You’ve made the decision! You are beginning your first project to build a website for your business. You’re excited and imagine a beautiful site that shows off your products and services. You can’t wait to see your logo professionally set among a design that captures your brand. And, most importantly, you can’t wait to see people seeking you out to buy your products and services.
What important things should you consider when building your site? What decisions should you be focusing on to make sure your project is successful?
Read on to find out!
What is the primary goal for your new site?
What is the number one thing you want to get out of your new website?
We know – “more business.”
And, while that may be true, dig a bit deeper into that. New business can come from many avenues. Some goals that you may want to consider:
- Greater brand recognition
- A focus (or refocus) into a specific area of your industry
- Increase your value as experts in your field
- Drive sales to a new product launch
- Drive conversions of targeted ad campaigns
- Improve your recognition or extend your range to specific, local markets
These are just a few reasons. What are yours?
What information do you want to convey?
Yes – there is (almost always) the big four: Services. Showcasing Work. Showcasing Knowledge. About Our Company.
Within those big four, you should spend time considering what you want your website to say about you. The design will say one thing. But when your customers and potential customers visit your site, what knowledge do you want to convey to them.
Also consider other pages that may be pertinent to your industry. Calendars are important if you are scheduling events. You may want integration with third party applications so clients can do business with you. (An example is mortgage lenders who want their clients to securely apply for a loan.) Do you want YouTube, Spotify, or other integrations to show off marketing videos, music, or other company collateral?
All of these things should be taken into consideration when building your site.
Do you want/need a storefront?
Not all businesses need a storefront.
Some cases are obvious – if you are making clothing, you should offer a way to sell it directly online and make it easy for your customers to buy. Some customers like to take their service payments through their website.
If you do choose to build a storefront, work with your web designer to determine how you will take payment, what products should be featured, coupons and special offers, and numerous other questions that your design team will lead you through to ensure that your products get front-and-center focus.
How do you want your customers to reach you?
For most small businesses, their websites exist for two primary reasons: to inform and to offer ways to be contacted.
Different businesses prefer to work through different means. Do you want to be reached a phone call? Texting? Email? If email, do you want to use a contact form or provide a direct email address? And, of course, if you use customer relationship management (CRM) software, like HubSpot, you might want to be contacted directly through that.
Businesses would do well to offer multiple avenues of contact, but it is most important that you make sure of one thing – respond. Nothing is worse than missing a lead from someone who wants to do business with you!
Does your site match your brand?
Think of this as the consideration you might give your clothing when you a heading to a dinner with someone important. How do you present yourself to the world? How do you want to be seen? How does your industry expect you to look?
This particular consideration can be heavily mitigated by a designer who knows how to “see” you and present you well to your customers and potential customers. But, you can help by considering questions like:
- What industry are you in? Some industries (legal, banking) expect a highly professional look. Others (snow sports, production companies) are more lenient and flexible with the look.
- How does your specific company want to come across? Despite the above question, some companies grow by balking the trend.
- What does your company value? Your brand isn’t just “how you look” but it’s also how you live. What values is your company targeting? That should come through the entire language and design of your site.
What collateral do you have?
This is a technical item that can help a project get off to a good start and give a designer insight into how you present yourself. Logo graphic files, color schemes, and other visual content can be helpful. One CavetTek client showed us a banner from a trade show as that is all they had, but it gave us all the right coloring!
Additionally, any written work – blog posts, articles written by, for, or about you, and technical details about your company can generate collateral that can be used to help populate the new website.
How often do you want to update your website?
I know – we’ve only started building your new website and already we’re bringing up how often to update it. But the fact of the matter is is that content drives traffic. You’ll be busy with all the new business that is driven to your site – be realistic about the amount of new content you can generate. But, consider if and how you might regularly contribute to the site.
There are a great deal of items to consider when building your site. This list is not exhaustive and a good web designer can guide you through the process (and in many cases take care of things without you having to worry about them!).
But, by the time you have your kick-off meeting with your web design team, you will be ahead of the game if you have given these seven topics consideration.
Enjoy building your new site!