Thinking about designing a website for your business ? First thing to do is plan out your needs and wants to avoid a disaster and delays down the road. There are some really good questions you should have answered before you hire a website designer. Don’t worry, this is just a starting point and you don’t have to have everything figured out exactly. Avoid potential problems and delays by learning all you can about what you want your website design to accomplish before you hire a web design company to start the project.
Here are 18 key questions to answer before designing a website.
1. What are your website goals ? Do you just want a new modern clean looking design ? Do you need your website to attract and capture sales leads ? Do you want to actually make sales online ? Does your website need better search engine rankings online ? Deciding some website goals will keep you on track for what is important when designing a website.
2. When do you need the new website completed ? The next 2 questions will help you develop a time frame of how long you’ll have to do the work from start to finish. This is one of the most important things you should determine. You want to give the website design company and your team plenty of time to get the design done without rushing.
3. When will you be ready to get started ? Now that you have an idea of when you would like the website completed, you can back track and figure out when you should start your project. You don’t want to leave it too late. You don’t want to call a website design company and ask them for a rush job. More chances than not you will pay a higher price to skip your project to the front of the line.
4. What is your budget for this website design ? Try to get decide on at least a range. You want to get the very best website you can afford for your business. Most website design companies will be able to deliver a more precise website design quote once they know more about your website needs and features. A new website is not the place where you want to cut corners just to save money. A great website can pay for itself over and over again from increased sales.
5. How many people at your company will be involved in the new website project ? Problems can occur if too many executives or managers have to review the website changes. This is usually the enemy of a good design, and can make moving ahead on revisions difficult to achieve.
6. Who will come up with the website content ? Can you use your existing marketing materials ? One of the best ways to cut the time you spend on website content writing is to read existing marketing materials to see if it is suitable or just needs some tweaking.
7. Do you have a budget to hire a copywriter to re write your website content ? Sometimes rewriting your website sales and marketing materials can improve sales and leads. Trying to save money with poorly written content is not a good idea, if you have the budget to hire a professional copywriter, you should do it.
8. Do you love or hate your existing marketing materials? If current materials are not satisfactory, then it’s very important to get assess it again. Find out what’s not working well so you can avoid making the same mistakes on your new website design.
9. Who are the target customers for your new business website ? How much do you know about your customers ? Do some research and find out every detail you can about your customers. The more you know about your customers, the easier it will be to ‘talk’ to them with your new website design.
10. What are the most important problems facing your customers ? If you are unclear on this point, talk to your sales staff about what problems they hear from customers. You can also record questions asked from incoming sales calls.
11. How, specifically, does your company products and services help solve those problems? The answers to this question may give you some great copy to use on your website.
12. Have you done any market research on your customers habits, likes and dislikes ? What social media they are most likely to use and hang out on ?
13. Can you provide some words that define your company values ? This exercise is invaluable to get the important corporate values to clearly communicate them on your website.
14. Who are your major competitors, and how are you different ? This is a great way to learn key selling points for your website copy. This is basically your unique selling proposition. Why should people choose your company ?
15. Do you want any video on your website ? In today’s interactive age, you may want to use video on your website. You should decide upfront if you want videos and start working on the scripts for them.
16. How soon can you give a deposit to get started ? Most website design companies won’t start work without an up-front deposit. Make sure you schedule your website design around your budget abilities as well.
17. Are you meeting with multiple website designers ? If so make sure you do a Google search in your area for website designers. Does their website show up on the first page of Google results ? Preferably in the top 5 ? If they they really know how to build a search engine optimized website, they should be ranking well. Be wary of a website designer promising seo web design servcies if their own website is not ranking on the first page.
18. What is more important, getting a great website or saving money ? When it comes to marketing your business, your website is your calling card. Your website acts like your sales manager on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now, you would not put a crappy sales manager in your store to run your business all day, so don’t even think about making a low budget website to sell online 24/7. Your website is one of your businesses most important marketing tools today. Your website will also become more important as time goes by. Businesses can no longer scrape by with an out dated or poorly built website in today’s digital marketplace.