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If you just want a new website, you're going to miss out

So perhaps you're thinking about a new website? You might already have a site that is a bit old and needs a refresh, or maybe even have recently started a new business. But before you go any further, why do want a new site?

Has someone told you you should get a new site? Are you feeling left behind when you look at your competitors sites? Perhaps both? These are valid reasons, but if you are considering a new site, you need to be thinking beyond choosing a web designer who can 'get on with it'.

We know as a business there are always 101 other things going on; fires to put out, bills to pay and people to chase. But developing a new website deserves your full commitment. Gone are the days when a website would just sit there and tell people about what you do and how they can contact you. Your website is an investment in your business, and should be treated as such.

Approaching a web agency will help to get you some feedback on your ideas, and in many cases ideas are what you pay an agency for, but these must be met with either enthusiasm or constructive feedback. As an agency principal, we can get inside your business but we'll never know it like you do; so we need your input to challenge us and make sure we find solutions either through design or technology.

Other things to think about (and budget for) include photography and copywriting. Don't just think "I'll use some stock photos" or "I'll copy some bits off another site". Your visitors will see through this, but will (perhaps subconciously) recognise and value professional words and images. More than anything though, it'll probably mean they'll remember your site or buy from you.

A website in 2010 presents a huge opportunity on so many different levels. And, your website might not be the only place people can find you online either. Social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and of course Facebook give you many other oppoertunities to present your business or your brand online. OK, so these won't be suitable for everyone, but if you can find your audience there, then perhaps you should be there too. Promoting your site is just as important as building it. The way the web is used by your audience changes almost daily, and you'll need a strategy that grabs their attention.

So, here's some questions you should be asking yourself.

  1. How will you know if your website is a success?
  2. How will you promote your new site - both online and offline?
  3. Who is a typical visitor to your website? Who would be your ideal visitor?
  4. What's the number 1 goal that a visitor should be able to achieve on your site?

Once you've answered these, then talk to us. We'll help you define your objectives for your new site so that it grows your business and spreads your brand, rather than just be a tick in the box when the jobs done.

Andrew profile

Andrew is the founder of multi-award winning A Digital and believes that technology should be an enabler, making a positive impact on the way people live and work.

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