It doesn't matter if you're going to do it on your own or hire some help — there are several crazy important questions you should answer before you ever get started with creating your business's website.
Below are our top four questions that we ask any potential web deisgn client.
What are your top three goals?
When a visitor comes to your site, what do you hope they'll do before they leave? You probably hope they buy something your selling, whether that's a product or a service. But we know not everyone will buy on their first visit to a site, so maybe one of your goals will be for them to sign up for your newsletter. Or is it really important to you that they learn a little about your core values? They'll see you're good people and that will stand out when they really need what you're selling.
Make a list of your top three things you hope to achieve. And be sure to make this list go in order from most important to least.
This list should drive the features of the site, the content you write, the hierarchy of that content, and the calls to action featured throughout your site.
How can you create the best experience for your visitors?
You always want to think about your visitors, first. Yes, it's your site and you should love it, but this website isn't about you. It's about your audience.
Who are they? What do they want? What are their problems? How can you solve them?
Again, this will inspire features, content, calls to action — everything. Based on their needs what pages do you need to have? Will a "Start Here" page help them to learn about you + popular content? Will a "Best Sellers" page show them your most popular products quickly and lead to bigger sales?
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What's important to you when it comes to maintaining your site?
This question is most important to figure out the answer to if you're working with a web designer/developer. If you want to easily be able to change the text, pictures and more throughout your site on your own — tell your team!
This can limit the design in some ways, but by knowing how much flexibility you'll need will assure the designer/developer can set things up to work better for you and train you how to use everything.
If you want this freedom, make sure you feel confident that whoever you hire can offer this to you!
What are three sites you love and what are three sites you hate?
These sites don't have to be in your niche, but they can be.
Look at all three that you like. What do you love about each? What trends do you see between these sites? Use this as inspiration!
The sites that you hate will help your designer — if you work with one. They can't read your mind about your likes/dislikes so communicating both sides can be super helpful. They same way that you probably found some obvious trends in the sites you love, you should notice some patterns in the sites you hate.