5 Things to Think About Before Building a New Website
A lot goes into creating a new website. Trust us, we’ve collectively built hundreds of them. Of course, we can’t speak for everyone, but few people are truly prepared to build a new site. Fortunately, we’re pretty familiar with how clients think. Many just don’t realize how detailed the process is.
There are a lot of things to consider before the design process ever takes place, especially if you want to do it the right way. And we’re pretty sure some of these items aren’t on your radar. So, we figured we’d put them on your radar so you can feel prepared going into a website consultation.
Here are some important topics to think about and discuss with your team before taking the plunge on a new site:
- What goals do you have for your website?
Before you think about the look and functionality of your new website, you need to know what your goals are. What do you want to get out of your website? Maybe that goal is to increase brand awareness. It might be generating more online sales or even bringing more people to your physical storefront.
It’s a good idea to write your goals down because they guide the entire building process. Every web development decision needs to support your goals, whatever they may be.
Goals to consider:
- Building brand awareness
- Creating a contact point for customers
- Improving search engine optimization
- Selling products or getting service appointments
- Increasing customer loyalty
2. How will your website help achieve those goals?
Look at the goals you’ve written down. Start thinking about how your new website will help you achieve these goals. What web features will you need? For example, if one of your goals is to sell more products, then an eCommerce platform with a shopping cart is necessary.
Don’t worry—if you’re not sure what features you need, that’s okay. Start by looking to see what’s possible. Research your competitors. Look at other websites in your field. Identify the features you like and ask yourself why you like them. Is it just an aesthetic choice or does it align with your overall goals?
3. Who is your target audience?
Understanding your target audience is a crucial thing to clarify early on. You need to know who will use your new website before the design and content take shape. How old are your web visitors? Does your company cater to males or females, or are your offerings gender-neutral? Are they tech-savvy or novices?
Your answers will change the entire project. A website aimed at high school students will look completely different than a site for retirees. And we can’t forget, the content will change too. Your target audience resonates with a particular tone of voice and certain vocabulary. The written content should feel comfortable for them too.
4. What message do you want to convey?
Believe it or not, your new website is a communication tool. It’s a way to connect your visitors with information about your products of services. How many pages do we need to create to do this effectively? Of course, we recommend keeping copy informative and clutter-free. A big website doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an effective website.
Search engine optimization (SEO) will also play a big part in your message. Typically, the more keyword-rich content on your site, the better it will perform in Google. However, nobody wants to read useless text. We want to make sure this information is relevant and do justice to your keywords.
5. What do you want it to look like?
Last but not least comes the web design. Your website’s appearance is an essential thing to consider, especially if you want to stand out. You may get some ideas while researching your competitors and industry. However, don’t be afraid to look outside of your industry too. You might find inspiration in unlikely places.
You don’t need to make an inspiration board but keep track of the sites you like. That way, you’ll have them handy when you meet with our web team. The more we understand your vision, the better the outcome will be.
Pro tip—if you have nice photos, you can make any topic interesting. No matter your industry, high quality photography is a must.
Okay, we’ve saved the boring part for last. Before you dive into your research and goal assessments, we recommend getting the logistics taken care of first. Gather up your login information first. From our experience, these items can slow the whole development process down.
- Where is your website hosted?
- Do you own your domain name?
- Where is your email hosted?
- Do you have Google Analytics?
- Do you have Google Search Console?