We like to tell business owners and executives that the most
important part of the web design process happens before we’ve ever drawn a
single pixel or written the first line of code. That’s because information and
insight are the foundations for a good website and online marketing campaign.
It’s not enough to create a strong online presence – you have to customize it
to a specific company, and then keep growing and adapting over time.
None of these great things can happen, however, unless a web
designer and a client are on the same page. If there isn’t a good flow of
information from one side to the other, a creative team can’t really narrow in
on specific strengths and opportunities. In other words, they can’t give a
business the website or marketing plan it really needs.
Knowing that, it’s up to you as an owner or executive to
supply your web design team with the details they need to help you. To be sure
you don’t forget to mention something important, today we want to examine nine
different truths about your business that your web designer definitely needs to
hear before they get to work on your project…
#1 Where Your
Business Comes From
Often, the history of the company can tell you a lot about
its strengths, it’s values, and its future. Additionally, it can be central to
the sales and marketing approach that the business will follow.
You should be sure your web design team knows where your
company or organization comes from for those reasons, and to provide context
for any future discussions about design, philosophy, or marketing results.
Whether you’ve been around for a few hours or a century, make sure your
creative partner understands your story and how it influences your business
#2 Where Your Company
Even more important in your history, is your future. In a big-picture
sense, you want your web design team to know where you’re headed. They should
have an understanding of what your dreams for the company look like, as well as
the challenges that are looming on the horizon.
This is, once again, important for context. However, it also
matters because a business website is never really finished. Instead, it grows
and evolves over time. If your web designer knows where you intend to steer
your company in the future, they can help lay the groundwork for additional
expansion, new features, or tools and plug-ins that could be required down the
#3 What Your Specific
Business Goals Look Like
Once you get past big-picture aspirations, it’s time to dig
into the details. Let your web design team know what your specific goals for
the project look like. Do you want to increase online sales, generate walk-in
traffic, or grow your business in some other way?
These kinds of targets help shape the design of your
website, and let your creative partner know what sorts of campaigns are going
to be needed to turn your ideas into reality. The more firm you are in knowing
what you want to accomplish, the easier it will be for your web designer to put
together a plan that leads you in the right direction.
#4 What Kind of
People Make Up Your Target Market
Who are your best customers or prospects? Where do they
live? What kinds of jobs do they have? What are they willing to spend, and how
informed are they about your products or services?
These kinds of questions are only a starting point, but they
can remind you of just how important it is to know who your buyers are. You can
think in terms of demographics or personas, but this sort of insight is going
to influence every design or marketing decision that comes later. Be sure your
web designer knows who you’re selling to, or your bottom line is going to
#5 Who Your Biggest
Of course, it isn’t only enough to know your own business
and your customers – you have to keep an eye on the competition, too. That has
always been true, but it’s even more critical in the Internet age where “the
other guy” is just a click away on Google.
Ideally, you want your web design team to know which
businesses you are in direct competition with, which colleagues you admire, and
how each of them stacks up (in terms of price, value, and maybe even location)
to what you have to offer. Then, they can help you put your best marketing
#6 Why Buyers Come to
You Instead of The Competition
Your competitive strengths should be highlighted on every
page of your website. They should also be presented in a way that appeals to
your best customers and differentiates you from the competition.
We have already alluded to this, but it’s so important that
it’s worth mentioning again separately. There is some reason that a certain
segment of your target market decides to work with you instead of your
competitors. Maybe you offer lower prices, better service, or just a more
convenient stop on their daily commute. Whatever it is, your web design team
needs to know.
#7 Which Geographic
Areas You Operate Within
More and more, customers are turning to the web for local
businesses and providers. Google has essentially overtaken the Yellow Pages as
a top source for any kind of vendor you’d find in the neighborhood, and
geography has become a big factor in search engine visibility.
Considering all of that, it’s easy to understand why your
web designer needs to know which cities, states, or neighborhoods you operate
within. They have to know where your revenue comes from, and which areas you
want to expand to. That way, they can help you to not only optimize your site
for local search traffic, but to reach out to the customers who are literally
minutes from your door.
#8 Which Customers
You Don’t Want to Target
In most businesses, there isn’t just a segment of the market
to target, but also a group that doesn’t need to be focused on. These could
include buyers who can’t afford the products or services on sale, those who are
loyal to other companies, or just people who live too far away to serve
If there are customers you can do without, or want to
actively discourage from soliciting your business, you should let your web
designer know. That way, they can ask buyers to qualify themselves, and make
sure none of your marketing dollars are being wasted on the wrong audience.
#9 What Your
Marketing Strengths and Weaknesses Are
After your website goes live, you’re going to need ongoing
updates like blog posts, email newsletters, and social activity. Some of these
you might want to handle on your own. Others you might prefer to outsource to
your creative team, or to ignore altogether.
If you let your web designer know about your strengths and
weaknesses as a marketer, along with your budget and time constraints, they can
help you to develop a plan that maximizes the return you’ll get from each. If
you don’t share that information, though, you may end up with a strategy that
isn’t workable or profitable in the long run.
Is Your Web Designer
Asking the Right Questions?
As we mentioned in the opening to this article, a good web
designer is never going to move forward until they have this kind of
information from you. How could they help you reach your goals if they don’t
understand the challenges and opportunities you’re facing?
If you haven’t been getting that level of service in the
past, it might be time to make a change. Call Arizona’s best web design team at
Kinetik IT in Phoenix today, so we can set up a free consultation and review
your current marketing plan together.