So you've decided you want so have a website designed for your company. You've had a brainstorming meeting with your staff and are starting to think about what you consider to be the important aspects of the site; what colours to use, where you want your pictures to appear and whether or not your web designer should make your logo spin from right to left or from left to right. Stop! There are far more important considerations that need to be made and this article will tell you the main things that cannot be overlooked by a website designer if their intention is to build a successful business website that will deliver a return on your investment.
1. The Goal of the Website
The goal of the website needs to be carved in stone; well I suppose just writing it down would suffice! What do you want to achieve by having the website designed? This could be something as simple as publishing contact details on the internet. It could be something a lot more specific such as:
To have 500 users sign up to your newsletter in the first year. To sell £10000 worth of products over the internet in your first year. To achieve 10 sales enquiries per day through the website.
Whatever the goal of the website is, make sure that you are clear about what it is and that your web designer know exactly what this is and what the website should deliver. Your website will then be designed with this in mind and will have a measurable goal. Imagine building a house, putting the roof on and then telling the builder you wanted a double garage as well - this often happens to website designers!
2. Who Your Target Audience Is
It is very, very important to know who your target audience is. This needs to be very clear right from the very start. This will allow the designer to make the best possible web design decisions to make sure your site is as attractive and accessible as possible to your target audience. Your site after all need to be aimed directly at your target audience in order for them to do whatever it is that you want them to do when they arrive at your site.
3. What Kind Of Content / Keywords Are To Be Used
Your website designer needs to thoroughly understand the nature of your products and services and the things that potential customers will type into search engines to find them. I have had a few clients that have asked me why their products and services aren't listed in Google. One example that stands out in my mind is a lady that asked me why a search for 'coloured concrete' didn't display her site in the results. After I explained that she actually needed to tell search engines on the website that the company sold 'colored concrete' I built a search engine targeted webpage, which was listed in the search results.
Please try and bear in mind that web designers although they are trained to ask intelligent questions, they are not mind readers and know a lot less about your industry and your business than you do. The best thing you can do is to provide as much information and detail up front so that the designer organise your website in the best way possible.
It's a sad fact that a lot of websites are designed badly and deliver bad results for good customers but by following the advice in this article, you can be sure of 3 things:
1. Your website project will have a clear, well defined and measurable goal
2. Your website will be correctly themed and aimed at your target audience
3. Provision will be made for your content and nothing will be missed out