Designing a new website for your business can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have no prior web design experience. Getting to know the nitty gritty of what to consider will help in the process of bringing your business online. Here are 6 things to consider before designing your new website:
1. Define your purpose for the site and goals to be achieved.
Your design, navigation, and content should be driven by a purpose that aligns with your audience and your goals. And this means, having clarity on what your business stands for and who you are trying to communicate to and turn into a customer. You will have to decide from the onset the ultimate purpose of the website. Will it be used to generate more leads, create more awareness, or perhaps used to educate your prospects?
2. Consider having a Content Strategy.
It has become a cliché but holds true that Content is King when it comes to the Internet. You must have a content plan, especially if you want your website to bring in “Kwacha Value” for your business. You must plan well in advance how many times you intend to update your website, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. Having a defined purpose that has a plan for updating content to stay relevant, engaging and rank top in Google plays a crucial role in the success of your business in the digital space.
3. Think Mobile First.
A 2012 Google survey of mobile users found that 72 percent of mobile users say it’s important to them that websites are mobile-friendly, yet 96 percent have visited a site that doesn’t work well on their device. 80% of website visitors in Zambia view the content on Mobile phones. In 2016, Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) recorded 5.2 million mobile internet subscribers in Zambia. This shows that people are using the Internet on the go. It is imperative therefore to have a website that is responsive enough to adapt to the type of device it is being viewed on. Plus, with Google’s latest algorithm, your site must be mobile-friendly or it gets punished through lower search results. Not having a mobile friendly website will make you lose business.
4. Essential Information.
For a small business operating in Lusaka against already established big businesses, information such as a phone number and physical address or map directions is very imperative to have on your website (especially on a mobile site). This might sound obvious, but a shocking number of business websites either lack important information or make it difficult to find.
In addition to contact details, clearly explaining what your business is about and what you do is equally important. Certain businesses don’t have written down information about what they do, whilst others just have a one page profile and larger organisations have a plethora of information regarding their business. Gathering and organizing this information for your new website is quite a daunting task for both the client and web designing agency. Therefore, deciding what information is going to be on the website and who will be responsible for gathering and sharing this information with the web design agency has to be done before hand. During this process, you can then decide what sort of call to actions to have and factor in key words to use for your Search Engine Optimization.
5. Snoop around.
There is a plethora of beautiful websites on the World Wide Web to gain some inspiration for your new website design. This can either be designs in your industry, other industries or even your favourite brand’s websites. Investing a few minutes searching online and gathering intel on your competition’s website in country and abroad, can inspire you to showcase a clean, crisp and innovative website.
6. Have a measure of success mechanism in place.
Early on, in my Business Intelligence career, our Chief Marketing Officer at the time taught me one important lesson regarding reporting. He said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. I’ve found this to be true in every aspect of business. You need to set measurable goals that you want to achieve. These could be the number of unique visitors a month, page views, percentage of visitors that turn into leads or customers, etc.
The free Google Analytics tool will help you measure your website’s performance. With it, you can see which pages are visited the most, where your visitors are coming from and how they are finding your website, including the key words they are using to find you in search engines. You can then determine on what to improve on your Search Engine optimization (SEO).
Once you factor in all the above, you can go into budgets to be spent on the project, this includes, the web design fees, hosting fees, use of either stock images or photo shoot, etc. If you do it right, your website can be the best marketing tool you have. Ready to make your website your marketing tool? Get in touch with us and we will help you bring your idea to life