goffgrafix.com website design and programming

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!

Heather Goff

Building a Web Site Worksheet

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:

  1. What is my site all about?
  2. Who is the intended audience?
  3. Why will users first come to my site?
  4. Will they understand the value proposition once they get there?
  5. What will compel them to linger on the site for any extended period of time?
  6. Why will they come back for repeat visits?
  7. What are the specific deliverables they seek? Will they be able to easily find what they're looking for?
  8. What type of look and feel will best attract them?
  9. Can I offer the appropriate mix of content, commerce and a sense of community with in-house resources, or will I need to partner/outsource for some of these functions?
  10. How can I make my site better, faster, more valuable than that of my competitors?
  11. Will visitors need access to live company representatives, or will it be acceptable to use e-mail for all communications?
  12. Will customers want/expect to make purchases online? If so, am I equipped with the infrastructure to handle e-commerce?
  13. Will users want to request a quote?
  14. Will my contact information be easy to find (phone, fax, locations and hours of operation?)
  15. What do visitors need to know about my company to place their trust in my Web site?
  16. What should I tell visitors about the site up front so they are not misled and do not waste their time?

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
Self-Assessment

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?
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2. How much information am I comfortable asking those customers for?
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3. What do I plan to do with the information after I receive it?
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4. How much money can I spend to track visitors?
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5. Will I be able to implement a database system?
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6. Do I want to keep the process simple, or can I afford to be more elaborate?
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7. Am I going to program it myself or can I hire someone to do it for me?
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This work sheet is provided by http://va-interactive.com/flashindex.html
Virtual Assistant Interactive.

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