New Websites: Planning and Goals Are Important
By Paul F. Whittler
These days, if you have a business, you either have a website or are setting one up. It is just a need and a use every business has, to make it more successful. With that in mind, before you just “go for it” and start designing your dream website, you need to take some steps first. Just like you did before you officially began your business and came up with plans, goals, and other research; the same should be done before you construct your new site.
The first step is to evaluate what you should have as website goals. Look at what your general business goals are, then create website goals based on these. For example, maybe one of your business goals is to increase revenue. How do you plan for your website to achieve this? Another example could be overall customer satisfaction. What do you see as “must-haves” in your website for this to happen? Your business goals and website goals should work in tandem to help guide your efforts the correct way. Otherwise, the website you design for yourself could be ineffective at best and distracting at worst.
A wonderful way to measure a website’s goals is if they are “SMARTER.” SMARTER stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Sensitive, Evaluated, and Reviewed. Websites should be more than just being visually appealing; they must bring some purpose to the visitor. Get the purpose of your website figured out first. This will help everything else fall into place.
Now, let’s look at some website goals. Depending on your business and what you are looking for, these following goals may vary.
Increasing the bottom line. From converting hot leads to sales, more phone calls from customers, more email subscribers, etc. Of course, everyone likes to make money!
Dominance in the marketplace/Brand Strength. This speaks to establishing your business as the “experts” and “first-choice” by customers. It also can include extending your brand awareness within a community. Targeting a new demographic, you haven’t focused on before. Even a rebranding of your business to improve your status.
Having a fast and responsive website. This is an important goal for sure. The user experience on a website can make or break it. Difficult menu navigation and slow loading pages that take more than a few seconds, will send your customers away to the competition. Make sure the website service you use has the right software to keep web features running smoothly and make customers happy to visit your site.
Write all of your goals down and look them over a couple of times. It’s okay to go back and revise them later. Even a couple of times. You just want to make sure that your website goals are achievable. Whether you are a DIY kind of person, or if you feel more comfortable hiring a developer to construct a site for you. The important thing to take away from this is that knowing what you want to do before you do it helps save a lot of headaches (and money) down the road.
Finally, here are a few ways to ensure success with your new website. These reinforce what we have already talked about…
Make sure your website content is targeting your ideal customer. Using language that has a defined call to action.
Visitor friendly web design. Don’t make it harder for your web visitors to find what they are looking for. Simple navigation, fast page loads, etc.
If you plan to use blog posts on your website, make sure you post regularly. This helps your site ranking on popular search engines, like Google or Bing.
Consider making your new site accessible to those with disabilities. Add a disability plug-in to help aid those who cannot see very well. Also having a larger font and Alt tags on images will help both your business and in website analytical rankings.
Paul Whittler Graphic Design is a marketing product design company based in El Paso, Texas. Since 2012, we are in business to help small businesses achieve success through quality logo, business card, website, and other marketing tools. Call today for a quote at (915) 581-7054 or visit us online at www.whittlergraphicdesign.com