Building a new website for your business is a huge investment, it requires time, effort and money and to many can be a daunting task. If you’re wanting to create a successful business then there’s more to simply building your website and expecting customers, you need to have a great, well thought out plan. Here are 7 simple questions you should always ask yourself before building your website.
Why do you need a website?
A simple question that can have a number of different answers, if you’re looking for a brand new website you might need a website to begin selling online or to create a website to increase awareness of a charity or cause. Whatever your business purpose, you need a website which is going to reflect your mission.
Have a definite answer, if you’re looking to grow your revenue tell your designer, if you’re wanting to increase leads and sales make this known. Whatever you need from your website directly affects the look and design of the site, it’s important to know for definite why you need a website.
Who is the website for?
Ask yourself who is your website really for? Who is your target audience and what do they need from your website? Having a clear understanding of what your visitors want and need from your website means you can create your website structure around this target audience, allowing you to encourage specific customers with your content, design and usability.
Failing to target the right audience and design a website for this audience could see many negative effects on your website, with the wrong people finding your website and quickly leaving, increasing your bounce rate and decreasing the chance of sales.
Do you need content?
Delays in content can cause problems for your website launch and can really slow down the design process. Make sure you have your content ready, including any photography and text your website may need.
Create a list of what content you need for your website and create plans in case you cannot get hold of the appropriate images and text. Whilst stock photography is useful, if you’re selling online you’ll need your own product photography. You should also bear in mind that if your designers don’t have an in-house copywriter make sure you have someone readily available to write your text.
What keywords do you want to be found for?
Everyone wants to show up on the first page of Google for relevant search terms, however before you look at building your website and writing content you need to identify what keywords you want to be found for on Google.
The key to great keyword generation is to put yourself in the shoes of potential visitors to your website, think about what they would search for when looking for your website, think about simple keywords rather than using technical terms and whilst your website design will help generate keywords it’s a good idea to already have a list of what you would like to be found for.
What is the competition doing?
Look at your competition and other businesses who are offering similar to your business, check out their websites and social media accounts and get a full idea of what they might be achieving. What works? What doesn’t?
If you know what your competitors and doing well and what they aren’t doing you can learn from this and design your website so it includes the features your competitors website might be missing, attracting customers your competitors might fail to win over.
Do you have a brand identity?
Without a strong brand identity, designing your website can become a lot more difficult, often resulting in guesswork, increased cost and poor results. Even if you’re a brand new business you should already have an idea of what you want your brand identity to be.
Your website should reflect your brand so that customers can recognise and remember your website and ultimately your business. Think about your colour scheme, your logo and your typography, they all contribute to your brand and your website and should be thought about and planned long before you begin building your website.
Are you willing to continue investing after the website launch?
Once your website is built it doesn’t stop there, it’s important to keep investing in other factors. After launching your website you may need to think about how to market your business, whilst SEO content can be a great way to rank on Google you might also want to think about paid advertising and email marketing if you’re looking to get found.
You also need to be aware that your website will eventually need updating, your website may look great when it’s first launch unfortunately after a number of years it will need updating. If you aren’t willing to think about continually investing in your website then your business could be affected.
Asking yourself these important questions before you begin building your website can be the perfect way to not only decide what you want from your website but also gives you the chance to truly establish what you want from your business. It is also important that you work hand in hand with a professional web design company who can not only design you the perfect website but also answer all the questions you might have, leaving you time to focus on building success.