5 Tips for building an effective business website
When you decide to create a site, you may face a number of problems and most of them related to the questions - what exactly needs to be done and which steps should I follow?
First, ask yourself the question - what do I want to get as a result? Often people answer something like "I want a site in general." In this case, there is a big chance to get a “result in general”, which cannot be measured either by money, by time, or by goals achieved. Therefore, the first step in your plan will be:
Understanding the result
Imagine your site is ready. What basic information does it contain? How is it structured? What is the general impression of visitors when they come to your site, what should they feel or think?
Do not be afraid to answer to all these questions in an unprofessional language. You do not need to own the terminology. The only thing you need is to try to describe at the level of actions and emotions the result that you are striving for.
The site should cause visitors a sense of stability, perhaps some conservatism. Basic information - a brief description of our market position, pricing policy, contact information and a prominent section with a product catalogue. After reaching the site, the visitor should easily find the desired product, its ordering form and after filling out the minimum required fields, send a request.
Setting up your goals
Be honest with yourself - why does your company need a website? Maybe you have plans to push your main competitor from the market, providing visitors with a more convenient online service? Or your business is growing and you have the plan to use the site to work with potential customers in other regions. Identify the main goal, which should be achieved. This will define the type of your project e.g. landing page with spectacular graphics and lots of animation, an online electrical equipment store or a powerful news resource.
the goal must be measurable such as a number of visitors or specific actions of these visitors or amount that your website should bring.
The target audience
The next step is to identify potential visitors. It is very important to understand for whom you are going to build the website. If you have a good idea of the target audience, describe it briefly and in simple words. This information will help you in the future to fill out the web studio brief. Are they men or women, how old are they, what is their social status? Where do they work and how do they spend free time? What are their needs and what do they care about?
Imagine the most typical representative of your target audience and describe him. E.g it can be a working single young man of 23-26 years with a higher education who cares about the life balance, has no health problems, actively looking for a partner, and prefers to actively spend his holidays in New Zealand. Likes tramping and downhill bikes.
Understanding of the process
Next, you need to generally understand what is happening in that black box, on the one side of which you put the task and money, and on the other, after a certain time, you get a completed project. Let's make this black box more transparent.
To run your website you need to have:
- The site itself as a set of specific files, database, content etc.
- It must be hosted on a special machine - server so people can access it from everywhere
- It must have a friendly domain name by which users will access it
Usually, the company that creates the website can help you to register a domain name and put it on hosting provider's servers, but the most important part is website development.
First of all, the project manager has to discuss and agree with you the task and nuances and convey the requirements to designers and developers. At the same time the studio needs to gather all the information like texts, images or video. This content can be provided by the customer or can be created and prepared in the studio.
After that, web designers create a visual part and programmers work on code, build desired functions and integrate them with a content management system. After that, the site is configured, debugged and tested for performance on the local server, and then it is going live.
This is a fairly rough description of the process, but it gives a general idea of the stages of work on the site.
Follow the correct sequence of actions.
- Do not ask the studio to create the final design when the content is not ready.
- Don't write the project documentation when you have not formulated the main goals and objectives of the site. Otherwise, there is a big chance to spend 2-3 times more time for development or to get an unexpected result, that means to spend much more money than planned.
- Do not change the task and main goals during the development process. It will cause the creation of another site, therefore it is better to think a little longer at the start than spend extra time and money later.
- Make sure that you have a responsible person who can quickly answer questions, provide the necessary information and accept changes.
And at last, remember that the studio creates a website for your company, and you're the most important participant in this process. Nobody knows your business better than you, so help project managers and designers to understand your needs and pains, provide as much information as you have and give feedback on time.