The biggest question to ask when starting a website design project
As a business owner, there are many questions you should ask yourself before embarking on a website design project, including: “what kind of website development platform do you want to use?”, “do you want to hire a web design specialist or build the site yourself?’, “are you willing to spend money on digital advertising?”, and many more. The single biggest factor you should consider before starting a website design project, however, is the purpose of your site. Defining the purpose of your website can seem like a deceptively simple task, but your goals for the site can have a profound impact on how you approach your website design project.
To help you get started, we’ve outlined the top three most common goals for new websites. Before you ask yourself any other website design questions, tackle this one. You can use your response as a framework for the rest of your project.
1. Company information and brand awareness
One of the most common purposes of many websites is to provide general information about an organization and build brand awareness. In this instance, your site would provide insight into your organizational history, values, and brand personality. These types of sites tend to use more traditional web design principles and easy-to-use information architecture so consumers can quickly find what they are looking for. If this is the goal for your website design project, you should feel comfortable using standard menu options and crafting content-rich pages packed with pictures and information. Just remember, your most important information should be front and center on the homepage to ensure newcomers get a clear first impression of your business. This is your opportunity to show off your company’s tone and establish a unique voice that resonates with your customers, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
2. Searchability and SEO ranking
On the other hand, if your goal is to make it easier for new customers to find your business, you may want to consider basing your website design project strategy around SEO principles. Search engines such as Google and Bing are the Yellow Pages of the internet. When customers search for words associated with your business, you want your website to show up first. Although you probably won’t have trouble ranking at the top of Google’s recommendations on brand-specific words such as your company name, you may be competing with many other companies on more general terms, such as the type of products or services you offer. Increase your chances of ranking by including internal and external links to relevant information and other websites associated with your top search keywords. Make sure your website text includes specific, relevant information about these terms so search engines can easily recognize and index what your site is about. You may also consider building a blog with your site to help establish your search ranking more quickly.
3. E-commerce sales platform
Are you primarily planning to do business on your website? If so, you’ll need a credible, secure e-commerce platform. If you want your customers to buy products or schedule services and make payments online, your website design questions will focus largely on the type of platform you need and the security of your clients’ information. That isn’t to say the branding and content on your site isn’t important in this case, but rather, that your purchase flows will need a lot of extra love. Consumers often chose not to buy a product online if the e-commerce experience looks outdated, runs slowly, is confusing, or seems like it is not secure. If your goal is to conduct business and drive sales, your online purchase experience should be at the top of your to-do list.
Framing your website design project questions around your site goals will ensure your website accomplishes what you need it to do. Then, once the foundation of your website project is complete, you can begin layering on additional functionality such as social engagement and new, digital technologies. Still have lingering questions before you begin your website project? Contact our team of web development experts to get started with ease!