It may seem odd that we are at the fifth stage of this blog series on Business Website Success for redesigning your website and we have yet to talk about website design or budgeting. You may already have some initial design ideas in your head or a rough budget projection, but until you determine all aspects of what it takes to have a profitable business online – design AND marketing – your design concepts or budget may be off base from your true needs.
In this stage of the planning, we are going to look at initial marketing ideas. I say initial marketing ideas as we are not locking anything down yet. Instead, we are getting a clearer assessment of what is needed to promote the website (or more importantly, your business) after launch and what options are available. Marketing can be a hidden or overlooked expense for many business owners, so getting this information up front helps to avoid surprises later. […]
There is much thought that goes into any new website, and the larger your site and the more features it has the more planning will be needed to ensure your goals are met. But before we jump into determining your website needs, let’s start with the needs of your customers.
It is important to realize your website is not for you. You are not marketing to yourself – you are marketing to potential customers. You are not trying to sell products and services to yourself – you want THEM to buy from you. To do this you need to know how to appeal to them. What are their needs that you can serve with the products and/or services you offer? […]
If you have determined your website is due for a redesign, now is the time to start setting your goals for it. Before you think about color schemes, visual eye candy, or even a budget, determining what your website goals are will help guide all other aspects of the planning and design of the site. Yes, even before determining your budget, you should set your goals. Then based on your budget, you can scale your goals accordingly.
I speak to a lot of business owners about their websites. There is a surprising variety of goals that I hear from these business owners as to what they are seeking. While I’m no fan of design by committee, I do see that most of the best goal setting for a website redesign comes from a company where multiple staff or department heads are consulted. Different departments have different vantage points on the business and thus can see different needs that may not be obvious to others – even the business owner.
To give you a head start on ideas for your goals, I’ll give you a peak into some of the most common goals I’ve heard from clients during my 17 years with NetSource: […]
While the age of a website is a good indicator of whether it is time for it to be redesigned, in truth there are more indicators to consider. Like us humans, some websites age better than others. You can be 100 years old and still run a marathon (it’s very rare, but it’s been done) or 20 years old and an out of shape couch potato (probably not as rare, unfortunately). A well designed site from a reputable development company can have a much longer and more productive lifespan than a poorly designed website. That said, you should do a health report on your website each year to make sure it is still performing at it’s best for you.