Over 70% of the clients that contact us already have a website - and they hate it. Every website represents a huge investment of time and money, there is no trial period, so you must know your business goals. Don't end up like so many who have wasted their effort by answering these crucial questions to ask when building a website. Read this article and mull over its important considerations to avoid stress and get a money-making website optimized for any screen size: PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.
The 7 Crucial Questions You Must Answer To Build a Successful Website:
These are the questions to ask when building a website - before you start working on your website or searching for a web developer.
What do I want to invest: time or money?
Paying for a Website with Time
There is no such thing as a free website. You can pay with time or money - or a combination of the two.
When you build your own website, your time will be spent in two ways: 1) learning how to how to use a website Content Management System (CMS); and 2) building the site itself. Expect to spend a lot of time troubleshooting issues with your chosen CMS too. With some setups, you’ll have to get your hosting and maintenance set up too, but this is included with many simple website builders.
This method makes sense if you have more time than money and/or you don’t think your website will be a big part of your marketing. In their video, “Do I need a website?”, Google suggest that may not even need a website, and instead suggest Google My Business (GMB). I highly suggest you do both. No one can take your website away from you.
If you want a quick and dirty website, you could use any one of these free website builders, but I recommend using WordPress.com. It’s operated by the team in charge of the most popular CMS in the world, which gives it many advantages and meets most technical needs. Free WordPress training is easily found online, with the system easily upgradable to a self-hosted website made by professionals. (Our team of designers use WordPress exclusively.)
Paying for a Website with Money
If you earn (or pay your staff) more than $25 per hour, then it probably does not make sense to build your own website. It won't be as nice or as productive as one from a professional UX product designer. Your time would be more productively spent on marketing and selling your own business instead.
Before you hire an expert team to build your website, read our article on The 10 Questions You Need to Ask Any Website Developer before you work with them, after you finish answering the following questions, of course.
How will I get content for our website?
Content essentially consists of 3 things: text, graphics & videos.
Quality content is the most important ingredient of a site to improve user experience on disparate devices, different screens, etc. Good content will make your site valuable to visitors and it will drive traffic, but you need not fancy mobile apps or design industry experts.
First, ask yourself what information your customers will need and what you want them to learn about you. Then, make yourself a simple sitemap like so:
- About Us
- Service 1
- Service 2
- Contact Us
This will tell you how many pages your site will need to have and what content you need to prepare.
Do you want to prepare all of the writing, photos, drawings, etc. yourself as a UX designer? Or do you want an experienced team to do it for you using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices? If you really want to show up on search engines, it may be a good idea to hire an expert team to prepare your content for you.
What will our site's conversions be?
A “conversion” is any action you want a site visitor to take on your site.
What will a conversion be on your website? Will they buy a product? Play a video? Fill out a contact form? Sign up for an email list? (Sign up for our email list to give us a conversion!)
Determine what you will consider a conversion on your website and make sure you and your developer are well aware of it during the build process. After your website goes live, make sure to track conversions to understand what your most productive marketing efforts are.
What functionality should my website have?
Unique site features can add value to your site and increase conversions.
Do you need a multilingual site? Do you plan on selling products, and therefore need an ecommerce site? Do you want to grow a mailing list? Do you want a Learning Management System? How about a Business Directory? How about an instant price estimate like we have on WebDesignKorea.com?
If you want special features, then you will want to choose a developer who has experience with the features you are seeking. You can also look for a reliable developer willing to invest the time to learn how to do it. Make sure they have committed to provide the features at a reasonable fixed price - even if it takes them extra time to learn how to do it.
What will visitors gain when visiting your website?
If you want to make money from your website it should be built for potential customers - not you. Many people build the website for the CEO, not their clients. Don't make this mistake.
What will visitors be looking for? Directions? Menus? Product offerings? Training?
Don’t go for any customer; go for the right customer. Make sure that visitors understand the kinds of products/services you offer and the kinds of customers that will be happy with your services. Teach them about what differentiates you from your competition, so that they can make an educated decision as to whether your services are right for them. That’s how you get happy customers.
What data (KPIs) will drive your decision making?
Despite this coming late, it's one of the most crucial questions to ask when building a website. You can always adjust your target numbers, but you have to have targets to adjust them.
Is your goal to get a lot of traffic to the website? Or is it also to get a lot of email subscribers? Or are you looking to make sales? Are you a media outlet hoping for a lot of time spent on your site?
All of these translate to numbers of some sort. If you already have a website, make sure to look at the numbers you have currently and then set targets for the new website.
How can we drive traffic to our website?
All traffic can basically be divided into either paid or organic.
How to Drive Paid Traffic
You can also reach out to specific sites that target the same niche market as you are trying to reach. See what paid options they offer. It could be classic banner ads or they may offer native advertising that could help build your brand identity. People targeting English-speaking foreigners in Korea, for instance, may try advertising on 10mag.com & 10mag.com/directory. (10 Media is affiliated with InterCultural Communications).
You can set up these ads yourself or hire a digital marketer to do it for you. The same rules apply here as applied in question #1.
How to Drive Organic Traffic
There are 2 terms you need to know when it comes to "organic" traffic: SEO and content marketing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of “optimizing” one's website and its contents so search engines like Google and Naver can easily find access to determine the quality of content. If done correctly, SEO can lift your targeted term(s) to the top of search results and drive quality traffic to your site.
Content marketing is when you provide helpful content in different fields that attracts visitors to your website with helpful articles or videos. You can promote this content using paid ads above, or you can use social media and SEO to drive organic traffic to your website. If you’re just starting out, you may need to start with paid advertising to build your audience. As you work on your organic traffic avenues, through social media, emails, search engines, etc. you may find you can cut back or end your paid traffic and depend on organic traffic entirely.
Want to work with a professional team? We'll answer all these important questions to ask when building a website - before we start!