Web design doesn't have to be cutting edge or innovative to be great. The best web designs are the ones that most effectively fulfil their purpose. The trouble many web designers face is that some businesses don't know what they want their site to do.
If you're contemplating investing in a new website, asking yourself the following questions will ensure your design and development team create an ideal web solution for your business.
Can you describe your business in one sentence?
Potential customers won't want to read a thousand word essay about your company on the web. Your website should convey to visitors who you are and what you do in seconds. Being able to summarise what you do will help inform your web design team's approach, allowing them to focus on what matters and create a clear, easy to understand site.
Who is your target market?
A website that appeals to middle-aged women will not appeal to teenage boys. It is vital for web designers to understand your desired audience so they can create a web experience that communicates your business at the right level and in the most engaging way.
Who are your main competitors?
To give potential customers reasons to choose your business over your competition's you need to research exactly what your competition is doing. This will help you avoid making the same mistakes as them an help identify opportunities to differentiate your website and improve on what your competition is offering.
Which key phrases are you optimising for?
Search engine optimisation(SEO) is essential if you want people to find your site at all. Getting high search engine rankings shouldn't be an afterthought, but an integral part of constructing your site. Work with your web design team to research a list of relevant keywords you would like to rank for and track their competitiveness and search volumes. This will help create a target website as well as define what the most important parts of your business are and what your website should concentrate on.
What functionality do you want your website to have?
Many businesses still treat their websites as just something they have to have. They don't consider just how beneficial it could be to the customer, or their business. Think about why exactly customers should access your business via the web. Consider the social, commercial and interactive aspects of the web and if they would benefit your customers.
Who is going to provide and update the content?
It's easy to get caught up in the look and feel of a website that you forget about the content. Your website will be the first impression visitors get of your business so don't just copy and paste existing material. Work with copywriters and you web design and development team to create engaging - Search engine optimised copy.
Creating web content isn't a one-off task either. Ensuring your website is regularly updated with fresh content will appeal to customers and search engines alike. Consider how often you can update your website with news and promotions and develop a timetable and a team to manage the task.
While web designers can work wonders, coming in with a clear brief will make sure the development of your website goes smoothly. It will also give you insight into the benefits of a great website to your business.