Website Planning: What’s your goal?

Everyone needs a goal!!
Everyone needs a goal!!

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?

The next step is to work back from your goal. What has to happen (in terms of user experience, design, content), for you to achieve your end goal?

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.

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