Planning a new corporate website can be stressful and overwhelming—especially if you’re not exactly sure what you’re doing or how to approach it. However, it doesn’t have to be. Often times, people make the mistake of getting so caught up with the design of the website that they forget the other aspects. All of the important details of an effective website should be determined long before it hits the design stage.
Here are the three most important details to consider:
1. Target Audience
One of the most critical components when planning a website is to identify who your target audience is. Do NOT skip this step or take it lightly. You can have the best-designed website in the world but if it doesn’t speak to the right audience then it won’t matter.
Even if you think you already know your target audience, it’s good practice to write it down. Be as detailed as possible. For example, rather than just saying your target audience is ‘millennials’, try taking it a step further by identifying a subset within that group. Perhaps it’s young, single males between the ages of 18-25 who live at home with their parents and play video games. Or maybe it’s expecting mothers between the ages of 25-33 who are having a child of the first time. It’s important to gather as much information as possible to build out your stakeholder profiles, which can later be used for reference. If you find you have multiple target audiences, try to rank them in order of their priority with your highest priority (primary audience) always being your main focus.
It’s always good practice to assume that people landing on your site don’t know what it is that you do. It’s your job to inform them on the value you provide and how you can help. Your message – or value proposition in marketing speak – should be clear, concise, and timely. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression when someone lands on your site so make it count.
You’ve also got to make sure you’re communicating using the right tone. You wouldn’t talk to your grandma the same way you would talk to your best friend, right? Same goes for your customers. Use the tone that best suits your target audience.
3. Goals & Objectives
You should always identify the goals & objectives of your website before you get started. Your goals must be realistic and objectives measurable and specific. This will allow you to work backwards and determine what it is you need to do to in order to achieve your overall goals.
Let’s say, for example, one of the goals of your website is to attract new customers. In this case, your objectives may include:
- Boost organic search traffic by 10% each month
- Increase new visitors to the website by 20% month over month
- Obtain 8 new contact, quote or consultation requests each month
Once you’ve identified your goals and objectives, you can start planning the tactics of how you’ll achieve.
So before you get too far down the path designing the next ‘state-of-the-art’ website for your business, take a step back and make sure you’ve considered these important details. It could save you a lot of time, money and headache by doing it right the first time.