Having worked with a number of clients on web design projects over the years, we now have a detailed website brief that we use with our clients. Using this we can gather information, which not only helps them identify why they want a website, but it gets them thinking about their marketing strategy, the content and we also take a closer look at their competitors – all in aid of us creating something unique for them.
In this article, we thought we’d cover off a few of the areas in case you’re thinking about a new website. Any web designer would be grateful of having this information up front, as it not only helps with quoting, but planning and therefore leads to a smoother turn-around too.
Firstly, what are your objectives? What do you want the website to achieve?
Is it just a brochure site which, if someone were to put your company name into Google, it would show up?
Or are you needing the website to bring you leads, or sales if it is an online shop, and therefore it needs to be so much more than a simple landing page.
If you have an existing website you are unhappy with, then think about the following:
- What’s wrong with the current website?
- Are there too many words?
- Are there not enough words?
- Is it full of stock images and looks the same as everyone else in your industry?
Equally make a note of the areas you like and wish to keep.
- Do you have an avatar of your perfect client?
- Who are they?
- Where do they hang out?
- What types of content or images grab their attention?
- Is your branding and brand identity in place?
- What is it you want to show on your website?
- Do you have a marketing / digital marketing strategy in place?
Who are your competitors and what are they up too?
Take a note of their name, website link and list out what you like and equally don’t like about their website. It all helps you get clear on what you do want for yours, and what you don’t!
How are you planning on generating traffic to the site? This may not be relevant if you are simply after a brochure site or landing page.
But if you are looking to drive traffic, how do you wish to do this?
- Regular social media marketing
- Writing articles/blogs
- Paid advertising
- Non-paid advertising (which will take a lot of work by you, but is possible to achieve)
Based on your market research about where your target audience hangs out, you will want to be on those platforms or in those groups too.
Think about how often you want, or are able to do the above. It needs to be realistic if you plan on doing it yourself, be that 2 posts a week and 1 blog a month. Whatever you choose, consistency is key.
It won’t happen overnight and takes time and effort, but it will work so long as you are consistent.
If you are updating an existing website, then the content may well come from there, but ideally you want to be doing some keyword research initially to know what words to include to help you get found.
Also, what other features are required?
- 3rd party integrations with a CRM or email facility
- Members portals, etc.
The more you can think about what you would like on your website, the better the planning and design phases will be.
Think about your budget and what you can realistically afford to have a website created for you.
- Whether you are happy to just be given a few templates (layouts) to choose from which your content simply gets droped into, or
- Do you want something unique which is created from your list of “wishes” which you can be involved in pulling together? Something that will be different and make you stand out from your competitors?
Having a website created takes weeks to pull together and produce, so costs will reflect the amount of time and effort that goes into the design.
So think about your budget and do your research. You will find some web designers offering very competitive rates, but not all designers are created equal! So just be clear what is (and isn’t) included in the company you choose.
Ask the designer
- Will it be custom designed or simply using a standard template?
- If it is templated, what is the cost to add in additional features at a later date?
- Will you easily be able to add or change your website as needed?
- What platform/theme will it be using? If it is one of their own custom-built themes, then you won’t be able to transfer it away from them should you wish to in the future.
These questions could save you a lot of stress in the future.
The above are just some of the areas we look at before building any website. There are many more based on what you want your website to do for you.
We are more than happy to have a quick call to answer any questions you have from the above, or to give our honest opinion with regards to your current setup.
A website audit could sometimes confirm your website is fine and could just do with some additional tweaks or social media marketing to help you get found.
We don’t fix what isn’t broken and our honestly has often won us a number of clients. So be sure to get in touch to put us to the test.