Questions to Ask When Developing a New Website

Whether you have a small business or a large business, your website is a substantial investment of budget dollars and time. We get that. You have many different options (and may even find endless options) when it comes to getting a website — from DIY and website templates to small web development firms or large technology-focused companies. Heck, someone on your team probably “knows a guy.”

How can you ensure you’re getting a website that will deliver the results your business needs? How do you know the team you choose can deliver what you need on time and within budget?

A reputable website design and development company will talk about the results you hope to gain from this website and how it will be measured. A “good” or successful website is not defined by how it looks. It is more than putting content and images out there. If you’re looking to impact the bottom line by undergoing a website redesign for the sake of design only, don’t expect much else to happen.

Here are 7 things you should consider and discuss with your web design and development company when building a new website:

  1. Why we are doing this?
    • It’s not mobile friendly (a big no-no these days).
    • The current site is not setup to allow us to easily manage content/updates.
    • We need to implement better search engine optimization tactics on the site and can’t do it now.
    • It’s simply outdated; time to move into this day and age.
  2. What else can our website do for us? (Think: What are our goals?)
    • Generate inquiries and leads.
    • Provide information for customers or suppliers (or both).
    • Online sales.
    • Simplify (automate) back office processes.
    • Nurture existing prospects.
  3. Who are our ideal prospects?
    • How dothey look for our products or services?
    • What positions do they hold?
    • What pains do they have as it relates to our products or services?
  4. How do people access and use our current site?
    • How can we engage them and incite them to take some sort of action?
    • Review your current analytics for any insights on traffic sources, patterns and opportunities to improve.
  5. What is our plan to keep the site updated with content, images, stories, products, etc.?
    • Keeping your website fresh with relevant content, or content marketing, is a critical piece of search engine marketing efforts, too.
  6. Who is going to manage the website development project on the inside? Your website needs a point person; an individual who can own the process internally by holding others accountable and communicate effectively with the development team.
  7. How will we know if this new website is successful?
    • Refer back to items 1 & 2. If you have good reasons as to why and what you’re doing with a new website, you can establish metrics to review and monitor regularly.

Your web team should work alongside you to create a website development plan to support your website’s initial development and continued growth in reaching business goals.

What else would you add or remove from this list based on your experience? We’d love to hear from you.

If you need any tips on how to choose the right web development company, you can check out our recent post about “Taking away website pain one question at a time.”

 

Image Credit By tiramisustudio, from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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