Your website is the public online face of your brand, so it’s important to create the right impression from the start. As the old saying goes… First impressions always count.
But do you have a clear idea of exactly what your website is going to achieve?
There are loads of DIY sites that offer ‘drag and drop’ options for building your own site on an existing template which many other businesses may have already used. The usual key points are, it will take less than a few hours to create your own website to represent your company brand, however, is this really the ideal solution for your business?
We’re often asked by clients to review their existing website and update it, or to add new features that provide extra value for the end-user. But we also create custom-built websites for many clients, so we know what’s needed to get your business the most positive and favorable outcomes as well as provide the best results.
And so we know that ‘winging it’ simply isn’t an option. At least, not if you’re hoping for a beautifully designed website that delivers genuine value to potential customers. To make things easier, we have created a checklist of points that you’ll need to consider when preparing for a new website build or upgrade.
DIY website or custom-built option?
Your available budget will determine the type of website that you commission, but you also need to consider the actual purpose of your site. For example, is it going to be a one-page website that exists simply to give you an online presence? Even the smallest of local concerns should aim to have some sort of online footprint, many shoppers like to be able to research the brands they like to interact with.
If you’re not relying on your website to attract new customers or to promote your services, then a simple DIY site might just be the right solution for you. But for anything larger, or more comprehensive, you’d be much better off seeking out a web design company, even if it costs you more. That’s because a web designer will create a completely bespoke website for your business, that won’t look just the same as a hundred other sites. You’ll also be able to add new features and expand your site as your business grows along the way.
What is the purpose of your website?
If you’re not sure what your website’s meant to achieve, you can’t possibly ensure that it fulfills its purpose adequately. So spend time on this part of the research process, defining exactly what you hope it will do once it’s up and running.
Are you planning on selling products or services online? If that’s the case, then you’ll need to include some sort of eCommerce software. Or perhaps your website’s main purpose is to generate leads for your company, or to improve traffic and visibility? The more you can drill down into the actual purpose of the site, the more likely it is going to fulfill its main purpose.
You also need to have a clear idea of your target audience, so don’t make the all-too-common mistake of trying to create a website that you think is perfect, it needs to appeal to the new visitors that use the website themselves. This will only produce the results if you’re a prime example of your customer base, which is really very rare.
Create a site map
With the best will in the world, your web design team won’t have a great understanding of your own particular business even if they have designed websites in similar industries. Their skills and knowledge are based on creating beautiful and effective websites, so the more information that you can provide about your business, the better the outcome will be in the future for you.
How many pages do you expect your new website to have? All good sites should include a Home page, About Us page, and a Contact page as standard, but the number of additional pages you include will be governed by your business, and by the purpose of your site.
Make a plan of your required pages, showing where each page will link to, and defining a customer’s potential journey through your website. This will provide you with valuable information as well as the number of pages to include, and helping to clarify the purpose of each page, and its relationship to the rest of the site. You may even be able to benefit from a FAQ page? Or maybe a blog where you can post the latest news for your business, or even information guides might be appropriate? The more details you can supply to your web designers, the more likely it is that they’ll produce your perfect website on time and within your budget.
Check over similar websites
Showing your web designer examples of website designs that you like the look of or even the user functions can be a helpful and informative exercise. The more information you can provide about how you’d like your new website to look, the greater the chances that your finished site will be exactly the way you’d hoped for.
Consider your web content
Your site’s overall look, design, and images should all be carefully considered to ensure that they target your audience. One of the key methods for inspiring confidence in your brand is in the content that you provide across your site.
Web content should engage, inform and even entertain your web visitors. But content filled with typos, grammatical errors, and incorrect information will quickly make your web visitor leave your website, so it’s important to spend time getting it right. Ideally, the content across your entire website should present one clear voice, which speaks to your audience. It can take time to refine your online ‘voice’, so if writing content isn’t your strong point, it’s well worth the expense of finding someone who can undertake this task on your behalf.
Producing high-quality and engaging articles that are relevant to your industry, is a great way of climbing up the search engine rankings, you can do this by having a blog on your website. You’ll find you get more interested web visitors dropping in to read your articles, and you can soon build a reputation for adding extra value to your website too.
The more planning and thought you put in, before proceeding with a web design team to create your bespoke website – or to re-design an existing website – the better the end results will be.
At Bemunchie, we have many years of experience in putting together beautiful and effective websites for our clients. Simply get in touch with us today for a chat about our services, whether it’s just website design as well as SEO Marketing we’d love to help get your business online.