11 Things to do Before you see a Web Designer (Part 2)
Previously we looked at the first 5 things to do before you see a web designer. You can read about it here. Today, we look at the next 6 things to do.
6. Any ideas you have on the design or functionality of your website.
Take along a list of websites that you like the design of and some ideas of the functionality you like. Would you like a blog, be able to update the website yourself, sell products, connect to your social media, aggregate relevant industry news, provide quotes, run email campaigns, offer training courses etc. There are many functions that can be built into your website nowadays so have a think about what you have seen around the web and take this list with you.
Have an idea of when you would like to launch your new website. If you need it up for something seasonal such as the Christmas selling season then it needs to be launched several months before Christmas, so that you can begin marketing it and also so that it moves up the rankings in the search engines. This takes time and launching a new website on, say, the 1st of December is not going to produce the best possible results, unless you have some pretty heavy press (e.g. TV or newspaper) organised. Also even though your agency should test your website before launching it live, there may be some refinements you want to do after it is live such as changing content a little or refining forms etc., before you actively market the website. So take these things into account when considering your launch timeframe.
Yes, this is the big scary question, but do have an idea of how much you want to spend. Just like any areas of your business, you need to set budgets and your website is no different. Giving your digital agency your budget gives them an idea of what functionality they can incorporate into your website and work with you to produce the best possible site for your business within your budget.
9. Maintenance and updating of your website.
Who will do this and how often will this be done. You need to consider if yourself or one of your team will be adding to and updating the website on a regular basis or if you are going to outsource this to the design agency. The design agency should be able to offer you or your team training on how to manage and update your new website. Also, it is wise to regularly add new content to your website, so think about how often you will do this. Weekly additions are the best to keep your website visitors engaged and the search engines happy. New content may include blog posts, new products, images, video and news. So have a think and discuss this with your digital agency and they should be able to assist you with a plan.
You will have questions to ask your digital agency, so put together a list of questions. It may be an explanation of functionality, it may be about additional services you need such as copywriting or social media, it may be about purchasing domain names and hosting services. (we actually have a long list of questions that we are often asked) Write them down so you don’t forget them, as it is easy to suffer from information overload during your initial chat.
11. Consider how you will communicate with your website visitors.
Will you send them a regular email newsletter; will you reach them again via social media or have a discussion area on your blog? Once you have people visiting your website, the opportunity is there to be able to connect with them regularly and keep them returning potentially as customers. So keeping your business top of mind is important. Email newsletters or encouraging people to connect with your business via social media is a great way to do this.
Wow, this all seems like a lot to do just to see a digital agency, doesn’t it? But just having these 11 things prepared or even considered will save you time and money. It will help reduce endless back and forth questions and make it easier for your digital agency to prepare a quote within your budget. It also saves on possibly several design changes which again saves you money and time. Once these things are done, then you are ready to go see your digital agency and get the ball rolling.