5 Must-Ask Questions for Getting Your Website Right

5 Must-Ask Questions for Getting Your Website Right

Is your organization’s website so old that it looks like it was built before the internet was even invented? Does it fail to harness the full marketing power of what today’s websites can offer? Whatever the reason, rebuilding a website is no easy endeavor.

Which means those leading the project must ensure the website they deliver also, well, delivers. This is a big responsibility! Fortunately, if you ask the right questions at the onset of the project, you will keep your team on track and your soon-to-be new website on the road to exceptional.

Not sure if your website is ready for its next evolution? Contact us to schedule a free web audit.

Must-Ask Question 1: What is the purpose of our website?

This is the most important of all the must-ask questions and it shouldn’t be answered in a hurry because the top-of-mind responses are not likely to reveal the full picture.

Instead, develop a list of possible purposes for your website and determine which are most important, least important and not even relevant. For example, is the purpose of your website:

  • To sell products and/or services?
  • To build or rally a community?
  • To provide information?
  • To save money by managing tasks formerly handled off-line (e.g., customer service)?
  • To reach new customers?
  • To better serve current customers?

The purpose of your website will inform the answer to almost every other must-ask question on this list and throughout the redesign process – which is why bringing clarity to purpose upfront is essential to building a website that meets your organization’s needs.

Additionally, you’ll likely discover that your website has multiple goals and prioritizing these upfront will assist you greatly in answering the next questions.

Need help planning your redesign? Download our Ultimate Website Redesign Planning Guide.

Must-Ask Question 2: What do we want our website visitors to do?

Once you determine the purpose of your website, carefully think through all the actions you want your website visitors to take, including the ultimate desired action.

Interestingly, it helps to work through the sequence backwards. Start with the final desired action (e.g., you want your visitors to make a project inquiry) and think backwards through all the steps that might be necessary to get them ready for that action.

Remember that the sequence your website visitors go through might not occur in a single visit – especially if your organization has a complex sales process and/or a high-dollar-value offering.

Whether your desired final action happens in a single visit or several, understanding what you want – and need – your visitors to do will help you develop a results-generating website.

For example, if your offerings have a longer buying cycle, you should focus on designing a website that encourages repeat visits and making your content and meaningful calls to action available at the right time in the prospects’ decision-making process. If the opposite is true – if what you’re offering is a simple purchase decision that doesn’t take much convincing – your site must be focused on driving a single, immediate action.

Need help planning your redesign? Download our Ultimate Website Redesign Planning Guide.

Must-Ask Question 3: How should our website be organized?

Your website’s organization (information architecture) should be directly informed by its purpose and the actions you want your visitors to take. This approach will help you avoid one of the biggest landmines: sacrificing clear for clever.

It can be very tempting to try and stand out from the rest by using “unique” structure and navigation. However, only by making your website highly intuitive can you deliver a truly excellent user experience. This is especially important in today’s “on the go” digital world. Those who don’t have time to guess at what might be behind each clever area of navigation will move on – and likely to the website of your closest competitor.

Keep in mind that visitors may not enter your website from the home page and, therefore, you need to strategically guide them along the decision-making path from any entry point.

For example, if organizing your website by products makes the most sense given your website’s purpose, providing a prominent “compare products” option on every page will help them get to the final desired action (product purchase) much faster than would a “contact us” link. While you certainly welcome visitor interaction, wouldn’t you rather give them the tools to make a buying decision right there and then?

In short, don’t put obstacles in the way of desired actions, always opt for clarity and make sure your website’s organization is a reflection of your unique visitors’ needs.

Need help planning your redesign? Download our Ultimate Website Redesign Planning Guide.

Must-Ask Question 4: What should our website look like?

This question has a very easy answer, but it can also open up a can of worms.

The easy answer: Your website should be a direct reflection of your brand.

The can of worms: If your image is outdated and/or not in alignment with the latest evolution of your brand, you must address that before tackling the website project.

After all, what’s the point of pouring money into a new website design if you know that your whole identity needs to be revamped?

But beyond being a reflection of your brand, great design is also what creates a rewarding visitor experience (the key measure of website’s success) and it’s the single most important driver of action.

Everything from your overall visual organization of information to how you design calls to action impacts what your visitors will do and take away – more than you, or they, might even realize.

There’s much to be said about the value of great design, but suffice it to say, design influences everything about an experience. Just remember the last time you were in an unfamiliar airport or train station and you’ll immediately understand.

Need help planning your redesign? Download our Ultimate Website Redesign Planning Guide.

Must-Ask Question 5: Should we redesign our website in-house or outsource?

While in many ways it’s now easier than ever to build a website, it’s more complicated than ever, too. Digital trends, technologies and associated marketing disciplines constantly evolve, so before answering this question, assess the skillsets, expertise and prior experience of your internal team in these areas:

  • User Experience/Information Architecture
  • Digital Branding and Marketing
  • Graphic Interface/Design
  • Content Strategy/Copywriting
  • Internet Marketing
  • Front-End Coding/Programming/Content Management Systems

It’s important for your website team to be skilled in all of these areas in order for the new website to achieve your marketing objectives, be well-organized, easy to maintain, on-brand and overall 100% functional.

Additionally, be realistic about the time and resources commitment involved – can your organization afford to have its entire marketing team focused on a single project for months?

If your internal team doesn’t have all the skills or the time commitment, consider outsourcing options for the entire, or a part, of the project.

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Your Ultimate Guide to a Website Redesign

Navigating your company through a website redesign is not an easy task, but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. For more detailed information on the entire process from planning through post-launch, checklists and tips on avoiding common mistakes, download this e-guide.

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Let’s build your company the right website. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about planning, designing or developing a website that delivers what your organization needs. Contact us to discuss how we can help you with your next website redesign.