This guide consists of 6 sections and will help you assess the relevance or essence of a website for your business, discover the step by step stages on getting a website, understand website success, top tips on hiring and evaluating a Web Designer.
The main goal is to align your major and minor business goals with your end user goals. We want to help you maximise the full potential for your website to convert your visitors into customers and customers into advertisers.
Sounds gold? Let’s get started!
1. Does your business need a website?
This is the best time to seriously ask yourself what your business needs. Honestly speaking, most businesses need a website. It forms the hub of all marketing activities, helps you generate a database of leads and enables you to send message blogs to your target audiences and much more … Read on..
2. Steps you must consider in getting a website
- 1st Step | Website Strategy Planning
This stage is one of the most important aspects of getting your website. The purpose of your website must be clear. Identify your target audience, match your major business goals to your website goals and then create your web design creative brief.
- 2nd Step | Look for a Web Developer Company and Get Quotes
You have two options for this stage: – either you ask experts, or you personally do the research. Talk to a web developer and get advice about reliable web development companies. Alternatively, if you personally don’t know someone who is an expert in this field, you may also ask other business owners for a referral.
- 3rd Step | Website Development
It’s a must to plan and budget your project realistically. Make sure your goals are timely and measurable.
During the process of developing your site, here at systEmise, our web development team will give you a questionnaire to get you started. Answer as detailed and as clear as possible because the team will create a wireframe or a mock design of your desired website.
Here’s an example wireframe by systEmise:
Once you have approved the wireframe, our web developers will start working on your site.
We have a Web Analyst in our team to ensure you that your site has no broken links or any other major issues.
- 4th Step | Test and Launch (Go Live)
Our web development team will conduct a series of tests to ensure the competitiveness of your site. You will also be asked personally to test your site. List down all your concerns and most importantly don’t forget to ask yourself if your website goals are successfully met.
Launching a site requires creative and effective promotion tactics. You can send out a Press Release announcing your website launch, send out a newsletter, social media campaign or you can also produce marketing material.
There you have it, four basic and complete steps you need to know about getting a website. Moving forward ..
3. Plan carefully now, build a successful business site tomorrow
Planning the lead generation process for your website is vital for the success of growing your business .Spend time planning/ brainstorming what type of website you need: your site must be user friendly and you should identify who will be responsible for your content.
What must you include when planning?
Web Creative Brief
Creative and comprehensive planning is the key to a successful website. With proper and strategic promotions, your website can be your most useful tool to increase your sales.
Ask these questions :-
Q.1 Who are your competitors? List at least 3.
Q.2 What do your product/services offer that your competitors dont?
Q.3 Make a list of 3 sites that you like. Please explain why.
Q.3 Make a list of 3 sites that you DON’T like. Please explain why.
Q.4 What keywords would you like to use so your customers can easily find your site?
Q.5 What extra features would you like your site to have (Ex. Landing pages/opt-in forms, gallery of photos, blog page, etc.) ?
See 8 Key Ingredients for a Web Design Brief + Free Template for more tips and tricks.
Document your specific requirements for your website.. Think about building your website as you would build your own house. Plan carefully and give specific information to your web designer before you hammer the first nail.
Making detailed specs will help your web designers calculate their time and your budget.
- Products Page: I want graphics that show all my products/services with details and cost.
- Homepage: I want it to be simple and easy to understand. Please put only one image, see attached file. And add our company tagline ___________.
- Contact Us Page: My website needs a map on the contact page so customers can visually locate us. So please make the phone number clickable so prospects can easily call us if they need assistance.
Your target market
Think about your target market, they will be your buyer personas. Focus on their needs and how your website can help solve their problems.
The goal of your website
What are the goals that your website is striving to achieve?
List your top 5 website goals.
- Provide information to my prospects
- Convert site visitors into customers
- Increase sales by ___ amount
- Effective Customer service
- Grow my mailing list through landing pages/opt-in forms
4. Two Tips to hire a Pro Web Designer
1st. Search on Google. Before asking help from Google, ask someone who has a great website, ask who their designer is. Google search that designer and look for their portfolio.
2nd. Look for a credible Web Development Company. Here at systEmise we focus to deliver more leads and sales by unleashing the full potential of your website.
5. How do you evaluate a Web Designer?
After finding suitable candidates, here’s how you can evaluate/assess them:
- Ask for a current website project. Don’t just be satisfied seeing their portfolio. Tip: Everyone can claim he or she posted something. You have to look for proof that supports their skills. Browse web pages of their current clients. Is the site easy to navigate? Did you understand the main goal of the business just by browsing each page? Based on the website, did it help you trust their products/services? Assess wisely.
- Ask past clients. Get a reference from a past client. Ask how their web designer handled the project (good and bad feedback).
- Ask the total number of revisions allowed. Make sure to ask your designer. Remember, during the design stage, a web designer will ask for your review. It is necessary that you know the exact number of revisions you have been quoted for, so you will not be surprised when you get an invoice.
- Ask if there are fees during the maintenance stage.
- Ask for a target timeframe. By giving you an estimated date of delivery, you are assured that your designer is professional and can meet your deadlines.
- Ensure the website is compatible with major browsers. Raise this concern for clarification.
- Ask for a contract. No matter how small or big the project is, a contract will protect both of you
6. How much does it cost to build a website?
This is the most popular question of all time! “How much does a website cost?” Let me give you an idea.
- Is $500 AUD enough for my website?
There are some web development companies who accept this rate. However don’t expect you will necessarily achieve your website goals. This rate is the most basic, probably no landing pages/opt-in forms, no custom design, content may not be well optimised, and almost no online marketing involved. Remember your website is the hub of all your marketing efforts, so spend the time and money to get it built professionally. Your payback period will be shorter than you think if the site delivers you quality leads.
- Is it possible to get a free website?
Absolutely. My concern is that you need to consume hours of your time putting it all together. Value your time and do yourself a favour and seek a professional to do this for you.
- My brother is an architect but he’s also interested in web design, he can build a website for me.
Wonderful! That is excellent news. Question, does he understand cross browser testing and end user experience design? Does he have enough time to understand your business goal to match to your website goals? Is he familiar with how to convert leads to customers? The family favours usually do not amount to professional business website and are not completed within the promised time frame. Then when there is a problem down the track, they often avoid fixing the issue. A pretty picture it maybe, but often acts as a “billboard in the desert” where it is not structured for being found on browser searches and has no platform for effective marketing and lead generation.
- Website Design is a Service
Some business owners misunderstand web design as a product. Web design is a service based industry. You have to do intensive research to hire a web development company that can deliver your website’s goal.
- Consider Web Design Packages
Web development companies offer specific packages that address the needs of most business owners. At systEmise, we offer bronze package for diverse business, silver package for medium to growing companies, gold package for more sophisticated needs and platinum package that is custom designed for total uniqueness.
Investing your time and money in your website is worth it.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any questions about getting a website that I didn’t discuss in this article? We welcome comments below: –