A website is the online version of yourself and your business. So it would make sense that many of the things that you need to run a successful business you would need to run a successful website. The designer does not know your business, all they know is how to make good websites and take your ideas and make them into reality. There are a few things that you should have already planned out before calling a web designer.
1. What are you trying to do online?
You should have an idea of what you are trying to do online. Are going to sell things over the internet, or just use it to create leads for your physical business? Do you want people to be able to contact you through email or phone, or both? Knowing the objective of your website will help the designer because it will give them a place to start. They will be able to tell you the kind of things that you should have on the website and how users will be able to interact with it.
In other words, who are you? This includes having a logo (or at least a basic idea of a business logo), a business name, and a business plan. If you do not know who you are as a business, neither will the designer. This goes along with “what are you trying to do online?” Creating a website is almost like painting picture, you cannot paint what you cannot see.
3. What are you selling
You might not be selling anything online, but your business does whether it is a physical product or just a service. Know exactly what you are selling, what it does, and why people should buy it. When you meet with the web designer, pretend they are a potential customer and try to sell your product/service to them.
4. Who are you selling to
What demographic is your product geared toward; is it made for a large group of people or a select few? Knowing this is vital to the design of your website because it has to appease to your target audience. For example, you would not have dark, aggressive colors on a site that is geared toward women, nor would a site selling children’s toys be super-professional looking.
5. Do you have any content
Content is the nuts and bolts of a website. Without it your site would just be a bunch of flashy pictures and users would have no idea what you are selling. Your content should be a fine mix of copy and information telling the customer what you sell, who you are, and why they should use your products/services. Another reason to have content is that search engines love it and will rank you higher if you have it. Another good form of content to have is an on-site blog where you can tell people about new products in your store or new neighborhoods added to your service area. You can also inform people about news within your industry. A blog is gold to the search engines and you should defiantly consider hosting one on your website.
6. How big do you want your site to be?
Do you want it to be five pages or twenty? Figuring this out before consulting with the designer will help because it will give the designer an idea of the type of on-site navigation you need. The size of the site should be based on the amount of content you have and the number of products or services you are providing. If you ask the designer, “how big should my site be?” they will return with, “how big do you want it to be?” or “how much content do you have?”
7. What are your keywords?
If you are planning to either hire someone to do search engine optimization on your site, or do it yourself, you need to have at least five keywords in mind that you want to optimize for. These keywords will go into the coding of your website as well as in the content on the site. Using similar keywords is very helpful because it makes it easier to optimize for similar keywords like “motorcycles and dirt bikes” versus “motorcycles and rims”. Imagine your business was listed in a thesaurus, what would be under your business name?
7 Questions to Ask Yourself before Meeting with a Web Designer by The Web Squad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.