When building a website, the first thing you should do is decide what you want to achieve and what your website goals are. Knowing where you want to go, what you want to accomplish, what your ultimate goal is, can make the difference between success and failure. It’s a good idea to create a full marketing plan that will include your website, but if you decide not to do it, at least take some time to consider these questions:
- What do you want to accomplish with your website?
- Do you want to keep in touch with clients, and update them on a regular basis?
- Is your website there to make you money from affiliate marketing, where you can promote the products produced by others?
- Do you want to sell your product/products?
- Have you got a service you provide that you wish to tell people about and sell online?
- Have you got an interest that you would like to share news about with other like-minded people? Build a community for sharing an interest or topic?
- Do you want to share your thoughts, ideas or knowledge about a topic in a journal format?
- Do you want to build a website to showcase and share products and images?
Writing down your goals provides you with a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. You can identify what you want the website to look like and ask yourself what value you will provide. Consider where you see your website in a year’s time (or five or ten years). Knowing your goals allows you to plan your pages so they support you aims and keep you moving in the right direction.
Complete these sentences as a small exercise:
I want to create my website because _________________________________ .
The goal of my website will be to _______________________________ which should be accomplished for the majority of my visitors.
I will achieve this goal by ________________________________________.
If you are using WordPress to build website it’s simple to change things at any time. There is no need to go back to the beginning and re-design everything. WordPress is very user-friendly so don’t be afraid of putting something online if it’s not quite right, it’s better that you have completed an action and got a presence online rather than none at all.
Defining your goals, not only gets you there quicker, it also identifies your target audience and your business vision. You will be able to identify what makes you website different and your unique selling point (USP). You will see clearly the benefits and value of your offer. A website that supports your success can be created when you have thoroughly planned the project and know what you want to achieve.
The USP of my website will be ___________________________________________.
To support the USP and my website Goal I’ll need to have: ______________ [list features for the website].
What kind of features could you list here?
- Website platform you will use
- Colour scheme, branding requirements
- SEO requirements
- Loading speed, usability, mobile optimisation
- Security level
- Type and number of pages, diagram of how pages will be linked together
- Social media integration
- Community options: commenting, sharing, competition, surveys, forums, private messaging
- Ecommerce options: shopping cart, online catalogue, secure checkout, recurring billing, what payment methods will be accepted, shipping options
- Content you will produce and share on the website
- Rich-media objects you will integrate: games, video, audio, Flash