Thinking of getting a website?

Read this first! Having an online presence is hugely beneficial for all businesses. But before you engage with a web developer, do some prep work and you will save yourself a lot of hassle, and money.

  1. Why? Determine the reason why you want a website and what purpose is your site going to serve for your business? Maybe you’re looking to reach a specific audience or wanting to use it as a sales tool with all the extra info you have to offer to your customers. Whatever function you want it to serve – know that first!
  2. Message? Consider what message you are trying to deliver to your audience and what content you need to communicate. Look at what material you already have available internally that could be relevant; sales brochures, organisational flowchart, a specific or relevant diagram – anything that will carry that message for you in the content of your site.
  3. Customised? As a starting point, have a browse through websites in industries similar to yours and see if anything sparks your interest. How could you customise your site to increase visitor engagement? If you’re publicly listed, having a live feed with the ASX share prices on your front page might be something to look at. Or venture into digital marketing integration, by having your Facebook and Twitter pages linked on the home page. To go further, can you create an experience personalised for the user so that, upon entering a few simple details, they can be given information (such as a price or a recommendation) that is specific to their needs?
  4. Looks? Think about what look and feel you want your website to have, working in with your current branding and, if you have one, marketing strategy. What is going to appeal to your visitors the most? Should your website be very clean, corporate and smart? Or would your target audience prefer something fun, bright and colourful?
  5. Budget. Knowing how much you have to spend, even just a vague idea, will give a realistic outline of what is available to you web-wise. Beyond the production of your website, you need to consider how people are going to find it. When you search for a product or service on Google, you type in words that are relevant to what you are looking for – getting your website to show up on the first page of Google for relevant search terms is an ongoing process called digital marketing. Without it, you’ll still have a website – but you won’t be reaching your intended audience, which basically defeats the purpose of having a website in the first place.

When you go to that initial briefing with your web developer, the more you know about what you want from a website and what outcomes you want to achieve, the better scoped out the project will be. This means you will get a better result – a website that follows what you were wanting, with a timeframe and cost that you were expecting.