This is the first of a series of posts based around the idea that before you launch into getting a new website created, it’s a good idea to plan 🙂
This is often done in conjunction with a website designer, but I thought it wouldn’t go amiss to share some of the tips I use with my clients when planning a website.
What’s your goal?
The first big question: what do you want your website to achieve? What’s the end goal? Ok, so here’s what I came up with off the top of my head:
- Generate more enquiries
- Back up offline sales efforts
- Increase sales
- Get you more publicity
- More newsletter sign-ups
- …and I’m sure you can think of more
The important thing is that you crystallise in your own mind what you’re expecting from your website. It’s a good idea to check that all your key stakeholders have the same expectations here too!
What has to happen to get there?
Let’s say I’m a freelance corporate photographer, and my first website goal is to generate more enquiries. For me, that says several things:
- Photography is a very visual thing – my ability as a photographer is mainly evidenced by my portfolio. Therefore, give the portfolio a prominent place within the website. Use a big button on the home page to link to it if appropriate! Don’t clutter it – use a clean design, so the important bit – my photography – has highest impact.
- To an outsider’s eyes, I’m only as good as my worst piece of work. So I cut out any work that is of lower quality to my norm/desired standard. Remember – my goal is to generate new enquiries, not show how many projects I’ve completed!
- Testimonials count for a lot. So the next thing that comes to mind is that I should perhaps include client testimonials/comments within or linked from my portfolio.
- I’ve got to make people do something once they’ve looked at, and been impressed by my portfolio. So include a ‘Request a quote’ or ‘Book me now’ link or button on the portfolio page. Don’t make it hard for the user! And don’t give the user too many options –> remember, you have one goal!!
As I always say – it’s not rocket science, it just takes a little bit of thinking.