Evolve Solutions helps many varied clients, from 100 year old brick & mortar businesses that have had a website for 14 years, to companies that create a brand new product & need a web presence to drive new business.
We have worked with small 8 person shops that want to communicate with their distributors up to Fortune 500 companies that sell world wide.
Many companies already have marketing materials, websites or the full brand experience. If you don't have any of these things perhaps the following 10 Points will help you start thinking about your new website & how you want to position yourself in your space.
When you begin your website development process you need to know who your audience is: Are they existing customers, new customers, or people seeking valuable information/ Think of the visitor's perspective. If you gear the site towards your audience it will be successful.
Who is your audience?
What is the purpose or goal of your site?
A site that generates sales is different that an eBrochure type site which is different than a blog. Planning is key at every stage of building a site & determining what your goal of creating a site is helpful. Do you just want to provide information about your company? Do you want to sell products or services online?
What do you like or hate about your competitor's sites?
Reviewing what the competition is doing online is a good start to the design process. You don't want to make the same mistakes they're making. You could also review company sites that do similar work outside of your field. Say you create stone countertops using CNC machines. Perhaps you could check out sites of Contractors or plastic CNC machine fabricators.
What will your site look like?
This is the theme or look & feel of your site. Evolve Solutions will help you with this, but you should know if you want to follow your existing advertising or create a site that departs from outdated marketing materials. We can help you with new materials that follow a new overall brand experience. All collateral material should present the same message & image. You will want to get with your printer or graphic artist to retrieve all high resolution imagery before we start building your website. The images may include a logo or photos of people or products.
Who will write the content & how often will it be updated?
Copywriting is often overlooked when creating a new website. Pretty pictures can convey who you are, but copy is extremely important. Content is what people search for. Only 20% of site visitors come to your site from other than search engines. You are the one that knows your business & company the best, so beginning this process now is very beneficial. You can start by creating an outline around the themes you want to promote.
Do you have a relevant domain name & where will you host your site?
Your domain name (ie. www.evolvesolutions.com) needs to be relevant to your business name & should be easy to be Kremembered & typed. Do you have an existing web host? For your site to be visible on the world wide web, you will need to have your files placed on a computer that serves web pages to the internet. Evolve can host the site for you or we can access your files from an existing host, given the appropriate information.
If you want to gather information from your visitors & clients, you will need a database driven site. If you plan to publish lots of information for your users you will need a database for that too. Database sites are called “dynamic” sites. Sites with out interaction with visitors are called “static”. Which will yours be? Understand your desires at the outset & your experience with your web designer will be more fluid.
Who is going to maintain your site & how?
Planning this portion can be overlooked but is very important. You will want your site to be fresh & up-to-date. Posting information with dates & leaving them out there for a year will only show you aren't interested in your audience.
How are people going to search for you?
It is prudent to check out your competition's website keywords. Start by plugging a couple words about your business into Google & see what comes up. Is your competition on the 1st page? Check out their key words. If you don't know how to do this we can show you. You may have certain words that you use in your business, but is that what the average Joe calls it?
What is your budget?
This is important because knowing your budget will help us expend the right amount of time & energy, & better accommodate your specifications. We want to be as efficient as possible. There are 3 basic elements in this equation: Time, Money, Quality. The more money you spend the less time the project will take & the better quality you will receive. Rushing a project will also affect the quality so budget your deadline as well.
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