New Year’s Resolutions for your Business Website
As 2019 comes to a close, the tradition of making a resolution going into the New Year begins. These resolutions usually revolve around our health, our relationships and our finances. We all start out the New Year with the best of intentions, but two weeks later when the last of the turkey has finally gone, we’ve usually abandoned these resolutions and slipped back into our old routines.
But what about local businesses like yours? Making a New Year’s Resolution for your business is a great way to kickstart a project, and if a new website is one of your goals this year, then why not start right now?
This guide will help you plan your project.
There are four key areas we’re going to talk you through: Strategy, Content, Functionality and Design. Each one is crucial to a successful project.
Strategy is a very important first step as it helps you to define the purpose of your new website. You need to be sure of what your business goals are and what role your website will play in helping you to achieve this.
Know your audience. Your website should be aimed at your target audience. But to make sure you reach them you need to know who they are, how and why they would come to your website. What are their needs? What problem are they looking to solve? Once you understand the needs of your target audience you can define what the most important thing is that your website needs to communicate and what action you want visitors to take.
If you already have a website, review its content and decide whether any of it can be used on your new website. Decide what pages you need and what content each page should display. This may involve gathering feedback from your customers to create case studies, customer stories and testimonials.
Pictures are with a thousand words. Professional photography is incredibly important to budget for. If the image is right and of great quality, it will speak for itself. You don’t need to spend half your budget on endless photos, all you need is a few good ones. There is no substitute for quality photos of your staff, storefront, products or services.
Be clear and concise in your text content. Not everyone has the skill, nor the time, to write text content. If you don’t possess this skill, then consider hiring an expert. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
When hiring a web designer, it’s important to be as clear as possible about what functionality you want.
For example, perhaps you want a photo gallery on your website showing the great work you have done. Brilliant idea. But what will it consist of? How many images will be shown? Thumbnails with a pop-up overlay when you click on one or a multi-page gallery with hundreds of photos, individually categorised and tracked with metadata? Should users be able to rate images, comment on them or download them?
Don’t leave room for doubt. Define each type of content and be as specific as you can. You can never give too much information. If you don’t detail things fully, your developer will make their best guess as to what it should be, and you might not end up with what you wanted. Content elements like an event calendar, staff directory or a blog provide a general frame of reference but they require clear direction; Exactly what do they need to accomplish? And how will they be used and updated? Also consider whether you need to integrate with 3rd party systems such as MailChimp or Google Maps.
The design of your new website should be based on your Brand Identity. This includes your logo, specific colours and typefaces used, image styles, illustrations and web copy tone of voice. To help your designer it’s useful to compile a list of websites and brands that you like the look of and why you like them.
Following these four steps and gathering as much information as possible will help your web designer understand what you need for your project to be a success and for you to get a quality return on your investment.
Make 2020 the year that you launch your new website. If you want to discuss your ideas or have any questions, contact us to see how we can help.
At IH Media, we focus on giving start-up and small businesses like yours an original and effective website. Our experience has been gained by working on numerous websites in conjunction with a variety of small businesses, both local and nationwide. We listen to what you want, and we learn about what you do, this then helps us to deliver a website that works for you.