I have copied this work sheet directly from a web site (virtual adviser) that has a wonderful animated tutorial on what you need to consider BEFORE building a website: http://va-interactive.com/score/buildwebsite/ (will open in new browser window). This is a very instructive animation that will answer a lot of your web design questions before you visit your web site designer. These are many of the topics that I cover with clients during our initial free one hour consultation. The link to the animation here (opens new browser window) - goes over the same material that is printed below. Enjoy!
The first step is to ask yourself a simple question: “What do I want my Web site to do for my business?”
DO I WANT TO …
Sell products or services? – Then you’ll want to establish an online store.
Increase awareness of my product or services? – Then you’ll want an informational Web site.
Provide content and information on a specific topic? – Then you’ll want a data-driven Web site, and you'll need to establish a content management infrastructure and design.
Service my existing customers more effectively? – You’ll need an infrastructure and support team to respond to customers 24/7.
The next step in creating a successful site is to develop a strategic plan. Answer the following questions to formulate your online strategic plan:
The Art of Design
Ask yourself the following questions to determine the type of design that will work best for you:
1. What is the profile of my target audience? (age range, professions, hobbies, interests, etc.)
2. Which adjectives best describe this target market: conservative, liberal, youthful, fun-loving, rebellious, outdoorsy, homebodies, etc.?
3. What other companies service this market? What is the general feel of their Web sites?
4. How would I like my site to appear differently, from a design standpoint, compared to my competitors?
5. What is the overall style of my company's other marketing materials? How can that be translated into a Web site?
6. What types of colors, graphics, fonts and pictures best represent my brand?
Constructing a Content Strategy
Answer the following questions when developing your content strategy:
1. Will I create content internally, or will I accept submissions from outside writers and syndicated news feeds?
2. If I outsource some of the content, how will I find appropriate, qualified providers?
3. What is my budget for content creation?
4. How often will I post new content, and who will handle making these updates?
5. Do I have the resources to manage a virtual editorial team, or will I need to hire?
6. How will I decide what topics the site should cover? And when?
7. Who will be responsible for quality control of content before it posts to the site?
8. How will I manage the flow of content (from concept, through development, to posting)?
Going One-on-One: Personalization Strategies
Ask yourself these questions to help you decide which personalization strategy is best suited to your Web marketing plan.
1. How much do I know about the visitors coming to my site?
2. How much information am I comfortable asking those customers for?
3. What do I plan to do with the information after I receive it?
4. How much money can I spend to track visitors?
5. Will I be able to implement a database system?
6. Do I want to keep the process simple, or can I afford to be more elaborate?
7. Am I going to program it myself or can I hire someone to do it for me?
This work sheet is provided by http://va-interactive.com/flashindex.html
Virtual Assistant Interactive.