Starting a Website
Starting a website can trigger many questions. By asking questions like, “who is your target audience?” “what’s the theme of your business?” and many more. We will discuss questions and answers when creating a website.
Knowing your goals, you can view how you develop your custom website. Hence, you have fewer risks of changing your project in the middle of a web design process. Additionally, identifying your target audience can increase the website’s traffic.
What’s the goal of your website?
Before you start creating your website, we should ask the main question. What’s the goal of your website? What company will it serve? And most of all, what is their business?
Here’s an example scenario: A company called “Happy Hobby” hired you to develop a website for them. Their goal is to start up a business website that could let them sell their products online to boost their sales.
We know that your client, Happy Hobby, wants you to develop a store website for them. Their goal is to have an online market that would boost their sales. So, your goal is to create a shopping website for them. With these things in mind, you could use this as your main idea for building the website.
You can also ask other questions like what products or services they provide. Do they want a website to have an online presence to promote their products? Or what services do they provide to their customers?
Knowing your client’s goal can give you a good foundation for starting the website. By having more in-depth questions, you can learn what your client wants in general.
Who is your target audience?
So, you have the primary goal of creating a marketing website for your client. You have completed the layouts, the design, and the structure of the website. After publishing it, it seems that only a few audiences are visiting your website. Why is that?
In a marketing plan, there is a target audience. Your audience’s range of age could be teenagers or adults. It can also be either men, women, or children.
You need to have a web design that attracts your target audience. This is the same as creating your website. Ask about your client’s target audience in their business. Who do they want to reach out to?
Without a clear idea of your target audience, you can’t attract people to your website. Most clients are not sure of their target audience. They would say, “I want people to buy my products online.” It would help if you were specific to your target audience.
You can have a good website design, but your actual target audience doesn’t respond to it. You won’t have teenagers as your audience if your design looks like it’s from the 80s. It would help if you had a plan that meets your client’s market audience.
Here’s an example: Your client tells you this. “I want to attract customers between the ages of 15–25. Specifically, I want to attract teens interested in the hobby of crafting. So by having a market website for my store, I can get customers that are shopping online for products that we have.”
Now, you have an idea of making your client’s website. From what your client has told you, we have a specific audience that they want. They want teens interested in crafts and buy their products online. We will ask this next question as we design our website based on our target audience.
How will you design the website?
So, we aim to create a marketing website for our client. And their target audience is teens that are interested in their products. Now, how will you design your website?
First, you must ask, “What does my audience like?” Because not everyone likes the same thing. Each audience, either teens or adults, has different ways to attract a website.
There are website elements at play when designing one, such as content, usability, and visibility.
When creating content for your website, you should keep in mind that your home page is your first impression to any viewers. You can have a lot of content by having a wall of text on your web page. But is that effective in attracting a potential customer?
No. There are other ways to create good website content:
- Call To Action: As defined, a call to action is a marketing term used on a design that causes a customer to feel compelled to give a response. Like in web development, you’d use a button or any interactive elements in your website. An example is a “Buy Now” button. This lets your visitors stay engaged in visiting the website.
- Visual Design: Like painting an artwork, a graphic design can be your website’s color scheme or the images you’ve put in. In our example scenario, our target audience is teenagers. You can try mixing sets of colors that look appealing to your audience. Also, You can use images to replace any words from your content. Clear, concise content will guide visitors to what they are looking for.
- Cross-Compatible: Today, everyone has access to the internet in our modern times. From mobile devices to computers, you have to create a website design that fits every type of screen size. Any website that doesn’t provide cross-compatibility loses viewers for their website.
Most of all, you should keep your website simple and easy to use.
Simplifying how you design your website is a part of good content management.
What’s your client’s preference?
Your client reached out to you as you’re developing the product page. You forgot to ask what they want for the website. It seems that they want to change the whole layout of the page.
Now, as painful as it is to redo the whole layout of the web page, it is best to ask what your client’s preference is. Although, there are certain things that both you and your client must agree with. Your job is to develop the website based on their preference, not only yours.
Earlier, we discussed that knowing your main goal gives you a strong foundation for creating the website. But, does your plan connects to your client’s goal? Do they want something different for their website? The only solution is to ask them.
Asking questions to your client provides you with more information about their wants and needs for the website. Perhaps they want their site to be simplified or add other content to stand out. Maybe, most customers visit their website through mobile platforms.
Despite creating the website for your client, there is always a budget. Without it, you could surprise them with a project that costs more than what they thought. So, how would you avoid that?
First, it is best to communicate with your client and discuss their budget. Be honest with the costs of the project. Would it fit their budget, or would it be a bit higher? Although it is tempting to set a lower quote, you will risk having to end up spending more money on the project.
Second, have a timeframe of the project right before starting. Break the project into pieces, and decide which tasks you will do first. This is also known as a task-based approach. As a result, you will save a lot of time developing the website.
What’s the competition?
In marketing, each business competes with the other by having unique offers. The same goes for creating a website. Who are is your competition?
Some marketing websites have the same goal as yours. It can be that they want to promote their products too. Some even have unique web designs. Or their website is well seen through the use of Search Engine Optimization.
By checking their websites, you could use it as a way how to improve your website.
Furthermore, it would be best to ask who your client’s rivals are. List the websites that do the same business and same target audience.
What does your client want what they have on their rival’s website? Check their content. Do they have call-to-actions? Also, figure out which one has more traffic.
To summarize, gather information on who the competition is—knowing your rivals can help you make your website stand out, which we will discuss next.
How to stand out from the competition?
Now that you have gathered the information, the next question is this. How do you make your website stand out from the competition?
And as always, talk to your client. Ask if they provide a special offer in their business. Then, apply it to your website.
Maybe your client gives a free offer if the user provides their e-mail. That could be a good call-to-action for your client’s website, and that would boost your client’s business too. Or use interactive elements to make it more fun to visit. Probably a shipping discount or bonus merch.
You could also use your rivals as a reference, but the goal is different. They may have a formula that works for them, yet that doesn’t mean that it works for everyone.
Benefits of these questions
Given these essential questions, what is the takeaway?
Learning both you and your client’s goals gives you a foundation for creating your website. Not only based on your preference but also your client’s.
Second, specify the target audience. Not everyone likes the same design.
Third, your home page is your first impression to the viewers. Use call-to-actions, color schemes, and fewer words to your content. This will make your customers stick to your website.
Last but not least, communicate with your client. Ask what their preference is. Remember, your job is to develop a website for them.