When you’re working through your website, there are critical questions to ask yourself to build the best site possible: the keys to taking it from a digital business card to a dynamic marketing tool with purpose and rich content.
Does this fit into my marketing plan? Does this reach my audience/customers?
Websites will rarely reach any kind of goal if it’s not a part of plan. Make sure your audience/customers can find your site, and that the branding and messaging on your site is consistent with everything else in your marketing plan. If you don’t have a marketing plan or haven’t gone through a branding exercise, it can help you really bring your website, advertising and company alive!
What do you want your visitors to see first?
By habit, the audience’s eyes will look either to the upper left of the page (much like a book, since that’s what we’re trained to do) or a big flashy object in the center of the screen. You can use either to your advantage by making sure it’s branded and on-point with your messaging. Give your visitors something awesome to see!
What is going to make your audience click through your site?
Once someone finds your site, what’s going to keep them there? Content that they are interested in, whether it’s text, images, video, etc., creating content that matters to the visitor will invite them to find out more about who you are, what you do, and why you’re so awesome. Images and video are great for this, as they tend to grab more immediate attention than text.
What is going to bring them back to your site?
If someone returns to your site, you want to give them at least one little nugget of information that has changed. Gone are the days of posting a web page and not updating it for a year thanks to social media. People are used to dynamic content; a great way to add this element to your website is social media. It is easy to add a Facebook, twitter or other medium’s feed to your site, and those are typically easy to update with short updates. Social media marketing is huge; I can write a whole series of blogs on it!
How will they find your site?
Another question that has huge answers, but the 10,000-foot version is search engine optimzation (SEO) and social media. Do your homework here, and it feeds the other questions above.
If you are able to ask and answer these questions before your new website goes live, you have a higher chance of meeting the goals you set forth for your site. Sometimes it’s handy to have an independent third party come in and ask some hard questions to help you plan out your both your goals and the plan to achieve them. It may be a little more expense up front, but it can pay huge dividends down the road.