Congratulations, you have decided that its time for a new website.
You want a website that will better promote your business, is aligned with your brand and will bring in more leads. So you contact a website design company. But then they start asking you all these questions, things that you haven’t considered.
What you learn is that there is more to a new website than updating your design. (If the web design companies you’re meeting with aren’t asking these questions, time to cast your net wider and find others to speak with.)
Getting the site that you want comes down to being able to brief a web design company. There are 5 key challenges that you need to solve when it comes to a new website:
The design that you choose needs to serve the information you want to communicate, not the other way around. For example, many companies have websites that look like they have many pages. But when you start clicking you find the links jump to specific content on the same page.
While this is a compact approach, there is often a lack of information in order to make the page shorter. Offering the option to read more for those interested makes sense. Why limit your content just to fit in with a specific design?
Being aware of exactly what you’re trying to achieve with your website is an important first step when it comes to briefing a designer. Is the aim to inform prospects before they contact you? Is it to make sales? Or maybe you’re looking to get partners or attract media attention? Perhaps you want to do all these things. What is the top priority? Make your website about achieving that while still making it easy for users to find other information.
Most websites focus on what they are offering rather than putting themselves in the mindset of their customers. What is your customer trying to achieve that you can help them with?
For example, let’s say that you offer coaching for executives. On your website, you could link to ‘Executive Coaching’, an overused phrase. Or you could talk link to ‘Being an Effective Leader’. The first label is generic, the second is about an outcome.
Words are as important as design. A common mistake that many website owners make is spending all the budget on design and ignoring or ‘making do’ with the content.
That’s where copywriters come in. Being clear about what you’re trying to say and expressing it in a succinct way is what copywriters are for. Copywriting can look like a simple task because what comes back is easy to read and appears ‘obvious’. But getting clarity through writing is a process that can take many hours of refinement. It involves distilling and clarifying to come up with the essence of what you’re trying to say.
This is about creating a website that makes it easier for your customers and prospects to navigate and use. This could be things like having
Putting in some thought to the above before you finalise your design brief will result in a better outcome for your business. There is less likely to be any budget variations and time frame extensions. You’re also more likely to be happier with the end result.
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