8 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

There is an old proverb that states

If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.

In this context I’m providing you with some questions you ask yourself about your planned website before you ask your web site developer.

They may just look at your web design project as another big nail for their one dimensional toolkit.

The type of website that you choose to build depends on what your ultimate goal is.

Are you selling a broad range of products?  Are you selling services or chasing leads?   Is your product or service a high value complex product?

 Types of Websites Include

  1. Lead Generation Websites – Designed to capture contact details
  2. Ecommerce Websites – Designed to catalog products for sale
  3. Business Websites & Business Blogs – Designed to showcase your services and your ability to deliver outcomes for clients as well as educate and demonstrate social proof and show case studies.
  4. Memebrship Websites & Portals – Designed to deliver educational content with paid or free access.

Questions to ask yourself

  1. Are you selling products, services or leads?
  2. What is the average price point of the products you are selling?  Is it high or low?
  3. Is the product or service you are selling a simple or complex?
  4. Does a potential customer have key questions they need answered before they will buy?
  5. Does the product or service  have a heavy post sale support requirement?
  6. Does a prospect require  education about features and benefits and how you are different before doing business with you?
  7. Does the prospect need to see proof of successful outcomes from previous customers?
  8. Is the product purchase lifecycle short or long?

The answers to these questions will help you decide what type of site you need to build.

For example lead generation businesses like plumbing, home loans, credit cards and carpet cleaning are designed to get your customer to call you or fill in a contact form.  So the landing page needs to be optimised to do just that.

Businesses selling low cost items of low complexity might best be served with a simple ecommerce site that facilitates easy browsing, sorting, filtering and buying.

Alternatively if you are a business with a complex or high value product that requires more comprehensive education, social validation via testimonials and customer case studies then a more traditional business website and blog would be ideal as it allows you to present content in a manner that achieves these goals.

Take some time out to think about what the final outcome of your website is to be, before you talk to your web developer.

Otherwise you might just get a hammer.

Image by Stuck in Customs