Is it about time your website needs to be re-designed? With the fast-paced nature of business these days, brands are becoming more attentive to their relevance online. While we believe that this is an essential move for businesses in every industry, we also understand it can be a challenging and overwhelming process. If you’re considering a new website for your company, here are a few things to consider before you get started:
1. Company Health & Direction
Before beginning a new website project, it is important to take an honest assessment of your company’s internal health and direction. If your company’s leadership is not in agreement regarding core values, service offerings, and future goals for the company, this is the time to get everyone aligned. By doing this, you will significantly reduce delays once the new website project begins.
2. Consider Upcoming Changes
It’s true that companies are always growing and changing, and that’s a good thing! However, if your company is going through significant changes, such as changes in leadership, adding or re-structuring services, or re-defining core values, it is best to complete these transitions before proceeding with a new website. These changes can affect major components of the website and cause delays or re-work if they are not solidified before starting the project.
When was the last time you stopped to consider how well you know your audience? If it’s been a while, this is a good time to get to know your audience again. Over time, as the market changes, your audience and their preferences also change. It is important to be aware of these changes. That way, you can be sure your brand’s message and marketing are effectively reaching your audience and moving them to action.
4. Identify Gaps & Goals
Once your company’s leadership is aligned and you know your audience, you’re ready to start talking about your vision for the new website. Take some time to identify gaps in your current websites, such as analytics, missing information, functionality that could help your company operate more efficiently, and more. Once you’ve identified the gaps, set some goals for the new website that will help you bridge those gaps.
5. Customer Needs
Do you know what information your customers expect to find when they visit your website? If you find that you are consistently answering the same questions via phone or email, be sure to take note and ask your website strategist to highlight the answers on your website. Your website can and should serve as a sales, educational, and customer service tool that will save both you and your customers time.
As you consider a new website, don’t forget to think about how your new website should support your company’s operations. Your current website may have functionality that supports your operations already. If so, be sure to communicate that to your web company. If there are ways your website could support your day-to-day operations better, be sure to bring those up to your developer as well. Your website should be working as a member of your team!
7. Logo & Branding
Before beginning your new website project, it is beneficial to consider your logo and branding. Websites are built around a brand’s logo and brand colors, so if they’re outdated, you run the risk of investing in a website that also looks outdated. Even subtle changes in a logo or brand colors can make a big difference in whether your brand is up to date with current trends. If you need to make changes to your branding, do so prior to starting a new website project.
8. Photography & Video
A picture is worth a thousand words. On your website, photos tell the story of your brand. It is important to have high-quality photos and/or videos that portray your company accurately and professionally. If you do not have a photographer on staff, it is well worth the investment to hire a photographer who can capture your company’s culture and uniqueness via photography and/or video for your new website.
9. Content Strategy
Ultimately, every company wants to convert website visitors into paying customers, and it’s no secret that content plays a leading role in this goal. Thus, it is critical to put together the information your customers will need to make an informed decision. Your website company may help you with content, but truly effective content will require your input because you know your customers and your industry best.
10. Calls to Action
In addition to content, it is important to also consider the next steps you want your website visitors to take. Do you want them to call, fill out a form, or schedule a demo? Whatever the goal, you will need to communicate it during the website development process so that it can be effectively implemented on the website.
Embarking on a new website project can be a big undertaking, but by breaking down these steps and making sure you are prepared, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By getting started on preparations early, you can help reduce roadblocks along the way once you begin.