When building a website, it’s important to get the order right. What’s included in a wireframe?; this is a question we get from clients all the time. You wouldn’t start building a house without plans from an architect, right? We’ve built hundreds of websites that help businesses sell more. We know how to handle the process’s beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is all about incorporating a wireframe.
BONUS: Get our StoryBrand Wireframe template here!
Let’s start building, shall we?
What is a Wireframe?
Before we break ground and dive right into the website designing process, we want to have a solid… plan. You thought I was going to say foundation, didn’t you? Well, you’re right… kind of. While a strong foundation is necessary to avoid collapse and overall catastrophe, the plans for strong and effective websites are in a wireframe.
So, what is a wireframe, you ask? Good question. A wireframe is the layout of the website overall. It helps you to see the placement of text and photos and where they should go. What I like most about wireframing is that it doesn’t start the way many website builders start, by going straight to building the website. Have you ever been to a house and seen a poorly placed outlet? It’s weird, right? You automatically know that the planning wasn’t thought through.
A wireframe is strictly about planning text placement and the ultimate placement of photos/videos. That way, when someone visits your website, it’s easy to navigate and has no strangely placed items. If your customers see something that seems ‘off,’ will they trust you to do whatever you say you will do?
Sure the website design process is the most fun for creatives, and it’s likely that if you’ve ever thought about having a website, the first thing you thought of would be the actual design—your brand colors and how you want to present yourself.
Of course, that’s where your mind would go first! You’re human. Blueprints have never entered my mind when I’m thinking about how much I hate my old pine kitchen drawers and how much nicer they’d be if they were white and didn’t leave shaved wood on my flatware when I open and close them.
When we wireframe, we put placeholders and icons where the images will be. Overall, the wireframe is about approval of the text; the copy.
Okay, so a wireframe is the blueprint for your website. Moving on…
The Trouble With A ‘Pretty’ Website
You know those beautiful people in the world that you see walking around in seeming absolute perfection? As if they’ve been kissed by God Himself daily, even before they get out of bed. They seem perfect. You want to be that. I want to be that. How do they do that? Then, you talk to one of them, and there seems to be an utter vacancy. Vapidness walking. They’re boring. They have nothing useful to say, and you think, “Oh, you’re just pretty… that’s it… that’s all.”
You don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be that.
Ok, you think that was a bit judgemental. I call it discernment. Because here’s the reality. Your ideal customers are discerning people who will quickly recognize if they’ve landed on a ‘pretty’ website with nothing much to say. They will know immediately that you have nothing to offer them, and they will bounce.
Guess what that does? A fast bounce rate will establish your website as untrustworthy as far as Google is concerned. This means that the search engine will NOT send traffic your way, even when your ideal customers search for the products and services you sell.
According to Backlinko
Hate us if you want, but this is the straight-up truth.
What RebelFish Used to do and How We’ve Changed
It’s fair to say that we’ve learned some lessons over the course of 8 years of building websites. We know a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. Our lessons can be your lessons.
We used to go straight into building websites too. Most of the time, a client would come to us wanting to bring their website from the early 2000s to the 2020s. They’d give us the text, and we’d focus on updating that and making it more SEO-friendly, but we wouldn’t do copywriting.
But the problem with just making your website look pretty and what we did before five years ago is that the websites DID NOT CONVERT.
This leads us right back to the pretty people with no discernable skills. Boring and ineffective.
This is even with increased traffic due to the SEO we did. The potential clients were not taking action because the websites were not making them want to take action.
If you’re thinking about the pretty girl again and how this would be akin to asking her on a date… you’d be right. Some of you were already at the ‘put a ring on it’ part. Slow your roll. You’re on track with the metaphor, and I like it, but there’s more to see.
Question: What has to happen for you to ‘add to cart’?
Okay, sometimes you’ve just had too much to drink, and you’re scrolling, and you go overboard. But, most of the time, when you’re looking for something specific to take action, you have to be made to FEEL something. Humans are easy. Sorry, but it’s true. You have to hit them in their feelings.
This is part of why we started wireframing for every client’s website. It was a light bulb moment for us, and we haven’t looked back. We knew that skipping the wireframing process would continue to be a disservice to our clients, and we weren’t willing to do that.
So now we write the copy before doing the website’s design, which will be attractive, but more importantly, CONVERTS.
Why does it convert? Because you found out how to speak to your customer exactly where they live. That part of their heart. So, if we’re back to the metaphor, this is when you’re on a date, and that attractive thing sitting across from you says something special that speaks to YOU. Now they’re a keeper! ADD TO CART.
Read this blog about how to hit them where it counts. How The StoryBrand Framework Helps You Get More Clients.
What We’re Seeing in the Industry Right Now
We started doing wireframing about five years ago. It has made the process much easier for our clients and us.
October was one of the worst stock market months. We were very upfront with our clients about this being the time to be marketing and growing your company and not living in fear. We’ve taken this same position for the past three years, and it’s worked for our company and it’s worked for clients.
But we know there’s a lot of fear, especially with the stock market and economy. What I see, as a result, is that people are cutting corners. Many companies want to go with the cheapest option possible. This is understandable; however, this always ends in disappointment to the company paying for the website and SEO. These cheaper website builders will promise you a lot, and they’ll do it for not very much (usually less than $1k).
The problem is you’re not going to get the KIND OF COPY that CONVERTS. You’re not going to get the design layout specifically for YOUR BUSINESS. They’re likely using the template they used for 100 other websites, which will look cookie-cutter. Do you want a cookie-cutter website?
You DESERVE to STAND OUT!
If you’re buying a hosted website; hosted meaning Squarespace or Wix, you’re limited on sticking to their templates and design. It’s not your own, and it looks like every other website.
You have to look different. You have to stand out.
And that’s what I like about StoryBrand, and the wireframing, which makes you unique and different and stand out from your competition.
This is one thing RebelFish does differently.
How is RebelFish Local Different from Other Marketing Firms?
If you’re a doctor in San Diego, you probably have at least a hundred competitors in your same field; essentially doing exactly what you do. So, how do you stand out and look different? This is where our wireframing and copywriting process makes the difference.
It’s done in a very strategic way. When wireframing, the goal is for people to take action from the words you choose. We create a brand message specific to your business that targets your ideal customer.
We’re very particular with choosing specific words, so people take action, whether that action is to buy something or schedule a call, or download something by them giving you their email address.
It’s specific and particular to the way you do business and to your ideal clients. It speaks to their inner need for which you have the solution.
What’s Included in a Wireframe?
Click here Wireframe Template FREE PDF for the same template we use for this process.
Once we’ve completed the wireframe and approved all the copy, we use Draftium to build the website.
If you’re curious about the tools we regularly use to build our client’s effective websites, click here Our Favorite Tools. We’ve included a blurb about what we like about each of them and what we think they could improve.
Are you interested in finding out just how much more effective your website could be at capturing your ideal customers? Schedule A Call today, and we’ll figure it out together.