5 action points before you start to build your website
Looking to build a website as a lead generator? Gareth Thompson, managing director of codepotato, outlines five action points to undertake before you contact your web developer
1. Give the site a rolling business case
Websites form a crucial role in most businesses’ marketing and as a result should be analysed like any other form of marketing.
While many sites for financial advisers are purely a presence, those that look to embrace the web as a potential lead generator should set their site’s goals in this respect. Stats should be gathered and periodic checks should be made to see how much progress has been made.
After all, if you conducted a letter-drop and received absolutely no take-up, would you do it again? Or would you consider why no-one replied and try to improve upon the last attempt?
Everyone who is part of the website project should be made aware of these goals, including your web developer, designer, copywriter and your team.
A simple business case should contain answers to these questions:
• What do we want to achieve with the site?
• Who is our primary audience?
• How many enquiries should we aim to receive per year?
• How much effort (and cash) are we willing to put in for this to happen?
• How often should we review progress?
2. Inspiration is great!
Before you go ahead and contact a web designer or developer, take some time to list sites that you like and don’t like. If you have time, try to expand on why you’ve listed them. If there are elements of those sites you love, make a note of that too. Never underestimate how useful this can be to a designer or developer.
3. Gather any statistics you have currently
If you have an existing site, you can use tools such as Google Analytics to record how many visitors you’re getting to your site, and how they’re finding it. With this data you can compare stats with those gathered from your new site. Make sure you have a couple of months statistics before putting the new site live. Share those statistics with your web developer or designer too so they can see what it is they’re trying to help with.
4. Start small, grow big
Just like a business, it’s worth cutting the first version of the site you launch right back to the bone, and launching with the minimum you need in order to get the site live. Your website should give you the ability to edit and add content yourself,
so that once the site is live there’s nothing preventing you from adding more content. Perhaps you plan to launch the site with 10 pages initially, but have visions of that growing to 40 or 50 within a year. Make sure you let your designer or developer know this so that they can ensure you have the right technology behind your site to make that happen.
5. Decide on a budget
There’s a myth that if you tell a provider what your budget is they’ll do everything they can to use it up. While sometimes that can be the case, for the most part, informing a designer or developer of your budget will help them to work out how they can deliver what you want in line with what you are prepared to pay, especially if it’s under what they would normally charge to help.
Further information on codepotato
Follow Gareth on Twitter: @cssgareth