The following examples describe the types of questions we ask to fully understand your objectives.
Are you a new or existing business?
If you’re an established business the first question we ask is, “tell me about your business”. We then ask a number of relevant questions about your demographic and past marketing successes. If you have had a website in the past, how it worked and if it didn’t work and why.
If you’re a new business it’s a completely different discussion as we need to understand what you have set up thus far, the correct domains for keyword targets, brand and logo development, tag lines, presumptions, what type of company, etc.
What service or product do you supply?
This leads to many discussions dependent on what type of services and/or products you offer, but it’s critical that you feel the company you work with truly understands not only who you are and who your clients are but what your product or service is, as this will influence the entire plan and strategies involved much more than a simple “age” demographic.
What makes you different?
Some people really have difficulty with this subject and we typically get a cheaper price, best quality, etc. This subject is so important and using words like “best quality” is something everyone uses. It has to be something that really stands out, and then we can discover ways to market you through your website.
Is the area you serve local, country-wide or international?
Search engine optimization is critical for most businesses, but there is a substantial difference in the amount of work – and therefore pricing – when getting top rankings for one city versus across the province/state, country or internationally. Even the size of the City will have a bearing on the price. If one city has 85-100 thousand population and another 2 million, getting your business to the top of search is going to take more work and time, in part due to the amount of competition. Does the company you’re considering understand this, and do they discuss these challenges and potential solutions with you? Or are they just in it for the buck?
Are you intending to sell, and accept payments for your products online via your website?
This subject covers a lot of discussion from types of products, shipping destinations, shipping rates, return policies, merchant accounts, shopping carts and more.
What is your goal?
Your goal is not to simply “make money” although that is definitely an important by-product of your goals. A real understanding of your true goals is not only to understand the financial aspects of your business plan but more importantly what drives you and your company? What do you hope to achieve? What do you want to be able to look back on your personal and business career and say about what you accomplished? Have you created an exit plan for your retirement? What do you want to do with your company? Is it a legacy to pass on, or a turnkey solution to replicate, franchise and sell?
What is your timeline?
Every person and every business has a different set of goals and a different timeline in which you want to achieve those goals. A clear understanding of your timeline affects your responsiveness and priorities; which then affects our (or anyone else’s) ability to hand you a completed project. Have you put things off and now you need it completed yesterday? Or do you have time to take a more relaxed, thorough approach?
Are you writing the content?
What quantity of pages do you want to include? Pages like “About Us”, “Home”, “Services” and “Contact” are some of the most obvious, but are by no means the limit of what is recommended or useful to your clients, but creating these pages can be harder than you think! You may also simply not have the time to do the writing, or not be confident in your written communication. This is where paid content writing or consultation services come in. A confident, educated and skilled web design company will offer consultations on how to best fill your content needs, which can involve brainstorming meetings that provide inspiration and unique ideas through this consultative process.
Do you have testimonials or reviews?
Did you know reviews have such a powerful influence on potential customers that reviews are considered to be advertising? As much as 80% of smart consumers research “reviews and complaints” to see what others are saying about any given company online prior to making a decision. While it’s important to scatter reviews throughout your website pages (1 or 2 per strategically chosen page is all you need) just having reviews on your own website is not enough. People don’t trust reviews on your site – after all, you own it and no one is going to say anything negative about themselves! This is why it is so important to encourage positive user reviews [and manage any bad ones!] at secondary locations for REAL reviews, that have far more influence. People trust reviews on Google to be real and unbiased consumer reviews more than anywhere else. Make sure you discuss any positive or negative online reputation management with the company you’re considering!