Stage 1: Planning
The business benefits of a successful website are clear. A successful website will provide you with an additional channel through which to communicate with potential and existing customers. In this article we will be looking at what you need to consider at the beginning of the process.
Step 1 – forget the look (but just for now)
The internet contains many exciting things so when you start thinking about your website it’s easy for your mind to wander off into a world of graphical animations and flashy widgets. But before you go down that road, take a step back!
Your first stop should be your business plan. Remind yourself what your business is trying to accomplish. Your website should reflect those objectives. Of course, the look of your website is very important but this should develop from careful consideration of your marketplace and the website’s purpose.
Step 2 – know your customers
By now you should know who your primary customers are and also have identified any other potential markets.
Your target market is core to the success of your website. That is what should dictate the look and feel of the website, not just your personal preferences.
Step 3- identify your objectives
Your website’s purpose is to fulfill specific business objectives, whether you are driving revenue directly through online sales, or using your site to build brand awareness.
Clearly identifying these objectives will allow you to communicate your needs to a designer and provide you reference points from which to evaluate the success of your website on an ongoing basis.
Using these three steps, the end result should be a website that effectively drives your business. A final word of advice, ensure you continually evaluate your website against your objectives as these will continually change as your business grows.