The ultimate web design guide: 5 Questions to ask yourself before you build your next website

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In this article, we're going to talk about five important questions to ask yourself before building your next website.

The first question is to talk about who is your target market? Who do you want to reach with your website?

If you are trying to reach everyone, the old adage goes that you'll reach no one. It is true that if you focus on a particular person, not even just an age range or a demographic, but choose one person as an avatar that symbolises your ideal customer, then you will find that you end up with a much stronger result for your marketing. Identifying your target market will also help you be able to position yourself not just for your website, you will also find your other electronic communication and traditional communication will benefit from this work.

One of the ways that marketing agencies like to carry out this work for their customers is to create an avatar, this is actually something you can do yourself. If you were to start compiling a one-page dossier of your ideal customer, asking questions like who are they? Are they generally a male or a female? What's their age… also asking not just their age range, but what is the middle of that age range? What are they most likely going to be doing on weekends? Where do they meet on the web? If you can start compiling a list of questions like this, it'll help you with all of your communication channels.

The next quest will begin to list off their pain points; what is it that they really struggle with, particularly in your industry? What is it that they really need from someone like you? These questions can all help you to focus the communication on your website, and help you to come up with some really strong call to actions.

So that's choosing a target market for your website and creating an avatar. The next thing is, what is the primary goal of your website? Is it to drive phone calls or to drive form submissions? Is it to have people sign up for an email newsletter? Or in some cases, is it to provide enough information that the user, the person viewing your website, decides that they are either a good fit or not a good fit? For some businesses, they have so many leads that they cannot talk to all of the customers that would like to communicate with them.

One of the best ways of dealing with this business situation, is to help the user to pre-filter before they submit a form or get in contact. You can help them to understand who is a good fit for your company and who is not a good fit.

So with all of this in mind, just spend a moment and consider what is the primary goal of your website? It's okay to have a secondary goal, and specific pages can have sub-goals, however if you want to have a compelling website, something that really cuts through and reaches your customers, make sure you know what your goal is. It is then important to make sure that the design and content reflects that goal.

The next question I'd like to ask is what's the best way for people to get in contact with you? Is it phone, email, or chat? Maybe it's all three. Whichever it is, you're going to want to choose a primary point of contact.

Yes, you can have multiple ways for people to get in contact, however there is only so much real estate on a website and you're going to have to choose what is going to be the priority.

For many businesses, phone is probably one of the best ways to go, but for some businesses it will be appropriate to use email, chat or a submission form. This raises the question of what is the best one for you, and how do your customers like to interact with you?

Another really important question to ask yourself before entering into your next website build is who are the stakeholders and the people involved? Think about the process that you're going to have to go through to bring them on board. One of the little tips that I would freely give is make sure that you get their input up-front, and don't have everyone making decisions all on the way.

It's really important to have just one or two people as the core decision makers, preferably one person as the core decision maker for a website build. If you add an extra person and have two people it will impact the process and take longer. Of course that's absolutely okay if you're okay with having a longer process, but just know that every person you add to the final decision-making process of your website build will add time and complexity, and also won't necessarily get a better job result. That's not to say you cannot get feedback along the way from all of your stakeholders, but the ultimate decision maker needs to be a single person.

Okay, the final question left is, will you want flexibility to make your own design changes yourself, or would you prefer to leave that to your developer? Some websites can be built in a way that you can add a new button here, or add a new image there, using tools like Elementor or WPBakery. There are a whole range of builders that can help you to do that. That also means that you're more likely to, over time, have a degradation of your design, particularly if the next people who manage the website are not as design-savvy as you are. That's why some people decide to go for a format where it's more rigid. They can still add text and images and links, but the structure of the site is locked in.

You can rearrange the order of what's on your site, but at the same time, you can't go creating a new design within it very easily, and that's where you'd need to reach out to a developer. This latter option is often what more business-grade websites choose to do, because the quality of their brand and how they present themselves is of the utmost importance.

So the question is, what's going to be the best one for you? Do you need control over how your website looks, and be able to make smaller tweaks from time to time in design? Or will you leave that to someone who's a designer and a developer?

These are some of the core questions that we would recommend you ask yourself before starting your next website build. It makes a real difference to the end outcome if you can start to get some of these locked away. The Loop Web Design Team are here to help you with all of your website needs and can help you consider all of the above questions. Get in touch with us today and let’s partner together to build your website.

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