- How to even begin
- What all the terminology means (domain names, hosting, DNS, CMS, CSS, HTML, SEO)
- What should the end product look like
- What to look for in a web development company
- What options do you have to include in your website (like photo galleries, video, social media, PayPal, etc.)
Who are my competitors online?This is ALWAYS the first question we ask people who get a new website. This is what you should do:
- Go to Google.com
- Type in your industry, and the city and state - example, "web design companies, hampton virginia"
- You should hopefully recognize some of the top hits - they're you're competitors. Make a list of the top 4 or 5 websites that come up. Whether you like everything about their website or not, make notes about what they do well, what they don't do well, what you like, don't like, what you'd like to improve upon, etc.
Who is my audience?Figure out who you're trying to reach. There are many different ways to break up your market:
- Geographic location
- People with a certain interest
What do I want people to do when they visit my website?This may sound simple but it's a tough question to answer. Your website needs to be driving people towards accomplishing a goal. People don't usually browse aimlessly and then decide to purchase...they're looking for something in particular and they need help finding it.
There are some goals which apply to all websites:
- Post contact information so people can contact you
- Improve your image with a professional design
- Get found on the search engines
- Post general information about your company on your About Us page
- Download your brochure
- Fill out a contact form
- Make a purchase
- View your portfolio or pictures
- Register for an event
- Apply for employment
- "Click here!"
- "Call now!"
- "Download our brochure"
- "View our portfolio"
Checking out the competition, targeting your audience, and setting goals for your website are the foundation of every good website. Sometimes just taking that first step is half the battle, and if you do these 3 things you're off to a fantastic start.