Do you want a new website, but don’t know where to start? Are you the person that wants to enter an agreement with a web designer, but wants to have all of your information ready to go from the first meeting? If this is you or if it isn’t the biggest question I’m asked as a web designer is what do you need me to do? The answer is really simple. Give me all the information you have in your head about your business so you can decide, with my team’s assistance, how you want your potential clients to view your business. When thinking about creating an online presence that will leave a lasting impression on people, you can’t do so without these two things drive and a plan. Of course you need to have branding, a website, and a social media presence, but lets be honest if you don’t have the drive or a plan to make things happen then you won’t be as successful.
Branding is a very important part of any site. Things like the logo or banner help the customer to understand who the business is and what they provide. It is not a topic that should be taken lightly because the colors, shapes, brand styles, and font choices matter.
- What is your company name / logo name / text that should be included
- What is your tagline / motto / slogan? (if applicable)
- Please share a brief description about your business type / market or website
- Who is your target audience?
- Are there any specifications regarding color or font?
- Please share what the core message is that you want your branding to convey to your customers
- Do you have any samples or ideas of what you want your branding experience to look like?
What are your website goals? The majority of your customers that visit your website are coming there for more information. What information are you trying to show them; why are you showing it to them; and why should they care?
- Why do you want a new website?
- Who is your target audience?
- What problems do your clients have that your business solves?
- Why should people do business with you rather than your competitors?
- What do you NOT want on your website?
- Can you list a couple of other sites of your industry that you like?
- Official Business Name – If your name needs to be displayed a certain way the please let us know
- Primary Phone Number(s) – The number(s) you use to answer calls and inquires for your business
- Business Email Address(es) – This is the current email address(es) that you have for your business, along with the design of your email address that we will associate with your website (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Hours of Operation – If you have a physical business then be sure to give us your hours of operation. It is important for your customers to know that if they need your service these are the times when you will be able to provide it.
- List of Services – Always provide a list of services that you will need pages for on the website. We want to know about any sub services or any specialty services as well.
Once we have gotten this information ironed out and know the who, what, and why of the site then we can start putting together the particulars the help everyone see your vision.
- What is your short, elevator pitch for your business? – Provide a 4 to 5 sentence summary of what you do and how your business is beneficial to your target audience. Discussing your industry, target demographic, and services are great pieces of information to start with.
- Page Content – This is the text for every page of your website. Write up the employee bios, service descriptions/explanations, “About” information for your company, a mission statement, FAQs, and anything else you need to sell your service/produce to your customers.
- Any images for your gallery/portfolio (if applicable) – Provide as many high quality images as possible and unless we have specifically discussed it then the images can already be edited to your liking.
- Photos that you want to see on informational pages of the site – If you don’t have any, at least give us an idea of what kinds of photos you want to use that will relate to your customers. Stock photos that illustrate your services, pictures of your products, employee head shots, images of your office / store / practice / etc…
- A few finalized blog posts – if your website is going to include a blog (which it should), then you should provide some pre-written posts so that we can add them to your site prior to go live. This will give the appearance of your site looking older instead of looking entirely brand new. Doing so also helps to build trust with your users who see that your company has been around and active for a while.
Social media is the new wave for getting and relaying information to customers. It is vital and in many cases is used as a substitute to a website, but I think that it should be used as a supplement for your website. Why? Social media platforms should be utilized to enhance what you are already doing. You want to provide valuable content that shows that you are an expert in this field and also gives your customers a inside look at how you run your business.
- What social media platforms make sense for my type of business? (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitch, etc…)
- What will you utilize each platform for if you decide to use more than one? (i.e. YouTube for commercial like videos, LinkedIn for networking, Facebook for marketing your commercial from YouTube, Instagram for flyers, Facebook for reviews, etc…)
- How will you manage them all so you don’t have to post or add the same thing to multiple sites? (i.e. Buffer or Hootsuite)
- What do you feel your customers need from you in order to consider you an expert in that given industry?
- What frequency does your target customer deem consistent but not irritating or too much?