27 Feb Good questions to consider before you build a new website
Being on the cusp of a new large scale project here’s a few questions I thought worth considering…
Once we have completed the site what can we expect?
At a top level this can be intangible. But a good way to go about it would be to get before and after external stakeholder feedback from your current clients and even some potential clients.
Essentially the goal is to get your website to look better and work better. Using a design-thinking approach will help solve these issues and ensure you hit your business goals whatever they may be. A few examples could be appearing more relevant and modern or being seen to be more professional and accessible.
A good way to look at it is look at the two examples above from Apple. It’s clear to see that the new site feels more premium than the old. Transformative change can only happen when your website user is at the heart of the direction. The example illustrates the difference in how a website make a visitor feel emotionally which can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
What will be the benefits to the user
The primary benefits should be an improved user experience. If all goes well, the content you’ve previously identified as most important will be easier to find and easier to read – creating a positive overall experience.
But don;’t forget your internal users. The people who need to post new content to your site. It needs to improve for them too. A simple design is better for everyone.
Can it give us any ROI?
The magic question!
A well designed site should have a lifespan of 5 years or more. But you need to consider not just the cost of the build but the ongoing running and maintenance costs also.
Will you be paying for content to be written? will you be using Adwords or other marketing platforms?
Essentially it all starts with traffic. The more traffic you drive to the site the better the potential for conversions. An ongoing content strategy should also be designed. One that aligns with the business strategies and features the 9 different content styles which are all designed to promote your business, services and category.
But before you can do a proper ROI calculation you need to define what the goals of the site are. Are you measuring visits or time on site or even conversions or newsletter subscriptions.
Google Analytics does a good job of benchmarking sectors and would be a good place to start see what your current metrics are. You can also set up goal conversion tracking there too. But all of this only works if the website as a business performance indicator is included in the relevant staff’s business objectives. Whether that be article writing, posting, newsletters, events etc.
So the website as a framework (build) is only a fraction of the costs you need to consider. To get people visiting your site there’ll need to be consideration/investment made to ensuring there is current content on the site.
The number of visitors is the first step for measuring success. Ultimately, it’s the marketing activity, not web design, that has the biggest impact on traffic. The web design needs to be user friendly so that when that marketing activity lands people there they are not scared off with a negative experience.
When talking conversions it’s the reverse. This is where web design works. A website designed for its users which is mobile friendly with responsive design will also be built to help turn visitors into customers. This is compelling design, seemless interactions and great content.
As you can see ROI can be complex but there’s many online resources to help you calculate and consider it from every angle.