Working on a new website can be a daunting task, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. Before you begin the process, have to think about what you are trying to achieve from the website to make the process as straightforward as possible.
1. WHAT IS THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF MY WEBSITE?
Yes your website needs to showcase your services and provide information about your company. But what do you want customers to do when they are your website? Do you want them to fill in a form, sign up to an offer or make a transaction? If you can agree a clear path for your customers to follow, it will make their user experience far easier by giving them clear calls to action above the fold.
One of the main objectives of your site should always be about showing your potential customers how you can solve their problems. Essentially how your product or service is what they need.
2. WHAT FUNCTIONALITY DOES MY SITE NEED?
Depending on your business your site will need to offer different functionality. For example, a restaurant might want to consider using software which will allow customers to book a table online without having to make a call or send an email. Some businesses may want to sell and ship their products online, others may prefer to get an online enquiry which they can follow up with a personal call.
Would your business benefit from having a live chat facility? Perhaps you need a search function to look up products by name or need to consider building your website in several languages. Either way, try and put a clear list of functionality together to help your web designers get started.
Remember that as mobile traffic has now overtaken desktop traffic, it is vital that every function should work as well on mobile as it does on desktop.
3. HOW DO YOU WANT THE WEBSITE TO LOOK AND FEEL?
If you have a brand identity guide, this should help you decide on the visual elements of your website. Consider the tone of voice you portray, is it professional or casual? Do you have good imagery that can be used? Photos of your team, product and even your office space will differentiate you from your competitors and help customers visualize what your business is about.
A professional photoshoot may be necessary before you begin your web build, in the case of those in the hospitality industry we would always recommend up to date, professional photos.
Do you want to include user generated content from your social media channels? Research other websites and take notes of styles that you like. Are there any elements to your competitors’ websites that are standard to your industry?
4. HOW DOES YOUR CURRENT WEBSITE PERFORM?
Take a look at your current website statistics and find out what pages are the most popular, have longer visit times and lower bounce rates. Chances are your customers like the content on these pages so they should form part of your new site map.
5. HOW QUICKLY DO YOU NEED IT AND WHAT BUDGET DO YOU HAVE?
It’s important to set a realistic timeline taking everyone’s requirements into consideration. Generally your website designers should set out a project timeline with dates around specific goals and milestones for the build.
Ensure you have access to your domain name and hosting environment to prevent any unnecessary delays. If you’re starting a business from scratch, you may even need to register a new domain name.
In terms of cost, try to give your website developer an idea of the funds you have available. It will help underpin the initial proposal, taking the required functionality, time and budget into consideration.