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November 29, 2016

3 questions to plan a successful website

A website is a useful tool for most businesses. But rushing into a website usually ends with a half-finished site that you’re embarrassed about and doesn’t help your business at all.

Planning out the functionality and purpose of your website will ensure that it’s an effective tool—not a wasted opportunity. Here are a few questions you may want to think about before even calling a web developer.

What will the goals of your website be?

This sounds simple, but it often gets overlooked by business owners. Without knowing the goal and intended value of the website, you’re probably doing it just because you feel you should. And that won’t further your business goals.

The goals for your website don’t have to be complicated ones. For example, the site could be designed to get customers to fill out a lead form. Or perhaps you’ll be selling products directly online. Figure out these goals based on your larger business goals, and ensure that the site is designed to funnel visitors toward those goals.

What other types of online marketing will you use?

Once you put a website online, you’ve got to get people there. If you spend money building a website, it will be a waste unless you get customers there. Plan for this before you go through the web development process.

Is your organization active on social media? How much money are you willing to spend on search advertising? Do you have an e-mail list you can use to get customers to the site? Think about these and communicate them to your designer during the planning phase.

Who will build the website and perform online marketing?

There are two routes to making this work well for your business. Either you hire somebody in-house to build the website, or you hire it out to a freelancer or agency. Both of these options have pros and cons, but this is a business decision to decide before any conversations about the website’s design.

You should also discuss who will perform the online marketing functions. You have the same options here as with a web designer, although it may require more than just one person to perform all of these functions.

If you’ve figured out what goals your website needs to accomplish and how else you will market your organization online, but don’t know who you’d like to create your website for you, I’m happy to have a conversation with you. Let’s see what working together could look like.

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