPress themes that are merely creating “pretty pictures” online, and don’t actually help you rake in more e-mail sign-ups, more product purchases, or more contact requests so you can, oh, I dunno, pay your mortgage.
It sucks, and I want to help you.
Because when you have a website that looks good AND converts (read: makes you money), you’ve got yourself a thriving business, and can get back to the work that you actually want to be doing, because you have a website that behaves like the best employee you don’t have to pay, never gets sick, and works for you 24/7.
I’m a website designer + digital strategist who believes in design with strategic ease. Meaning, gorgeous design is informed by customer insights that make your business a whole lot easier. If you want to stop losing customers by having “just another pretty website,” work with me.
Hi, I'm Natalie McGuire!
I'm a website designer + digital strategist who believes in design with strategic ease. Meaning, gorgeous design is informed by customer insights that make your business a whole lot easier. If you want to stop losing customers by having "just another pretty website," work with me.
Stop losing customers by having
“just another pretty website.”
© 2005-2023 NATALIE MCGUIRE DESIGNS, LLC | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Natalie McGuire Designs stands against inequality, injustice, hate, discrimination, and systemic racism, and is deeply committed to investing in diversity and inclusion, and standing up for what is just, inclusive, loving & equitable.