In part 1 of this series we looked at choosing a good domain name for your website. In part 2 we are going to look at setting goals for your website. What this means is basically putting down in black and white whatever it is you would like your site to accomplish for your business, whether that is online sales, handling bookings and reservations, or any other special functionality you would like your site to provide. It is a very good idea to do this at the start of a project, before even considering layouts, colour schemes, typography, and all the other fun stuff…
A website should be more than a set of static pages about your business. Sure, getting your business’s important information out there is crucial. Things like location, operating hours and contact information need to be visible, but why not take it just one step further and give your website an actual job to. Here is a basic breakdown of tasks your website could be tasked with:
This is where you get your core information across. Who you are, where you are, and what you offer. This needs to be easy to find on your website, and should be the first thing a user sees upon visiting your website.
Chances are your website isn’t the only one a user has viewed when looking for the services you offer. You need to stand apart from the competition and differentiate yourself. What makes your business unique or better? Convincing a potential customer that you have more to offer is the key to getting users to follow through and take the next step.
All going well, your website will convert users to leads. Once a user is sold on your business, they need to be lead to a clear call to action. This can be a buy now button, filling in a contact form, or hitting a subscribe button. The beauty of online marketing is that all of this can be tracked and monitored, and adjustments can be made where necessary.
Having clearly defined goals at the start of the project will ensure the design process stays on track and on budget. These goals will also define what features the site will require to accomplish its job efficiently, while offering the user a good experience.
Stay tuned for Part 3, where I will be going into a bit more detail about what features your site should have, based on what goals you have set for your site.