5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning a Website

In a previous blog post, we discussed the  7 mistakes consumers make when Looking For a Web Designer. In this post we discuss:

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning a Website

Planning a website

The planning phase for a website can vary in length depending on the complexity and scope of the project. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

During the planning phase, various factors need to be considered, such as the purpose of the website, the target audience, the functionality, and the design. This phase involves researching and analyzing the competition, identifying goals and objectives, creating user personas, defining the site’s structure and navigation, developing a content strategy, and outlining a timeline and budget.

For a simple website, the planning phase may only take a few weeks. However, for a complex website with multiple pages, custom features, and integrations, the planning phase can take several months to ensure that everything is properly scoped and planned.

Questions you should be asking when planning a website.

Note: As you explore the answers to these five questions you will quickly see how the steps to planning a website link together and give you a good foundation to building the perfect website.

  1. What is the purpose of my website?

To determine the purpose of a website, you need to consider the goals and objectives of the business or organization behind it. Here are some steps you can take to determine the purpose of a website:

  1. Identify the business or organization: Determine who the website belongs to and what they do. This will help you understand the context in which the website operates.
  2. Determine the target audience: Determine who the website is intended for, such as customers, clients, or members. This will help you understand the needs and expectations of the website’s users.
  3. Identify the business objectives: Determine what the business or organization wants to achieve with the website, such as increasing sales, generating leads, building brand awareness, or providing information.
  4. Define the website’s goals: Determine what the website needs to accomplish to meet the business objectives, such as increasing website traffic, improving user engagement, or reducing bounce rates.
  5. Develop a content strategy: Determine what content is needed to achieve the website’s goals, such as product pages, blog posts, or landing pages.

By following these steps, you can develop a clear understanding of the purpose of a website and ensure that its design, content, and functionality are aligned with the business objectives and target audience.

  1. What is my competition doing?

Researching your competition is an essential part of planning a website. Here are some steps you can take to research your competition:

  1. Identify your competitors: Make a list of your top competitors, both direct and indirect, who are offering similar products or services to your target audience.
  2. Analyze their websites: Visit their websites and analyze their design, layout, content, and functionality. Take note of what they are doing well and what could be improved.
  3. Look at their content strategy: Examine their content strategy, including the types of content they are producing and how often they are posting. Determine what topics they are covering and how they are engaging with their audience.
  4. Study their social media presence: Examine their social media accounts and see how they are using them to engage with their audience. Determine what type of content they are sharing and how often they are posting.
  5. Examine their SEO strategy: Determine how they are optimizing their website for search engines, including their use of keywords, meta descriptions, and backlinks.
  6. Review their customer reviews: Check online review sites and social media to see what customers are saying about their products or services. Determine what customers are praising and complaining about.

By researching your competition, you can gain valuable insights into what is working and what is not. This information can help you identify areas for improvement and differentiate your website from your competitors.

Check Out: Lucidcharts’ in-depth article on Planning a Website

  1. How do I determine who my user personas are when planning a website?

User personas are fictional representations of the target audience for a website, product, or service. They are created by using data, research, and insights to develop detailed profiles of typical users. These personas help website designers and marketers understand the needs, motivations, and behaviors of their users.

Creating user personas involves gathering information about the target audience, such as demographics, behaviors, and preferences. This information is then used to create a fictional character that represents a specific segment of the target audience. For example, a website for a fitness brand may have user personas for a busy mom looking to lose weight, a college student interested in weightlifting, and a retiree trying to stay active.

User personas typically include details such as age, gender, occupation, education, income, goals, pain points, and interests. These profiles help designers and marketers make informed decisions about the website’s layout, design, content, and messaging. They also help ensure that the website meets the needs of the target audience and provides a positive user experience.

  1. What are the goals and objectives of the website?

Things to consider:

  1. Identify the target audience: Determine who your website is intended for, such as potential customers, existing customers, or members.
  2. Determine the purpose of the website: Identity what you want the website to achieve, such as generating leads, increasing sales, building brand awareness, providing information, or facilitating customer support.
  3. Develop SMART goals: Develop Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals that align with the purpose of the website. For example, increasing website traffic by 25% within six months or generating 50 leads per month through a contact form.
  4. Consider business objectives: Consider how the website fits into the broader objectives of the business or organization, such as increasing revenue, improving customer retention, or expanding into new markets.
  5. Determine success metrics: Determine how you will measure the success of the website, such as through website analytics, lead generation metrics, or customer feedback.
  6. Develop a content strategy: Develop a content strategy that aligns with the goals and objectives of the website. Determine what types of content will be created and how often it will be published.

By identifying goals and objectives when planning a website, you can create a clear roadmap for the website’s development and ensure that it meets the needs of the target audience and supports the broader objectives of the business or organization.

ChemiCloud - Excellent Web Hosting Services

  1. How do I determine the structure of my website?

Website structure refers to the way in which the pages and content on a website are organized and connected to each other. It is the backbone of a website and determines how easy it is to navigate, how information is presented, and how users interact with the website.

The structure of a website typically includes a hierarchy of pages, with the homepage at the top and other pages linked below it. The structure can be linear, with each page leading to the next, or branching, with some pages linking to multiple other pages.

Website structure is important for several reasons. First, it helps users find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. A well-organized website is intuitive and easy to navigate, which can lead to higher user engagement and conversion rates.

Second, website structure is important for search engine optimization (SEO). A well-structured website is easier for search engines to crawl and index, which can improve search engine rankings and drive more traffic to the website.

Finally, website structure can also impact website speed and performance. A well-structured website with optimized code and properly compressed images can load faster and provide a better user experience.

website structure is the way in which the pages and content on a website are organized and connected, and it is essential for providing a positive user experience, improving search engine rankings, and ensuring fast website performance.

In summary, It’s essential to spend enough time in the planning phase to ensure that the website meets the business goals, user needs, and technical requirements. Rushing through this phase can lead to issues down the line, such as scope creep, missed deadlines, and budget overruns.

Download Our free guide that helps you answer the question in this article when planning a website.

Leave a Reply