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questions to ask
Web design and development - the KISS philosophy

Questions to ask yourself in the planning stages of your web site.

Take a few minutes to answer these questions about your business and your customers.

Your answers could help us launch your business on the Web within 15 working days!

1.   What do you want to promote on your Web site?

  • Products?
  • Services?
  • Programs?
  • Special events?
  • Special offers?
  • Your organization?

2.   What details do you want to include?

  • Company name?
  • Address?
  • Telephone number?
  • Free-phone number?
  • Fax number?
  • Multiple locations/branches?
  • E-mail address?
  • Hours of operation?
  • 24-hour emergency service?
  • Payment options (Eg: credit & debit cards, cheques)?

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3.   What other information do you want to include?

  • Years in business?
  • Staff certification?
  • Media reviews?
  • Licensed, insured, and professional status?
  • Customer testimonials?
  • Awards?
  • Professional affiliations (Eg: Chamber of Commerce)?

4. Who are your target customers?

  • Men?
  • Women?
  • Specific age groups?
  • Homeowners?
  • Other business owners?
  • Customers with specific income levels?
  • Customers with specific education levels?

5. What do you want your Web site to accomplish

  • Attract new customers?
  • Sell your products or services?
  • Inform or educate your visitors?
  • Offer on-line service and information?
  • Enhance your company's credibility?
  • Lead your competition?

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6.   What image do you want to project on your site?

7.   What is your motto or mission statement?

8.   What is your company logo? Do you have one?

9.   What pages do you want on your site?

In addition to your Home page, what other pages do you want to include on your Web site? The names of the pages that you select will appear as navigation buttons on each page, and they will help your visitors find out more about your business. Unlike other forms of advertising, a web site can provide complete information about all facets of your business. Here are some suggestions.

  • About Us
  • Products
  • Services
  • Testimonials
  • What's New
  • Directions
  • FAQs
  • Contact Us

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How to write effective content.

No matter how flashy a Web site is or how many of the latest gimmicks it has, it is completely doomed if it has nothing to say. Ask yourself these questions.

  • What content will solve your customers' daily business challenges?
  • What are the top five actions you want a visitor to take while browsing your Web site?
  • What do customers need to know about your company to take action?
  • Does your site invite customers to contact you or make a purchase.
  • Does your site get responses from the right customers?
  • Is it easy for your customers to get to the information they need?

Develop an informative web site and your customers will come back time and again.

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1. Know your audience. What do they need to know to feel comfortable and secure about making a purchase or contacting you? Call your best customers and ask them. Find out what services or features they want from you on-line.

2. Know your competition. Knowing what your competitors are doing can affect your level of success on the Web. Make sure you know how your customers perceive your competitors. Visit your competitors' web sites and decide what you like and dislike and learn from it.

3. Define your goals and objectives. What does your business want from your customers on the Internet? Sales? Referrals? Registration? Information? Feedback? Before you do anything, write down your goals and establish what you expect from your site. Then determine how you will organize the pages so you can get your customers to take the appropriate action.

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4. Consider Usability. When your customer visits your web site can they easily find what they need, the most interesting topics and the information that relates to them? If you have a wide range of customers with different needs, consider every type. They all make a difference to your profitability. Make sure you include content that is not only informative, but also helps them to make a buying decision.

5. Offer pages that are compelling and precise. Make your points early. If you don't get your visitors' attention in the first few sentences, you could lose them to your competition. Deliver your content in the order of its importance. Don't fall into the trap of holding back on your message to keep customers turning the pages. They won't. So summarize, and link your visitors to information that counts.

6. Tell it like it is. Most people are seeking information on the Web and they don't want to waste time interpreting cryptic clues or complicated terminology. Make it as simple as possible for them to understand what it is you do and how they can get what they need from you. Keep it simple.

7. Provide clear instructions on how to take action, find information, or navigate your site. Instructions should help your visitors to make an informed decision, take action or make an order - according to your online goals and objectives.

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8. Cross sell and sell up. You've spent time making each page valuable, so help your customers find information with a link that makes sense. The more interactive your site is, the more value you add to their experience. Good, clear navigation is essential.

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