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Web Design Strategy

Posted on 2006-12-19 under News

When daunted with the task of setting up a new website for your business, it’s always important to do some research before plunging into the deep end.

There are a few things that you will have to take into consideration before briefing your web designers:

  • Who is your target market?
  • What are the goals of your website?
  • What is your online/offline marketing strategy?
  • What are your geographical restrictions?
  • What does the competition look like?
  • What is your brand strategy towards your target market?
  • What is your deadline?
  • What is your budget?

These are a few initial questions that might help you brief your web designers better. I’ll elaborate in a bit more detail below.

Who is your target market?

Your target market will influence the conceptual design and marketing strategy of your website. It’s important to note this before commencing to the design stage. Providing this information to your website developers will help them to cater your website design towards your target market. If it’s more appealing (talking their language), your goal of making a sale or generating conversion from the website is so much higher.

What are the goals of your website?

Goals are important to determine before implementing your new website. If your website will just serve as an online brochure to which you refer people, it’s less important, but if you want your website to generate enquiries or sales, it’s extremely important to implement measures that will increase your conversion towards these goals.

What is your online/offline marketing strategy?

Whether you make use of Google Adwords (PPC), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or general link purchasing, it’s important to work out a long term marketing strategy to increase traffic to your website. There’s no use in having a great converting website, that don’t receive any traffic. That said, it also works the other way round, so you’ll have to target your traffic appropriately when doing your marketing, to avoid wasted expenses for non converting traffic. Over time, your web development company can create reports for you, giving you vital information on your website performance that will influence your future content and marketing strategies. Your offline strategies work in harmony with your online efforts and would possibly include print advertising, brochures, business cards etc.

What are your geographical restrictions?

Many people don’t take this into consideration, but if you only operate your business within a certain area and you want targetted traffic, you have to optimise your website accordingly. For example, your company sells widgets and you’re based in Widgetville. To try and rank in the search engines for widgets will be much harder than a targetted phrase like “widgetville widgets”.

What does the competition look like?

Doing market research is very, very important if you are planning to go the SEO route. Make sure you deliver something to the market which is competitive (in providing your target market with what they want), if not very unique (which will give it some more stickiness).

What is your brand strategy towards your target market?

Linking up with the analysis of your competition is your brand strategy. Something which should have been in place long before the website was dreamt up. This is something that has to be consistent online and taken into consideration when starting conceptual design of your website.

What is your deadline?

Deadlines are important for web and graphic designers. Make sure you have all your content for the website ready before commissioning a website design. There is nothing more frustrating to a designer than receiving content in dribs and drabs. Your deadline must be realistic, or expect to pay more to ensure a shorter deadline. There are no minimum or maximum limits on time when designing a site. That will be determined by the job at hand.

What is your budget?

As with buying cars, you can either have a small runabout or a Rolls Royce. Good web designers can work with any reasonable budget and help you determine what functionality is critical to online success. Prioritising functional elements of the website and implementation in a phased approach will be easier on the wallet and get you to the market earlier. Be sure to set up project goals and have mutual agreement on those goals.

These are certainly not all the questions that your web development agency might ask you, but it’s a start. If you’d like to get enquire about developing a website (or online marketing strategy) for your company, just click here.