What Does Your Website Need in 2011?

Posted by Amber Goodenough on December 20, 2010

A new year means that the website you built in 2007 is old and busted.  Sorry, I know its tough to hear.  Maybe you are attached to your site, you shared lots of good memories.  But listen up folks, the way we do business has changed so much in the last few years, heck, just in the last year alone, customers may be leaving your site because it looks dated .

Chances are, the last time you updated your site, it didn’t include links to social media or even a blog.  It’s time to face the hard truth that your site could use a makeover, maybe the way you do business too. So let’s think about it for a sec, what does the site of your dreams look like?  What websites do you love?  Just like when you go to the salon, you look at pictures to get ideas about what to do with your hair, start to do this with your site.  Does it have more photos, does it have news, does it have a contact form?

Here is a quick list of the questions you should ask yourself as you start to think about what your pretty new site should include.  Have fun with it, get wild!

  1. What is the primary aim of your website, how will it advance your business?
  2. What are the secondary goals of the site, what else do you need to communicate to your users?
  3. Who is your target audience?  What age group is your market in, what industry?
  4. What are the important elements of your site?  What needs to be there, what isn’t working and needs to be left out?
  5. Have you checked your analytics, what are they telling you about the traffic on your site?  Do you even have analytics?
  6. What design elements you want incorporated? Make a list of some favorite sites, collect photos, links etc.
  7. Timelines and budget.  How much time do you have and what can you spend?  Get these both decided upon and work towards meeting those goals.
  8. Do you simply need a makeover of the site you currently have?  Or do you need to start from scratch?
  9. Who are the people involved in the approval process?  Make sure the team shares a vision for the new project.
  10. Who will host the site?  When was the last time you checked to see how much you pay?  Is there a better deal out there?
  11. What should the site look and feel like, what emotion(s) are you trying to convey?
  12. Do you need to stay consistent with other marketing materials, brochures etc?  Do you need to update your materials as well?
  13. What kinds of media need to be displayed PDF’s, photo galleries, videos, audio ect?
  14. Social Media, do you want to link to your Facebook page, Twitter, Flickr? Do you want to incorporate a blog and or an RSS feed?
  15. Is it time to update your logo?
  16. Where should you include a call to action? You know, those little buttons that invite you to “learn more” “sign up now”.
  17. What is the desired action you want your customers to take?  Sign up for a newsletter? Buy a product? Contact you?
  18. Who will build it?  Start to get quotes, look through design portfolios, ask your friends to recommend someone.
  19. Should your new site include features such as a shopping system, a database?
  20. Do you need to be able to update it frequently?  Post news and updates?

Think it over, mull it around. Get ready to hit the ground running in 2011!  Happy Holidays!