A crucial step in preparing to undergo a website makeover is defining the scope of the redevelopment project. Just as you have questions you would like to ask your web designer/developer before you hire them, a web designer/developer will have some questions they will want to ask you, in order to gain a better understanding of the scope of your website project. It’s a two-way street and how better to start your web project by getting enthusiastic over your upcoming web project and asking a variety of questions. This article looks at some of the questions you might get asked, so do some homework, know your business inside and out, and come prepared ready to answer some questions.
These questions will prepare you for a successful website makeover and help the designer/developer get a better insight on how your business currently functions, and any areas that they need focus on when they re-build your website. As a business owner, you can expect that these questions will form a gap analysis on the current state-of-play in your business and the impact this newly revamped website will have, once it has launched. The more information designers/developers know and understand, the happier you will be once your website has been re-launched as your designer/developer should resolve many of those sticky areas.
You may feel overwhelmed with the number of questions or not have an answer to every question, but do your best to at least describe/answer how it is relevant to your business.
Current Marketing Activity
- What type of marketing are you currently doing for your business regularly?
- Do you have a tagline for your business?
- Have you got a mission statement?
- What marketing activities do you do that differentiates you from your competitors?
- Have you encountered any marketing challenges? If so, what were/are they?
- How do you attract new customers?
- Who would you say your competitors are?
- Do they have a website?
- Are there any elements in their website that you would like to see replicated on your website?
- How long have your competitors been in business for?
- What makes your competitors stand out?
- Are there any websites which you visit regularly?
- When you visit these sites, what aspects do you specifically like?
- What are you hoping to achieve with having your own website?
- Do you have a logo?
- Have you got any existing colors that you use in your business branding?
Products and Services
- How would describe your product and/or service?
- Do you have different product and/or services which appeals to certain customers?
- In what way do your products and/or services differ from your competitors?
- Can you describe your typical current customer?
- Do your customers have a problem that you resolve?
- Are there any specific industries or geographic locations or groups of people that we need to target your website towards?
- Do you want an email address with the same name as your domain name?
- Are you intending to use social media?
- Would you like to integrate your social media into your website?
- Will you have a blog for your business?
- Do you need e-commerce functionality on your website i.e. selling product/s, the ability to process payments online?
- Will your website have the functionality for web visitors to sign up to receive your latest newsletter or blog post?
Assuming you currently have a website…
- What popular key words/phrases do web visitors type into their search engines to find your website?
- Do you have current content on your website which supports these searches?
- Do you know how successfully your website ranks for these key word/phrases based on data sourced from your websites analytics?
- From this list of key word/phrases which words would you like to continue to focus on in your new website?
- What do you think are the most successful elements/features in your current website?
- Which aspects do you think are the least successful?
- What elements would you like to see incorporated into your new website?
- Is there anything that you don’t like/want included?
- Who hosts your website?
- Would you know where your domain name services are held?
- Do you have access to a Google Webmaster Tools account or Bing Webmaster account?
- Do you access your Google Analytics account?
- Are you familiar with search engine optimization best practice?
- If you have a blog, would you want that content migrated into your new website?
- Would you like your website to be mobile responsive? i.e. accessible and resize automatically to work on iPads, tablets, smart phones etc.
- What is the most important factor to focus on in your new website?
- If you don’t currently have a blog, would you publish content regularly on your websites’ blog on your business products and/or services or share other relevant industry news?
- Are you intending website visitors to sign/opt in to receive a newsletter or free resource you publish?
- Are you intending to be active on social media that is relevant to your business?
- Which social media networks are you most active on?
- Which social media networks do you find your customers are the most ‘engaged’/talkative?
- Is there any features/functionality that you really would like to see on your website?
- Do you work out of different locations?
- Do you operate the same service from all locations?
- Do you have a proposed site map? i.e. a possible structure/hierarchy of how you want your content organized?
- How much money are you expecting to spend on your website project on?
- Were you expecting to host your website with a different provider?
- Have you got a deadline/date that you were expecting to launch your new website?
- Are there any other advertising campaigns/marketing activities that you have set up and you have planned to release around the same time?
- Did you want a soft launch (i.e. going live without fanfare) or a launch that generates some publicity for the new site?
Understanding what is wrong with your current website is key to ensuring you don’t repeat the same mistakes in the new site. The questions are useful for your developer/designer to ensure they understand your expectations and can deliver you a brand new successful website that will meet the needs of your customers. In order to understand how your business operates, these questions are necessary – the time spent analyzing your business and responding to these questions will lead to an ideal winning combination. You will be happy you chose the right designer/developer and your customers will be happy with your new, easy to use, good-looking and search friendly website.
Take a look at the other articles in the ‘Website Makeover – A Five Part Plan’ series:
Part 1: The Website Audit
Part 2: Setting Your Goals
Part 3: Choosing A Professional
Part 4: Defining The Scope
Part 5: After The Relaunch