Undergoing a regular website review makes good sense but it is also a good time to think about and define the basics of your business. What is your website intended to achieve and who is your target market? In doing this the following should assist you in conducting the review.
- What are your goals?
This might seem so blindingly obvious that you don’t need to write it down, but if you search around the web you’ll find an awful lot of websites that simply don’t make sense. There are ecommerce sites with no call to action anywhere, brochure websites that don’t have any contact details, and much more. Once you define your goals it becomes very clear how you need to focus your website, and what are key elements that must be included.
There are many goals that a business might have for their website, and being clear about those goals will make the visitor experience far more beneficial.
- What is your target audience (demographic).
Whilst defining your target market, or audience, would have been one of the first steps in deciding to create a business, defining your goals in step 1 will help you refine your understanding and definition of the audience you want to reach with your website. (just a reminder, markets change all the time, so it’s worth revisiting this question on a regular basis)
Why is defining your audience important? In the context of your website it will determine the best graphic look and feel for your website, how the content is written and presented, the style of images used, even down to such details as font size etc.
In a broader marketing context, knowing your audience or target market impacts on every aspect of your business, from determining the customer need that you intend to meet, what your unique selling point (USP) is, product development, how you communicate with your customers etc.
Some questions that help to define your audience include:
- What makes your product or service unique?
- How is your business different from your competitors, why should they choose you?
- Where does your product or service sit in the market, is it cheaper or more expensive, how does the quality compare?
- What advantage do you offer your customers?
- Do you have unique or special products and knowledge?
As you answer these questions, you will begin to build up a picture of your target audience, and that definition will be extremely useful when you are creating content for your website.
- Research your competition and their websites
Online or offline, understanding who your competitors are, what their USP is, and how they convey their brand is extremely important.
As part of your research for your regular website review, you need to look at your competitors’ websites in detail (the web makes it far easier to research the competition).
The goal of this research is:
- To understand your competitor’s products and services
- Compare your products and service, are they competitive?
- Try to assess their target audience
- Evaluate what works and what doesn’t work on their websites
- Other Checklist items:
- What is the renewal date of your domain name?
- Review your standard terms and conditions, returns policy
- Refine your Google Analytics account and its metrics to better monitor your website’s performance.
- Plan to start writing regular blogs, and research social media to decide what is supporting your business (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc)