Part 1 of a 4-part series on website development
Creating a first website or even a revamp of an existing website is a learning process for most contractors. Most underestimate the time, talent and work that go into a successful site. Projects often hit stumbling blocks because business owners don’t understand all the steps involved. This series of posts takes business owners through the process of building a website sot hey can make better decisions about who they choose to work with, the type of site they design, and how they can best achieve their goals.
For most businesses the website is center of all marketing efforts, working 24/7 to communicate the value of the business to visitors. As a business owner, you need to put on your marketing hat when developing the website. If you will be seeking help from web developers, content creators and/or graphic designers you need to provide a basic overview of the company’s business and determine what you want your website to accomplish. Here are some of the questions we like our clients to answer.Providing theses up front should save time and resources.
- What audiences are you trying to reach? Are there multiple industries or audiences that use your products and services? How will the website address their specific content needs?
- What makes your business unique? The unique selling proposition (USP), is a factor that differentiates a product or service from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality, experience, etc.
- What services or products do you offer? Will customers be able to purchase online? What search terms would potential customers type in to find a business like yours online? Do you envision a page for each of the services?
- What actions do you want website visitors to take? Do you want them to request a quote, sign up for a newsletter, download a whitepaper? Do you want them to call, email or chat online?
- What are your primary objectives for the website? Do you want to generate leads from organic search? Will you drive traffic from paid advertisements and other listings or do you want to just want a professional website you can refer potential clients to?
- Are there any specific business challenges you want the website to address? For example you may want to website to convey that you work for both residential and commercial customers.
- What websites do you like and why? Analyze competitive sites and sites outside your industry to determine your likes and dislikes. Similarly, you can provide examples of sites you don’t like. The key elements of the site to analyze are navigation (How easy is it to find things?), content (Is it helpful? Do you like the tone of the copy?) and design (Do you like the colors, type and photos?).
Having these questions answered up front will give developers, designers and content writers a clear picture of what you need and want, right from the start. Just like construction, time spent up front saves time and money later.
Up next: Who is doing what on your website