The 5 Questions to Ask to Yourself Before Building a Website

Written by  Lina Abascal and Gog Zalibekyan / 29 February 2016
The 5 Questions to Ask to Yourself Before Building a Website
Before jumping online to hire a developer or even purchasing the URL you want for your site, there are a few things you should ask yourself. Going into building a website blindly can lead to a lot of confusion down the road that can be time consuming, costly, and frustrating. We’ve come up with a list of the top five questions to ask yourself before building your website to make sure you know exactly what you need.
Use these questions for everything from sparking ideas to identifying the goals of your website to literally mapping out it’s flow. Happy creating and good luck!
1) Who are your visitors?
In order to appropriately speak to your visitors, you need to know what type of visitors you want. Of course, some non-qualified visitors may be casually browsing and stumble across your site, but those who find you via search or ads know what they are looking for. Understand the wants and needs of your target visitor demographic so you can best appeal to them. This should be reflected everywhere from the copy to the design and layout. Doing some market research can help you figure out who exactly your visitor is.


2) What you want them to do?
We’ve discussed Calls to Action (or CTAs) previously on the blog. Before creating your website, you need to know exactly the purpose it serves. You want to educate and inform your visitors, but there needs to be a next step after that. What do you want your visitors to do? This needs to be something trackable and easy for your visitors to complete. This action can be as simple as filling out a form, downloading a white paper or pamphlet, purchasing a software, or contacting you via phone, email, or chat. Your site needs to have built in ways to track when this is done and by who, so you can follow up with your visitors and make the most out of them. This will also help you track and learn from what works, and what doesn’t. Remember, a site that leaves visitors with no way to engage is practically useless.


3) What value can you offer your visitors?
When creating a product or company, a question you often ask yourself is, “what is different about us?” This is a great question to ask when creating your brand or company’s website. What is different about you directly relates to what you can offer your visitors and why they should care. These offerings can also be called value propositions. Based on question one, figure out who your customer is and what they’re looking for. Then figure out how you can help them and offer them something unique that they need. These value propositions should be very clearly stated on your site.


3) What value can you offer your visitors?
When creating a product or company, a question you often ask yourself is, “what is different about us?” This is a great question to ask when creating your brand or company’s website. What is different about you directly relates to what you can offer your visitors and why they should care. These offerings can also be called value propositions. Based on question one, figure out who your customer is and what they’re looking for. Then figure out how you can help them and offer them something unique that they need. These value propositions should be very clearly stated on your site.


4) What kind of content should you put on your site?
Is your site going to have a blog? A social media feed? A multimedia section? How often can you realistically update it and do you know how? These are all important questions to consider when debating what type of content your site should house. While some sites are simple one pagers with a contact form, others are multiple pages with galleries, videos, and more. Both of these types of sites can be equally as effective. The more complicated the site, often the more expensive and time consuming. Definitely consider the time commitment and skills required when choosing a site that involves you frequently updating and changing sections. Some of the upsides of having a content rich site include SEO and built in social media content, like a thought leadership blog or case study videos. Some of the upsides of having a simple site is increased clarity and likelihood your visitors will understand your purpose and often complete your CTA. Weigh the pros and cons.


5) How will visitors find your site?
Sometimes, this is something people overlook! It’s easy to get caught up in creating a website before even thinking about how you are going to drive people there. Things like keywords and links help boost SEO, while social media content and engagement helps increase visibility. Thinking about how you want your visitors to find your site and how to make it as easy as possible for them to get to it is as important as the content and design of your website. Make sure to consider search results and visibility boosting tactics when building your site.

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