1. Who is your target audience?
Your website gives individuals access to, and control of information at their convenience. Knowing who your audience is prior to building the site is a crucial step which must be performed before developing site design or content.
How do your visitors like to receive and use the information they collect on the internet? Is the visual impact more or less important to effectively deliver your message? How can your site help satisfy their needs? Knowing your audience is the only true way to provide relevant content the way your audience wants to receive it.
2. What are the objectives of your website?
Is it already obvious why you are creating this website? If so, you may want to take a step back. For many companies, the primary justification is everyone else has a website and without one you may be left in the cold. For others, a unique or special product or service must be provided.
One of the most basic reasons for building an online presence is that a website serves as one more tool for communicating with internal and external audiences cost-effectively and conveniently.
Regardless, the only reasons that really matter to have a website are those which are customer focused. So, we’re back to – “Who are your customers/target audience and what do they need?”
3. What does a visitor expect from your site?
Once you really understand who your target audience is, realizing their expectations becomes much more intuitive. Most users expect the site to be easy to use and that it will download quickly. Others will look for information about who you are, what your philosophy is, what services you provide, whether you are the appropriate provider of those services, whether your services are affordable and how they can take the next step to discuss all of these issues more fully.
4. What do you want a visitor to leave with?
Once you have a solid understanding of what your site visitors expect, you need to determine what it is that you want them to leave with. Do you want their questions to be answered? Do you want to sell them a product or service? Do you want them to recognize what you are the answer to their needs? Do you want them to return to your website every time they want more information or another product?
5. Why should someone return to your site?
How do we encourage repeat visits? Determining what is of value to our target audience is the basis of your web activities.