Every business needs a proper online presence. A well-designed website with good content has become at least as important as business cards and brochures. More and more people browse the internet before making a decision. What shall we do next weekend? Where should we spend our next vacation? Which sports club offers basketball or karate? Where can I find a good carpenter, car dealer, lawyer or dentist? Our first reaction to these answers is to “google” for answers online; when we finally contact somebody who offers what we need, we have already formed an opinion. This means that businesses with a good website have a clear competitive advantage.
For this reason, it is extremely important to have a clear vision of your online presence right from the start. You need to think about colours and graphic design as well as structure and functionality – and of course good content. These are the 5 questions you should ask yourself:
What should my website look like?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure the look and feel of your website appeals to your audience and the pages re not too crowded. Your content should be well structured, so that website visitors can quickly find what they are looking for. The more information you give your web designers about your business model, your specialities and your target group(s), the better they can tailor the website to you individually. Obviously if you already have a logo and corporate colours, they will form the basis for the visual design of your website. Bring along any material you have to your meeting with the web designer. This will help to align your online presence with the colours, imagery and graphic elements of brochures and advertising material, so that your customers will immediately recognize you and/or your company.
Who is my target group?
Think carefully whom you want to address and who is using your offerings. How old are your customers on average? What are their interests? Are they rather conservative or open to innovation? Are they looking for entertainment and distraction or stability and reliability? Once you know your customers, you can develop a concept of the content you wish to present on your website, and how to present it. If you have been in business for a while, you will certainly have thought about all this before – but it helps to ask yourself all these questions again, so that you can tell you web designer exactly what you want.
What is the purpose of your website?
First and foremost, your website is the platform where you can present your company or organization to online visitors and give them an opportunity to contact you. But there is more – you can feature the products and services you offer, invite visitors to subscribe to your blog or other regular content, set up a web shop or create a restricted-access zone e.g. for your staff, members of your organization or subscribers. Whatever your ideas – discuss them with your web designer to create a unique and attractive online presence.
What kind of content do I want to present?
Your whole website, and especially the content, should be created with your target group in mind. Give them a detailed description of your products and services and illustrate them with case studies and suitable imagery. Tell them something about your motivation and your goals. Maybe you can even ask some of your customers to give you a reference which you can publish on your website. If your organization has been around for a while, write something about your history. If you are organizing regular events, announce them on your website and write recaps about them. Imagine what other type of content your audience might be interested in and write about it – as long as there is some connection with your organisation. Ideally you should publish new content on your website in regular intervals – this can be anything from current offers, tests and reports to tips and information you might want to share with your audience.
What functionalities should be included in your website?
If you have a lot of pictures, it is definitely a good idea to present them in the form of photo galleries featuring e.g. your best work or interesting events (don’t forget to obtain permissions from the photographer and any persons shown in the photos!). Organisations with many events can feature those in the form of an event calendar. Another way to add value to your website could be a blog where you regularly post new articles about interesting topics. You can even include interactive elements such as comment functions, a guest book or a discussion forum for issues related to your line of business. If you are active in social networks like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, link them up with your website for additional opportunities to interact with your target group and generate new content. If appropriate for your business, you can even integrate an online shop in your website.
Take a closer look at the websites of your competitors and other websites you visit frequently. Use the 5 questions above and/or our checklist and ask yourself: What do I really like about the website? What would I leave off or handle differently? This will help you to get a good idea of what your own online presence should look like.
We have created a checklist for you that includes all the relevant questions related to the creation of a website. This will prepare you for your consultation with your website. Give us a call or click the button below to arrange a first meeting with us and discuss your website project!