Before You Build Your Website Part 1 …
Today, very few business can get away with not having a website. It has become the hub of your online presence and is the virtual front door of your business. So it’s important to make sure that your website talks to your customer. You need to invite them in, make them feel at home and ensure they have a positive and productive experience.
To do this, you need to research your customer, your market and your competitors thoroughly. You need to understand and cater to the needs of your targeted audience for whom you are building the website. The last thing you need is an unhappy customer walking out the virtual door. You need to ask yourself the following questions:
Who are your customers?
Research who your ideal customer is: How old are they? Where do they live? To which gender do they belong? What is their expendable income? When are they most likely to shop? What makes them happy? What are their spending triggers? You need a crystal clear image of your target audience.
What exactly do your customers need?
This can be done directly or indirectly. You can either ask your customers what they need to understand what you need to provide. Research your competitors’ websites to see what works and what doesn’t. Do searches on search engines to see what they are searching for. You need to capture them before they land on a competitor’s site.
Responsive web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to mobile, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
What is the key information you need?
Don’t waste your time on research that is not going to help you. You need to identify the key info that will guide you and discard the finer details until later. Hard as it is, you need to remain focused. Once you start getting information, it’s easy to collect things you don’t need to know right now. Focus on the key information you need to build your website.
What questions should you ask?
You need to identify three or five things you have to know to build your website. The next step is to find out those things by asking the right questions when you do your market research. Asking the right questions in the right way of the right people is crucial to getting the right information you’re after. Why will people visit your website? What will make them stay and linger? What do they want to achieve?
Your website is the digital HQ of your brand, the flagship of the internet. Social media is fast becoming the preferred way to look for products and services and to conduct brand research. So having the best possible website that delivers on every element of this checklist can make all the difference in getting your brand ahead of the pack.