In Part one of What You Need to Prepare to For Developing a Website, A Step by Step on Getting an Accurate Website Quote Cheryl covered
Know your requirements
Create a planning document
Now Cheryl tells you the essentials, the Who? What? When? Where? Why? Remember it takes more than a great tasting product to be successful in the food business!
The world is not your customer. Your customer is some subset of the population which seeks the products and services you are in business to sell. You need to tell your web site designer about your customer. We need to know what motivates your customer and what kind of lifestyle they enjoy. We also need to know where they live or why they would shop on your site.
Knowing business purpose behind your website is critical to building a successful website conversion. You must know what you want your visitors to do when they reach your website. Which path do you want them to take through your website? Do you want them to read about your product story? Or do you want them to visit your online store or find a local purveyor or turn out at an event you’re holding? If you don’t know what actions you want your site visitor to take and the order in which you would like them to take these actions your site will not function as you wish.
Your specialty food and beverage products will find success in the market by meeting your customer’s needs. So, what are the triggers which cause your buyer to take to Google to search for your products? Knowing your customer’s motivations (part of the Path to Purchase) will allow your site’s content to meet the customer where their need begins. Having focused content also helps you show up well in search engine results.
Another critical element about which you will be questioned is, “how are you going to market your web site?” The most common ways people market or promote their website and thus their business include: social media, Google AdWords, blog post authorship (on their own and other’s blogs), and syndication of your website content to company pages in social media such as SlideShare, and LinkedIn.
Why should someone buy from you? Why should they pick up the phone or ask for a quote? Establishing trust and authenticity on your site is another important component to earning a customer’s business. Trust is established by a number of signals. Testimonials are one signal which demonstrates the esteem you’ve earned. Lists of awards earned or press clippings are other ways to demonstrate the quality and integrity of your products. Another is to list where your products are sold, which is especially important if your product is a consumer packaged food or beverage. If you have an ecommerce site, offering a guarantee statement is important. You can also amplify trust by offering badges or symbols highlighting the secure processing of payments.
Form and function
Now that you’ve gathered answers for these essential questions, you need to know your preferences for functionality, look and feel.
If you have an existing site, start with what you like and what you don’t like about your current web site. Next, create a list of sites that you really like along with an inventory of the features and functionality in those sites that you find most attractive. Spend time reviewing your competitors’ websites and seeing what they have done that works or doesn’t work. Have some of your customers tell you want they look for in a website.
Wrap it up
Now that you’ve created a list of requirements, customer insights, and examined competitors, you should have a pretty fine set of directions for a prospective web developer. Now, when ask for a quote, you can provide your requirements and expect to gain a realistic quote.
Use our website planning document if you don’t want to create your own.