Top Ten things to consider before your website
As a business or an individual you have decided that you need a website after reading my previous Top-Ten blog, Why does Your Business Need a Website? You need to answer a few more questions before you agree on the website design and development process. Here is a list of the Top Ten things to consider before your website goes from an idea to a concept and is deployed.
The list is divided into 4 sections based on the various areas you need to consider before your website goes from an idea to a concept.
Section 1: Website Purpose
The answers to all these questions will help you determine what kind of site you need to get. More importantly, it will align your research on the type of website correctly with your business needs.
Are you trying to use the website as a way of expanding the reach of your business?
A website allows you to market and sell your product/service globally. It instantly makes your business accessible to the global cusatomer base. So if your product/service can transcend international boundaries, awebsite is an excellent, efficient and economical way of extending your market outside your geogrpahy.
Are you going to start selling online(e-commerce solution) like tyrebroker.ie?
tyrebroker.ie was setup by its owner to reach people that dont know about the business. The ability to purchase tyres online and get them fitted without the hassle of ringing up a garage is a way of attracting the newer genration of customers that buy everything online. It also allowed the parent company to expand its operations to meet the changing buying pattern of the consumer.
Do you intend to use the website as way of networking with your customers?
Cute Honey is a site that helps mothers in starting business ventures from the home while looking after the kids. This is a support website but it relies on the quality of the blog to attract new followers, who will eventually buy the services offered on the site. Essentially, spreading knowledge is a way of advertising.
Or are you simply starting a new section in your business and you need to diversify?
Imagine if you needed to start offering a new product range in your physical store? It is a challenging process because creating the look and feel to appeal to the customers for the new product is tough in a physical store – on a website, however, it is easily done.
Are you trying to share your knowledge with your followers?
Credit and Collection Hub is a site maintained by a credit professional in Ireland. On his site, Massimo Lepri, shares his knowledge and learning from over the years to educate people.
Section 2: Understand your audience
What does your customer want from your website?
It is vitally important that you think like your visitors before deciding on a website design. Your website has to appeal to your customers (both current and future), not you. You might be the expert on the subject but the customer is the one paying for your product/service. Dont think like you, think like them! Can you imagine, Fashion House selling car insurance to you? The answer is an emphatic NO!
So you dont expect Fashion House to sell insurance – it means that you are segmenting the market based on your understanding of what the difference between fashion and car insurance is. You expect a website selling insurance to perhaps look more like, 123.ie. Your customers are no different, they segment websites based on their own requirements and you have to provide them with what they are expecting.
Before you decide on the layout, look and content of your website, pay attention to what other businesses are doing in your area. Chances are that unless you are a pioneer, there is someone else who is doing what you do. Your research will point you to the best practices for websites in your business area. It will also highlight things that dont work because if you are truly thinking like a customer, you will know just by looking at the websites. Make allowances for cultural, legal, geogrpahical differences when studying other designs but really understand what works in your business area in other parts of the world. After all, experience is the best way to learn and there is a wealth of experience on the internet – so use it.
Section 3: Your Personality
What are you all about
So you have paid attention to the best p[ractices on other sites, you have underestood your audience and taken care of your research but the most important thing that is going to make buy people from you is – YOU. Your website should reflect you. It should not be a small part of you. It should not be a compromise on you. It should be You.
Take a look at Modern Tribe – These 3 people are not shying away from who they are to satisfy an image of successful businessmen in suits for the sake of it. They are true to themselves. This informal yet personal way of relaying information continues through out the site. When they talk about what Modern Tribe is all about, you get a sense of passion. In fact, a consumer is more likely to purchase from this site because of the instant connection their honesty makes with the consumer.
Section 4: Website Design
Images have a way of connecting with people like no other. Images make scanning easier and hence leave a lasting impression on people. Customers are more likely to read your content if the image made a good first impression. Equally, a bad first impression and your content could remain unread.
A lot of people buy images from the likes of Shutterstock and other providers of royalty free imagery. There is nothing wrong with doing this but the visual content has to blend in with th erest of your website. You have a chance to personalise the imagery with the use of text overlays. Take a look at the Xava website to see how stock imagery is personalised to convey a unified theme for the whole website.
Unless you are competent with web design methodologies and tools, you should hire a competent designers to develop your site for you. This will cost you a little bit of money upfront but in the long run will free up a lot of time for you to spend on essential activities for your bsuiness. A good web designer will help you answer all these questions and make your life a lot simpler. Take a look at all the work any web designer has completed to get an understanding of what they have to offer you. Navigate through the websites on the clients list and even contact them to get an idea of how good ro bad the relationship with the web designer was. After all the web designer is going to have a huge impact on your website so do your research and find someone who will understand you, work with you and most importantly listent to you not just talk to or at you.
The next Top Ten blog will address the issue of redeveloping a website. Redeveloping a website is an important question for business because an investment has to be madse in redeveloping the website.
Did you like this blog? Do you agree with the top ten things to consider when getting a website? I would love to hear from you and your friends – so please leave me a comment and share it with your friends.