We often receive inquiries about new websites. But, when we start asking questions, we’ve found clients often don’t have the answers. I thought it would be helpful to lay out a couple of questions you should think about (and have the answers to) before reaching out to a website design company.
Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a New Website:
- What do you want the sitemap of your website to be? This means, what pages do you want to have on your website? Typically there is a Home page, an About page, a Services page and a Contact page. However, some sites may want more. Do you provide multiple services and want to have a page dedicated to each? Do you have an impressive list of clients you want to display? What about testimonials? These are all questions you should have thought about and have an idea of what you would like. We are here to help guide you, but it’s your company, and you know your audience best.
- Will you be providing the content for your website? This is an important one, as it can greatly affect the cost of your website. Will you be writing the content that appears on each page of your website, or do you want to work with a copywriter and have them write the content? If you have the budget I always recommend clients think about working with a copywriter, as they are experts in that area, knowing how to write both for search engines and for readers, so your website can be found, as well as provide relevant information.
- Do you have photography? This is important because more than once I’ve had clients tell me they want a site like XYZ. When I go to XYZ’s website it’s very image-heavy with great photography that tells the story of who they are, but my client doesn’t have any images and doesn’t have the budget to take any. If that is the case, your website will never look like XYZ’s. Sure, we can purchase some stock images for you, but they’re stock, one of your competitors might have the same one. Or, we may not be able to find the “perfect” image to tell the story you want to tell. If you find that you like image-based websites as you browse the Internet, make sure you set aside money in your budget to take some.
- What’s the goal you have in mind for your website? What do you want your website to do? I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to have never thought about this! This is extremely important to think about, otherwise, how can I meet it? How can I exceed it? How will I know you’ll be happy with your end product? What I recommend to you when it comes to your website is ALL based on what your goal is for your website. Do you want a website that is focused on attracting more clients via Google? Do you want a website that is an online “brochure” to help current clients validate you? Are you selling products and want to increase sales by X%? Or, are you membership driven and want to increase the number of members you have? Based on what your goals are we would recommend very different things. If you tell me that you want a website that is like an online brochure, and then comes back to me 6 months later upset because you haven’t increased sales, I didn’t meet your expectation, but I didn’t meet it because I didn’t know it. So, when going into a new website set a goal for yourself, and share it with your website design and build team. They can then make recommendations to not only help you meet it but to help you exceed it.
- Do you have a budget? Although I have this last on my list, it’s probably the first place that you should start. A company’s typical Marketing Budget tends to be between 5-10% of their revenue. So, right now if you’re planning your 2019 budget, look at 2018’s revenue, and calculate what 5% of that is, and what 10% of that is. Your budget should be somewhere between there. This typically varies a bit depending on if you are B2B vs. B2C, whether your spend is more digital or print, etc. There are a number of things that fit into your Marketing budget including any print pieces, stationery, business cards, brochures, as well as your website, your website hosting and maintenance, social media, photography, videography, etc. When budgeting for a website keep in mind that your cost initially is going to be higher the year it’s built, but will be pretty steady following that to maintain. So, you may not do online ads the year you build your website, but may do them the following year, to keep yourself within budget.
This list should at least get you started as you think about revamping your website or creating a new one from scratch. The website design team you hire will inevitably ask you additional questions once they hear your answers to the ones above. A good team will have you thinking not only about the launch of your website but about the future of your website, your audience and your business.
Are you serious about getting a new website in 2019? Get Started by filling out our form, we ask you a lot of questions to get you thinking about the above. Don’t get overwhelmed when you get there – the goal is for the form to help you, and us so we can create the best website for you. We look forward to hearing from you!