There are many benefits to having a website for your business (see our recent blog post here
). However just knowing
these benefits won't miraculously give you an amazing website over night. You can't go in blind when it comes to designing your site, you should have an idea on the criteria it needs to meet. Yes, the designer/developer you choose will play a big role in putting your ideas together in an engaging way but as the pioneer behind the business, you should know exactly what you want. In the long run, this preparation will serve you well. We've put together a checklist with the most important points you need to consider and tick off before you start the process... the designer/developer will love you for being this prepared.
✓ The Basics
This is just general information. Note down the URL you intend to use and all of the social media platforms you want featured on your website. Also have a clear idea on the concept, answer the following questions... do you intend to deliver a product or a service? Are you promoting or providing something? You should also clearly state when the desired deadline is, this will definitely be something you negotiate with the developer but if you have a specific time frame then let them know. You probably know that websites don't come free, it's something you need to invest in; a budget is key and you need to make the developer aware on how much you're wanting to spend so there are no nasty surprises in store in the future.
Every business has objectives they want to meet whether that be related to profit or popularity- or even both. Your website is a touchpoint for your business and can have either a positive or negative impact on the brand you've built. You need to benchmark where you want your website to take you. Do you want it to elevate you even further within the industry? If yes then you need to note that down. Your objectives will become the fundamentals of the website, both design and content wise. Financial goals should also be taken into consideration; if you plan on building revenue through your site then you need to assess how you want that to happen: through selling goods, advertising, subscription fees, usage fees, etc.
✓ Target Audience
You probably already have an idea on who your target audience is but an idea
is not enough. You need to have a clear understanding. Create customer profiles so you can start to see what your customers like. This research will aid in design work when it comes to choosing colours, the layout and the language used for content. If you have this knowledge now then your site will be even more engaging for your customers. It's important to not only think about what you like in terms of web design but what your existing and/or future customers are interested in too.
Even if you don't have a full understanding on marketing, you should still think about the basics before progressing with the design/development of your website. You should answer the following questions: How do you want people to find out about your site? Are you going to work alongside a digital marketing agency? Or will you tackle it yourself? Is there any software that can help manage your marketing projects? When you've thought about the answers for those questions you will start to develop an idea in your head on what's going to happen once your site is live. You'll have a fantastic website to share with everyone but don't stop there, keep pushing it out there!
Those aren't the only points to consider, there are many more but the ones discussed above are key when it comes to the initial thoughts before heading to meet with your chosen web designer. It will benefit you massively in the future and be a huge help for the designer as they'll have a clear understanding on exactly what you want.