Have you ever considered what it takes to prepare for the trip overseas? Packing, flights, getting to the airport, plus planning other travel arrangements, money, foreign currency and not to mention a passport. Depending on how familiar you are with the process will depend on how much planning needs to go into the perpetration. Even then some of the most seasoned travellers will have stories of how they forgot their passport and remembered at the airport or border. Developing a website can feel like a similar amount of planning, but with some of these simple steps the process can be simplified.
Develop a summary overview.
What does your business do? How do you help your customers? What are the services you offer or what products do you sell?
If you can give your website designer a good overview of what it is you do and what you are wanting to achieve, this will help the designer to meet those objectives. It might spark a number of ideas to help showcase those services or products also.
Define what it is you want to achieve
Lots of people need a website without really knowing what they want to achieve, I see this a lot within the service industry. “We want a website because everybody needs one”. There are plenty of things a website can achieve but having a clear defined focus helps the creators tailor the experience to get the most out of it and achieve targets and goals.
So “Why does your business need a website?” To sell products? Generate leads and gain enquiries. To inform people about your services and products? If you can honestly answer this question then there becomes a deep sense of purpose for the website creating a clear and defined focus.
Setup goals to measure success.
Now that you know what it is you want to achieve setting goals will help measure the websites success. If you are going to spend money on getting a website up and running, make sure the money is well spent and have some targets to hit. Maybe it’s ‘X’ number of enquiries by phone or email. A website can measure the user interactions and report back on these giving you insight to how the website is performing. If it is a new website it will take time to get established in which case you may want to think about Search Engine Optimisation and a digital media strategy to generate traffic to the website.
List all your digital assets
What are digital assets? If you’ve ever googled your business name and it’s popped up on the right with some details about your business, that is a Google Business listing. This would be considered a digital asset. Others would include:
- Domain Name/s
- Existing Website
- Social Media Accounts
- Logo Identity
- CRM Database
- Blog/Articles Content
- Digital Brochures / Marketing Material
- Other business listing services EG (Chamber Listing, Yellow Pages, Yelp etc)
Why are these important? Knowing what these are, helps provide a general overview of the business. It may be that your business has a CRM (Client Relations Manager) and you can integrate that into an enquiry form to capture leads.
Defining any specific functionality
This is probably some of the key fundamentals of a website that if not mentioned can blow the budget for the project out of the water. Maybe there are other services that you need to hook into in order to run your business more efficiently, eg a booking engine or CRM. Defining and talking about these at the start can save both time and money and allows for your team to have consistent information.
An Idea of the site structure or sitemap
Having an idea of the pages or content you want on the website is important. Outlining these helps to clearly communicate the overall scope of the project.
Don’t be too precious about having it 100% complete, as most content management systems allow for new pages as and when needed.
Research example websites, collect colours and styles.
A great tool for collecting ideas together is Pinterest. If you haven’t looked at Pinterest go check it out, signup and create a board for your website project (if you are working with us on a project be sure to share it with us). Jump in and start pinning some ideas and share this with your designer. This becomes a great tool to use and refer too during the initial scoping meetings. It’s a great reference tool to discuss what things you like or don’t like and to gain a general feel of where the project can go.
Have a budget in mind.
Not everyone knows where to start with the “how much does it cost” discussions. Some websites can cost tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars and others 4k and others 7k. Where does your website fall? This will come down to the agency/designer. Consider what your budget is and have that conversation with your designer, it’s an important discussion to have and this will help determine quality, speed and outcomes.
Does your business need a website or redesign, get in touch we’d love to help.