How To Prepare To Build Your Website Project
If you want to prepare to create your website, you need to have a marketing mentality.
A website is more than just a way to show off your branding—it’s a creative marketing tool that can vastly increase your profits when used well.
To do that, you need to provide your users with helpful, relevant information about your products or services in a way that is easy for them to navigate and understand. The “user experience” with your site is often called UX—and if your customers can’t find the information or your site has many technical glitches in accessing it, it doesn’t matter how helpful the information is. That’s bad UX, a bad user experience. Google marketing research showed that simplifying the process for the consumer increases their chances to buy your product by 86%. It’s about finding a way for your potential customers to feel positive and gain trust for your business.
Before you begin your website project, prepare by spending some time thinking about what your potential customers are looking for. If you don’t know what kind of information your potential customers might find helpful or relevant, you’re certainly not going to be able to communicate that on your website. Knowing how to give people who visit your website key information dictates things like what kind of images you’ll use, what your body copy will be about, and determines how your website will look overall.
Timing also plays a role when creating a website: if you don’t have a solid digital marketing plan to reach your customers or if you don’t have time to write website copy for your business, the costs for your website will rise significantly as your website developer has to employ marketing consultants, copywriters, and more to get your site built. Therefore, when building a website, you’ll need to make the whole process a priority if you want a successful site.
So, before even contacting someone to develop or refresh your website, you should ideally have firm ideas about the information you want to convey. There are four main areas you’ll want to think through.
Body Copy – What Text Will Be on Your Website
Have some ideas about what kind of body copy should be on your site and whether you want to write it or employ a professional copywriter to do it for you. You may want things like a mission or vision statement, bios of key employees, information about a manufacturing process, where you get your produce, product descriptions, even information about how your customers can get support.
Photos or Graphics
You may want to consider what types of photos or graphics would be most helpful for your potential customers to learn about your business. Do you want product photos? Need to have an online shop to sell your products? Do you want to share an online menu or event photos? How will your web developer get those photos—do you have them at hand, or will you need a professional photographer?
Theme and Page Style
You may also want to know what kind of theme/page style would be best to communicate that information to your customers. Do you want to use a premade template or have your pages built from scratch? If you choose a template, how will you populate it to differentiate your site from others who have used the same template before you? Will you change the color scheme, fonts, photos, or even menu style/placement?
Be aware of future content management. This means that you can’t just set up a store and forget about it. It has to be maintained and kept up. You’ll want to update products, prices, photos, menus, events, and more. Have you decided whether you’re going to take on this task or hire someone else to do it for you? Read more about how to weigh your options and make that decision.
If you haven’t already thought of these things, then you may be behind . . . which will, in turn, slow down the design process, take up more time, and in turn increase your costs significantly.
Web designers need to get information from you about your business to make a successful site. So, if you aren’t willing or aren’t available to give input in a timely fashion, you may lengthen the time it takes to create your site.
A good website is a business investment, and—like any business investment—you should spend wisely, so you get the best return. So be prepared and think through these questions before purchasing a new website or a website refresh.