A successful website is not something you buy off the shelf. It is as individual as your business, with its own objectives and target audience, and that requires an altogether more bespoke approach to web design. For your web designer to make a start on the project, therefore, he or she needs a detailed brief – the raw information that allows them to create something tailored to suite the specific needs of you and your customers.
When putting together your brief, the primary thought should be who you are creating the site for. It is not for you. It is for that tightly defined group of potential customers that you (should) know all about. Their problems, their concerns, their aspirations… this is what defines the structure and content of your site.
Know what they want
Knowing everything that you know about your prospective customers will help to shape the look and layout of your site (e.g. fresh & funky, frank & functional…). It needs to resonate with them in a way that says ‘we know exactly what you want and you have come to exactly the right place to get it’. Within the appearance of the site is, of course, the content. Well-crafted wording and relevant images that engage and motivate your visitors to take action are crucial to the success, or otherwise, of your website. Perhaps you should consider engaging the services of a professional copywriter to transform your rough notes into clear, compelling copy.
What makes you different?
If you are struggling to think what your site should look like or what it should contain, take a look at other sites (there are about 650 million of them to choose from!). Look at your competitors’ sites and think how you could outdo them in the eyes of your customers. This is your Unique Sales Proposition – your USP – and it is crucial to all your marketing efforts to understand exactly what it is. When liaising with your web designer, an experienced account manager can act as a helpful intermediary. They will take you through each stage of the design and marketing process, ensuring the best outcome for your customers and your business. They will also ensure your budget is realistic and that you make the most of it.
So don’t present your designer with little more than “I want a website” to work with. Give them a carefully crafted brief and they will respond by giving you the kind of bespoke website that works hard and effectively for your business.
When our agency starts a website project we have a form with some initial questions that help us define what the brief will address.