At your first meeting to discuss your new website, it is useful to have thought about what you are wanting to create and why.
What is your purpose for having a website?
This may seem relatively obvious, but do you have good clarity on what objectives you want your website to fulfill? This will assist with determining what functions and content are needed to facilitate those objectives.
Everything on your site should support your key objectives for your website in some way – the invitation to action areas, the content and the images you use should all be aligned to your purpose and your key messages you want to communicate.
Some typical goals for a website may include:
Be clear about what actions you wish to invite your visitors to make in response to your products, services and key messages you are communicating.
All of this information will assist to get a clear picture of what functions your website needs to provide, and identify what your visitors should see first when they arrive on your site. This should be closely aligned with the reason a visitor would be searching for you.
Know your target audience
Think about what your visitors are searching for when they are looking for you and what you are providing. What is the main reason they were motivated to look for you and visit your site?
A helpful guide is to look at what key questions do your customers ask you?
What information do they want when they talk to you?
The key purpose of a website is to service your visitors and their reason for seeking you.
What style reflects your message
The look and feel of a website is created through images, colour and layout to reflect the essence of you and what you are offering.
Do you already have an image or brand that represents what you do?
It may be useful to spend some time considering what best reflects the essence of you and your purpose for your website in images or colour if you do not already have an existing brand or image that you wish to work with.
There may be examples you have seen on other sites of a look or feel that is similar to what you are wanting to create. Add these to your folder of images, colours and ideas on what represents to you the message you are wanting to deliver with your website.
In addition to getting your website planned on what it should do, who you are wishing to attract, and the personality you wish to represent on your site, there are a few practical considerations that you will need to consider.