A website is now an essential for all companies – whether it’s a complex database-backed e- commerce site or a static one-page information point. Often businesses invest in a website without knowing what their objectives are, or what they really want it to do for their business – what purpose they need it to serve. But largely this is pointless – it’s unlikely that you’d implement a new marketing scheme and place an advert on a billboard without first deciding what you wished to promote and how you were going to go about it. If you took out an advert in the newspaper without a goal in mind or specific product to sell it would be largely ineffective, and the same goes for a website – without a clear objective in mind right from the start, how can you possibly gain any benefit?
Who are your target audience?
The first step to understanding what you want your website to do for you and how it will benefit your business is to ascertain who your audience are. If you’ve not already envisioned who your target demographic are, consider your ideal customer – or your best current client. Imagine you’re need to reach them and ask yourself how you think they would like to be reached – which methods make them most responsive and engaged with your brand, which compel them to buy? Additionally if they’ve given you feedback on your existing website it’s crucial that you implement their comments into your plan for a new one, as this will be integral to its continued success.
What do you want them to do?
Once you know the ‘who’, you need to know the ‘what’. What do you want to get out of this? What do you want users to do? Do you want them to buy, to order, to book or to call? Whatever the end goal is, initially you need them to visit. To do this you need to attract them, but also satisfy Google in order to be found easily. First construct your website to please Google, then think about how it can be designed and developed to please your potential customers – this way first they find you, then they don’t want to leave.
Going forward how will your goals evolve?
Many business owners buy into the common misconception that a website is static – once it’s up, it’s up. But a website needs regular maintenance and updates to remain fully effective – and it also needs to be reassessed continually to ensure that it still aligns with your current goals. Things can and do change over months and years in a business landscape – so it’s crucial that as with any marketing tool your website is updated and adapted accordingly.
For tips and further advice on increasing the efficacy of your online presence, take a look through the blog or visit our Services page to find out more about what we do.