Have you ever considered heading overseas and what it takes to prepare for the trip? Packing, flights, how to get to the airport, plus other travel arrangements, money and foreign currency, 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 there is 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.
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 clearly defined focus helps the creators tailor the experience to get the most out of it and achieve targets and goals.
Setup goals to measure success.
Now that you know what it is you want to achieve setup some goals so you can measure its 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 phone calls you want or email enquiries. It is hard to measure back on these but they can be tracked which will give you insight on 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.
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 Enquire 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 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 time, money and can allow people to work off the same page.
An Idea of the site structure or sitemap.
Having an idea of the pages or content you want on the website is important. Outlining this helps to clearly communicate the overall scope of the project.
Don’t be too precious about this as most content management systems allow for new pages as and when needed.
Research example websites, collect colours and styles.
A great tool for this is Pinterest. If you haven’t looked at Pinterest go check it out, signup and create a board for your website project. Jump in and start pinning some ideas that you like and share this with your designer.
This becomes a great tool to use and refer to during the initial scoping meetings. It’s a great reference tool to discuss the things you like or don’t like and to get 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.
Does your business need a website or redesign, get in touch we’d love to help.