by Bob West
So, you’re thinking about developing a new website?
The dramatic growth in use of the Internet by agricultural and ornamental grower audiences has spurred many marketers to re-evaluate their websites and take steps to improve them so their sites attract a bigger audience and provide a better experience for the growers who visit.
Meister Media’s experience developing websites (see examples here) for our clients has helped us identify a number of key questions for companies to ask themselves as they evaluate their website. We’ve listed five critical questions below. Answering them will help you chart a course forward for your website.
1. Who is the audience that the website is designed to serve?
Every company has a range of constituencies it serves. The key with the website is identifying and prioritizing them so you can identify the types of content that site should contain. Here a tip: Prioritizing the audiences matters as much as identifying them! Time and money are limited — focus your resources where they can provide the best return!
2.What is the website’s primary purpose?
An ecommerce site typically looks very different from a product-oriented site, which then looks very different from an educational site. The maintenance requirements (and costs!) can also vary dramatically for different types of websites. So, why does your website exist? What do you want to accomplish with it? Your new site’s design and structure require clear answers.
3. What next steps do you want the customer to take?
This question goes hand-in-hand with the previous question. You get the potential customer to your website via search engine optimization or advertising, and they read through a couple of pages on the site. They get their questions answered. Now what? Do you want them to place an order? Contact a dealer? Register to download a whitepaper? (Keep in mind that a website is rarely truly complete when it launches. Feel free to build it in phases over time.)
4. How often will the website be updated?
Marketers looking for website help commonly want an easier way to update the website themselves without involving IT or some contract web developer. This is particularly true for companies looking to engage their audience through educational information. Getting everyone on the same page here helps ensure selecting the best content management system to power your website.
5. What problems do your customers and prospective customers have that your company solves for them?
The answers to this question get at the heart of the content plan for your website. This is the information you want to offer that will bring customers to your site in the first place. We often tell clients to think about the questions they hear most often in their booths at a trade show or in their customer service departments.
Meister Media is building websites for a wide range of clients. We’re happy to talk through your particular web goals and challenges with no obligation on your part. Simply contact your Meister Media sales rep or call our Director of Interactive Sales Bob West at 440-602-9129.