Monday, 16 May 2016

Ten Essential Questions Before Building Your Website

Here at Kenilworth Web Design, we've compiled a list of essential questions that you should ask yourself, before having a new website built. This will ensure you get the most out of your new website and that it performs to your expectations.

1. What does your business actually do?

This is a great starting point for both of us. Allowing us to have a really thorough understanding of who you are, what you do, and how long you have been running your business will help support the design research and decisions made throughout the entire business relationship.

2. What do you want your site to accomplish?

Before the design process can begin, it is important for us all to have a clear understanding of what your primary goal for the site is and what you want most from it. The absence of clear goals or direction for the site may result in you not being able to make the most of your business being online. For example do you want your site to:
  • Get more inbound leads / quote requests / phone enquiries?
  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Educate your audience?
  • Encourage sales?
  • Collect email addresses and build a list?
  • Encourage website or social media interaction?

3. Do you have a website already?

If a new website is intended to improve your business, it is necessary for us to have a good grasp of your existing website to ensure the end product works better for you, and out-performs the previous version of your site. Some things to consider:
  • When did you get this site?
  • Do you find it easy to use and edit?
  • What CMS (Content Management System) does it use (if any)?
  • What do you like about it?
  • What DON'T you like about it?
  • How many inbound leads are you currently getting from it?
  • Is it giving you the results you want to see?
  • Have you got Google Analytics setup? If so, can you generate a report for us so we can see what's working and what's not?

4. What makes your company remarkable?

What makes your business unique to everyone else? Considering how potential customers are doing their initial research at the beginning will help us find a way of ensuring your business stands out big time against your competitors. It is important to remember potential customers are browsing 10+ different supplier websites looking for someone to solve their problems, not just yours. It is therefore important not to become complacent with your online presence. Waiting 2 days to respond to a quote request under the assumption that prospect hasn't contacted anyone else can mean the difference between success and failure! So, if we know what makes you remarkable, we can communicate that in your design. Examples could include:
  • Being the cheapest.
  • Having outstanding customer service.
  • An amazing guarantee or returns policy.
  • Being the exclusive supplier of a product in a certain area.
  • Supplying the best quality product around.
  • Fast or Free delivery.
  • Offering unique add-on packages no one else can.
Still struggling to discover what makes you stand out? Maybe NOW is the time to start trying to create an advantage over your competitors.

5. Who are your competitors?

You are probably already aware of your main competitors. However, thinking a little outside of the box and considering less obvious competitors will be advantageous to your site and business as a whole. For example, say you were running a tourist attraction, you shouldn’t just look at similar attractions in the local area, but also look at competing attractions that pull tourist eyes away from your site, and also check out regional competitors too.

6. What websites do you like and why?

Giving us an idea of what you like and don't like, and why, will allow us to offer you a professional design that you are happy with, but that also meets your primary goal for the site.

7. Who are your customers and what are their pains, problems and fears?

The design of your website will not only be influenced by demographics; the sex, age and location of the people who buy from you, but more so from the problems, pains and fears they have. If we can establish what your customers’ pains, problems and fears are, we can clearly and boldly strike an immediate connection with web visitors. Your design can express imagery and copy about their pain, offer a promise, then back it up with proof. Everyone in business solves a problem of some sort. It’s our job as a designer to communicate that for you.

8. What features do you want your website to have?

Working this out right at the beginning can save both you and us time later. Introducing the idea of a new functionality at the point of development can create problems for us and delay getting your site launched online. For example, do you want:
  • A shopping cart?
  • Social media implementation?
  • Email collection and email marketing capability?
  • Auto-responders for nurturing?
  • A blog or news feed?
  • Photo galleries?
  • Videos?
  • A slider banner?
  • A mobile site?
  • A responsive site?
  • A blog or news page?
  • The ability for people to leave comments?
  • A quick contact form, quote request or booking form?

9. How will you record your results?

How will you measure your success or what does success look like to you? Ultimately when you start using your new site, you want to be measuring the success you get with it to maximise business. This is something we need to consider beforehand and incorporate into the design for you. For example, you might record the results of the:
  • The amount of new enquiries you get.
  • Number of signups for the site’s free trial.
  • Number of signups for a FREE eBook.
  • Number of users of the site’s forum.
  • Number of sales.
  • Customer’s average order size.
  • Amount of traffic.
  • Level of activity on the site’s blog.
  • Number of social media (Facebook / Twitter) followers.

10. Do you have a style guide or any existing collateral?

Do you already have online and offline materials created for your business?
  • Logos
  • Brochures
  • Old websites
  • Posters
  • Web banners

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