Successful web development projects require a tremendous amount of planning, and planning starts with asking the right questions. Any web design benefits from extra planning, but 4 questions should define the entire project from the start:
1. Who is my target audience?
Too many websites try to be all things to all people. Instead, think of your most important visitors and design according to their tastes. They may or may not appreciate animation. They may be on dialup connections or they may be visiting the site via a cell phone. Knowing your website’s target audience is vital to the project, even before a web site design has been created.
2. What do I want them to do?
If the purpose of your website is to get prospective customers to call, be sure your phone number is prominently displayed. A link to the “Contact Us” page should also be prominently displayed. Other websites may want to capture email addresses or newsletter signups. Ecommerce websites want to make a sale. Whatever the objective, make it as easy as possible for your customers.
3. How will they get to my site?
With competition among websites growing daily, it’s important to plan how you will increase the visibility of your website. Will you blog? Or participate in forums? You might even use pay-per-click advertising on Google AdWords. There are many ways to bring targeted visitors to your website, but they won’t come just because you’ve launched a new website design. Plan ahead, and watch your website bring you new business!
4. How can I measure the project’s success?
Many smaller website owners do not measure their web site metrics or statistics. Without an idea of traffic patterns and popular keywords, it is difficult to tell if a new web site design is effective. Are web site visitors converting to leads? Is the web site generating sales? Only by measuring can you know for sure.