You’ve heard the saying “think before you act”.  The same applies for when it comes to revamping an existing or building a new website for your business.  Without proper planning a new website creation could lead to a failed website, but with some time invested in brainstorming ideas it is certainly possible to achieve a successful website the first time around.

Take the time to brainstorm ideas to understand what it is that you want.  Brainstorm ideas around how your business website should function, how it should look and what objectives it should achieve.  This will go a long way and will save both you and your website designer valuable time, effort and frustration and will help you avoid that dreaded “hindsight” of realising the mistakes you might have made.

Once you have brainstormed a few ideas and have thought about all the different elements, the last and most important factor to consider is your customer.  Ensure that your website is designed and built for your customer.

When it comes to creating an online platform for your business, a website designer works under a lot of pressure to create and deliver a website that is fit for purpose.  Functionality, design, coding, user-friendliness, navigation and creating an attractive appearance are a few of the factors that a website designer has to consider.  It will certainly help if you have had a brainstorming session before you instruct your website designer to proceed with the design and build of your website as you will have a clear idea of what it is that you want.  You’ll not only save a lot of back and forth, but you’ll keep the costs down too.  You’ll thank yourself later.

Here are a few basics to help you with your brainstorming session:

1. Your business

Whether you run a swim school, a busy restaurant or perhaps you’re an entrepreneur who works from home, your website should reflect you and the business that you operate.  If your business has an established brand, keep your website consistent with your brand.  Otherwise use your logo and colour scheme as a guide to branding your website.  Use high resolution professional images that have been taken in and around your business or purchase stock images that will represent your business.

 

2. Your customers

 

Consider who your existing and potential customers are.  Would a corporate or creative look and feel be more appealing to them?  Your website could be the first impression (and experience) that a potential customer has of your business.  If they engage with your business, your website would have certainly set the tone and the expectation of what they can expect from your business.

3. Your content

 

Does your content clearly indicate that you are an expert in your industry?  Does the content provide the information that your clients will be looking for?  Content is often the main reason for traffic to a website, so ensure that you offer high quality content that will be useful and relevant to your visitor.  This will afford you an opportunity to influence and convince your visitor; create and build trust and credibility for your business which will lead to converting a visitor into a paying customer.

4. Website features

 

Do you run an online store?  You’d need an e-commerce website with a shopping cart linked to your website, or perhaps you run a busy doctors practice and would need a real-time appointment booking form.  Consider your business and the unique features that your website needs that brings functionality and user-friendliness to your online platform.

5. Website objectives

 

Whilst the website must be designed and created with the customer in mind; you website is also a marketing tools for your business.  How would you like your customer or potential customer to navigate through your website?  What actions would you like them to take and how could you encourage them to take that action?  Think about how your content will be structured, consider the F-pattern layout and 3 click rule.  Read our previous blog on 6 critical elements to transform your failed website into a successful website where we discuss the F-pattern layout and 3 click rule.

Whether you creating a brand new website or revamping an existing one, a lot of thought and planning has to be invested to achieve a successful website.  Use our website brief as a brainstorming tool to work out exactly what it is you would like for your website.  We’ve also included an example of the ideas that helped us re-design our existing website.  Download it here. [download id=”4217″ template=”Website brief”]

Over to you

 

What is or has been the most frustrating part of planning for a new or revamped website?  And are the above brainstorming ideas helpful?

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