Enthusiasm does not replace a lack of preparation. The purpose, business model, target market and competitive strategies should be determined even before you draw the blueprint of your website.
Purpose: what is the site for?
What are your business and personal objectives?
What type of business model should you choose?
- sell your own products
- sell other business products (reseller)
- Information publishing
- offer information to share knowledge
- provide information to attract traffic and generate income through sponsorship, advertising, subscriptions, memberships, affiliates
- Directory, index
- Vanity site: online presence only
- Any combination of above models.
Target market: who is it for?
- Who will be your visitors? Draw a profile (eg age, gender, lifestyle, culture).
- Will you attract new visitors or existing customers
- Will your audience be local or global?
- How competent are your potential visitors with online technology (ability to navigate)?
- Are you looking for qualified leads or the greatest number of visitors?
Competition: how do you compare?
- What differentiates you from the other million websites: originality, customer service, price, product?
- What does your competitor’s website look like?
- Why would people buy from you? What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
- What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)?
Content: how will you communicate your message?
- What information and how much should you provide? How much does your audience knows about your business?
- How many sections? On what basis (eg type of audience, product) will you categorise your information?
- How will your audience take action (eg enrolment, feedback, contact or order form)?
- Do you need visuals?
Other planning considerations
- Your budget
- Your type of products and services.
- Your human resources
- Traffic size expected
- Administrative implications.
Marketing Cues tip
It is much better to create a small, concise and focused site than a large one where web users can lose interest and purpose.