“Quick, quick, quick!!!!! I need to launch my new website YESTERDAY!!!!!” We hear this all the time, and we get it… You have a new business, and you’re extremely excited thinking about the endless fortunes that will be generated from your company’s new website. The sad, sad truth though, is that some folks gloss over essential tasks during the “discovery phase” of having their new site created. Ignoring these tasks could be detrimental to the success of your new website.
So how do you know if you’re ready or not?
1. If you haven’t set goals for your new website, you are not ready for a website.
This is a big one. If you know your business needs a website, but you don’t know WHY, stop right there. Determine the purpose of your site and set goals. What is your website supposed to DO? Do you simply want to inform website visitors about your products and services? Do you want your website to drive potential customers to your contact form? If you don’t understand the purpose of your website, you won’t be able to measure its effectiveness.
2. If you don’t know who your target audience is, you are not ready for a website.
Who is your website’s target audience? “Everyone” is not an acceptable answer. If you attempt to build a website that targets everyone, you’ll end up not making much of an impact at all. Pick a narrow target audience and develop your website’s content to speak to that specific audience. Without a clear plan-of-action to determine who your website “speaks” to, you’re essentially just shouting from the rooftops, hoping anyone will stop to listen.
3. If you think acquiring website visitors and new customers is magic, you are not ready for a website.
Your shiny new website will not automatically generate its own traffic. If you’re under the impression that customers will magically start visiting your new site, without putting forth the effort to market your business, you’re going to be in for a big unpleasant surprise. Growing website traffic and acquiring new customers takes effort and typically requires a solid digital marketing strategy.
4. If you haven’t determined a marketing budget, you are not ready for a website.
Like most everything else, when it comes to website development and digital marketing, you get what you pay for. When making decisions about your website and marketing budget, if you decide to just “wing it”, you’re setting yourself for failure. Content creation, social media marketing, email marketing… all of these initiatives are ongoing. Digital marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor, and to be successful, you’ll need to determine what your budget is.
5. If you have no plan for keeping your website’s content fresh, you are not ready for a website.
Customers and website visitors can easily smell when a website’s content has become stale. And a stale website often results in fewer customers and lost sales. You’ll need to develop a plan for keeping your site’s content updated from time to time. This is often achieved via composing new blog posts and also updating your website’s home page. Don’t be lazy and think that your website will manage itself.
So do you think you’re ready for a website? There are certainly many things to consider and many important decisions to be made. You’re probably excited at the opportunities ahead of you, but you’ll need to force yourself to pause and make sure you’re steering your new website in the correct direction. Once you’ve checked off all of the items listed above, you’ll be golden. Best wishes and good luck with your new website!
If you’re in the process of building a new website, or if you’re considering a redesign of your current site, give us a holler. We’d love to answer your questions and provide recommendations. Fill out the short form below, and we’ll set up a time to chat!
About the author:
Partner, Director of Development
Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.