Considerations when Planning your Website
When you are planning to create a website or overhaul and existing website you will want to take the time to write down your goals and create a plan. A successful website does not happen by accident.
These planning considerations will help you get started planning a successful website.
Determine What you want to accomplish with a website.
Provide information to current or future customers
Your website is a vital part of your business presentation. Potential customers can learn about your products, ways to contact you, and gain a feeling of the professionalism of your company.
Existing customers will use a well designed website for online support, community with other customers, additional documentation on the products they have purchased, and as a way to be informed of changes in the business or products.
As a pre-sales tool
As a sales tool your website must be a part of your advertising strategy. You will want to provide information about your products and work hard to gather sales leads. A sales oriented website needs to be more conscious or search engine placement and study their competing websites.
The search engine aspect of this goal means designing your site for search engine placement and being prepared for more involvement with the website. Maintaining good search engine rankings is a long term goal and requires a commitment to content evolution and the development of quality links to your site.
An online store
For online sales you will want to look at your product to determine if it is a viable product for online sales. Items, like electronics, are incredibly competitive and easy to price shop. If your product is rather common and you have no special price advantage you will quickly find that your profit margins are very narrow.
Keeping that in mind, you may believe that you have something to add to a common product which others do not. If that is so, search engine placement will be very important because you will want customers to find you and see why your offering is different than others. Your website design must quickly tell the visitor why you are different.
Do you want to experiment with different presentations of your product through bundling or other services? A website is a great way to offer your product with variations to study the sales, or conversions from website visitors.
Initial Planning Questions
What are my website goals and how can they be measured?
Are there any special considerations for my target audience? Bi-lingual, larger fonts, or more graphical for gamers.
How important is search engine placement and what is my monthly budget for search engine optimization?
If I am selling products online how many do I have and what type of checkout process do I need?
Knowing that changing content is very important will I use existing staff or hire an outside service to keep my site "fresh".
What are my competitors doing?