Critical Considerations for a New Website
Once you’ve decided to build a new website, either for the first time or as an upgrade/overhaul of an existing one, it’s important to have a clear strategy in mind so you can achieve the business goals you’ve set out. Thinking through the strategy includes clearly outlining your goals and objectives for the site, determining your key brand elements, and the voice of your brand. It’s important that all of these elements are consistent throughout every aspect of the site, so that your target audience quickly understands your company, what you do, and where you fit into the competitive landscape.
Goals and Objectives
The first fundamental questions to ask when planning a new site is: What do we want this site to accomplish? What are our business goals?
The following are common objectives that a website can achieve:
- Brand awareness – Is the primary goal of your website to make people aware of your company and brand? Are you launching a rebranding effort? Have you changed your market position or offering? Websites and corresponding marketing campaigns can be optimized for brand awareness, but that requires building that into the site plan from the beginning.
- Lead generation – Are you trying to capture high quality leads that your sales team can convert? Many websites are designed for this purpose, and we can tailor the site to make it very easy for visitors to provide their contact information. We can help you host gated content that pre-qualify leads, and we can advise you on creating an amazing lead funnel that will exceed your expectations.
- Ecommerce – Do you want to sell products through your site? Today’s web and social environment offers unprecedented opportunities to drive ecommerce sales, even if you’re starting a new business from scratch. The website needs to make your products pop, and provide the right amount of reinforcing information to help first time visitors gain the comfort to make a purchase.
- Customer Interaction – Not dissimilar from brand building, is your goal to maximize the amount of time visitors spend your site, interacting with your brand? There are many ways to accomplish this objective, from blogs to interactive elements.
It’s important to point out that you can have a primary goal and secondary goals, but it’s important to have a clear vision in your mind heading in to the project. We can help you think through all of these elements as well.
Once you’ve outlined your goals and we’ve documented them, it’s time to capture the strategy. The Ashford Creative team will take what we’ve heard and discussed and present a strategy document that outlines how we will achieve your goals. We’ll review that with you and make any needed tweaks. Once the strategy is in place, we can get started with the actual development.
As a part of the strategy discussion, we will work to understand your company’s brand, unique differerntiators, market position, competitive forces, and other elements. Based on what we hear, we will formulate a brand plan which outlines how we’re going to make your company and its brand come alive on the new site. Achieving a website that meets all of your needs requires amazing creative, supported by the right tools and engineering. We understand the importance of both, and we’ll find the right balance.
Just as important as knowing your goals and objectives going in is determining how you’ll measure success. Our strategy will include the key metrics we advise tracking, and how they will be measured. Examples include:
- Brand building/awareness – We can measure this in a few ways:
- Site traffic, new site visitors, time spent on the site
- Growth in social media followers
- Media mentions
- Lead generation – This is pretty straightforward, we would help you set a target of leads per month and then track against it. We can also track conversion rates and determine if we’re generating high quality leads
- Ecommerce – This goal is the easiest to track, it all comes down to sales and cost of acquisition (if paid acquisition strategies are in place)
If all this seems complicated, don’t let it be. We’re here to make it easy for you, and make sure your website exceeds your expectations! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let’s discuss your needs.