Website 101, what should you know? Top 10 ideas to chew on for your web.

October 22, 2010

Our clients struggle with many of the same questions and concerns – most of them surrounding what they should be doing with their website (and how to do it!)  There are some basic guidelines and questions that we ask to help them narrow down their focus and to ensure their website matches their overall goals.  Here are some of those guiding questions:

1. Do you know your audience? 

What drives your customer base?  What is the ideal sales-pitch?  Do you know their pain-points and how are those reflected on your site?

 

2. How do you drive traffic to the site?

Are you using Google Ad-words?  Have you implemented a SEO strategy?  Do you do any sort of advertising – and how do you measure its effectiveness?  Do you have a good idea of what keywords that describe your industry/company/products/services? 
 

3. What budget do you have?

This one seems self-evident, but all too often I find customers that want a Ferrari for the price of a Yugo.  Setting expectations for the budget ahead of time will help save time and energy as the project progresses.

 

4. What’s your Social Media plan?

Are you blogging? Do you have a company Facebook account? Twitter? Linked-in?  All of these become an important aspect of a web presence in today’s marketplace – all helping drive traffic and to create the impression of a subject matter expert in a given industry.
 

5. Is your message accurate and clear?

Is your message focused and to the point?  Is your website confusing and difficult to find information?

 

6. Is platform important to you?

Do you prefer Microsoft or Open Source – does it matter?  Are there special requirements or tools for your site?

 

7. Do you want to manage your own content?

This can be handled in different ways, such as through a CMS (Content Management System) or even by direct editing of the HTML.  A choice for a CMS here can add huge costs – you should understand what it means!

 

8. Does your website have to display dynamic information/content?

Are you trying to integrate with an outside system or database?  Count on this adding time and money to the project.

 

9. How are you promoting “stickyness” on your site?

Stickyness is a term used to define how long people stay on your site.  This could mean the difference between getting your message across or the visitor clicking off to your competition.  Keeping content fresh, easy to navigate, engaging, and aesthetically pleasing are all important elements to keep in mind.

 

10. What are your overall goals?

Again, this seems like a simple question – but many customers aren’t sure what they want their website to do.  Should it have e-commerce?  Do you need a special login area for your customers?  What information should be displayed?

So, as you can see – building or revamping a website requires many questions to be answered (these are just the start) – and it usually makes sense to hire a professional to help you navigate these issues.  As always, it pays to help get your choices “Down to One”.

eric.hinton@d21tech.com

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