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Website Planning and Consultation

Before making a decision to develop and launch a website, it is critical to first plan the website. Establish from the outset what the goals for the website will be. This will help you to create a better and more relevant website presence, one that is more relevant, useful and also purpose driven. Good pre-website development planning can determine the ultimate success or failure of a website so it’s important to take the time to carefully think through the process.

 

Website planning can be a daunting and time consuming process, and generally the larger and more complex the website the greater the challenges.

 

When planning to establish a website, a good place to start is to firstly determine who the website audience will be. These groups are also referred to as the website target audiences. You can start by firstly defining what the purpose of servicing each audience group through your website will be and also what content will be required to appeal to cater to each of these user groups.

 

When outlining who your users are, try to group them as this will help you to identify what their needs are. Think broadly and not just of the immediate users that come to mind.

 

For example, when planning to set up an ecommerce website selling scuba diving gear, don’t just limit your target audience to “those wanting to buy online”. This is a common mistake that most website owners make. Break down your shopper groups into segmented groups according to their buying traits, demographics, needs, level of experience, frequency of ordering, and the likes. These groups can include professional scuba divers, scuba diving clubs, non experienced scuba divers (beginners) etc. Each of these groups of customers is different and thus has different purchasing and information requirements.

 

The experienced shoppers will probably know exactly what they want and be very brand and model specific, where as ‘the beginners’ will be some what ignorant and will want to be guided through the buying and purchasing process. Scuba diving clubs on the other had may be interested in volume discounts and membership benefits. You can see that by categorizing your shoppers into such groups you will be better able to plan what information you will need to provide for each of these customer groups to ensure that your website satisfies them.

 

To get more specific and a little deeper (excuse the pun!), we believe it’s helpful to identify your target audience as actual stakeholders. This will help you think more broadly about your website audience and will there for make your website planning more in depth and relevant.

 

The word ‘Stakeholder’ is a marketing term used to describe those people either internal or external to the organization that are effected or influenced directly or indirectly by the organization. Indentifying who the stakeholders are will allow you to provide more relevant information for a greater range of groups of people.

 

Thus when planning your website think in terms of;

 

“Who will my website influence”?

 

“Who may use our website or could use our website for some mutual value”?

 

An example of an alternative stakeholder group are your employees!

 

Let me give you an example;

 

A client calls and says; “I am currently on your website and want to place an order for the blue beginners’ spear gun so I can go fishing with my mates on the weekend”.

 

There for you need to ask yourself, how will our employees respond to such situations? Is my website structured in such a way that caters for my employees also? Are my employees required in the planning process? What information must my website contain to facilitate our employees?

 

Stakeholders can also be people like council, regulators, the bank issuing your online merchant account, corporate customers, visually impaired people, potential ventures capitalists who could be desiring to inject some funds into your company, to young children who will influence the parent’s ultimate buying decision and are on your website doing their own pre-purchase research.

 

There for thinking broadly and laterally about the people who will interact with your website will help you to plan what information you should include on your website as well as how that information should be structured.

Secondly, it is essential to establish the overal and general purpose of the website. Its ok to include this as second step although it may seem general, as addressing step one mentioned above will help shed light on this process. Starting here can be to general, to early, and cause you to feel overwhelmed. Further more, it can cause you to think about yourself and your needs alone and not the needs of those that will ultimately determine the success of the website, its use and its uptake.

 

Indentifying the general purpose of the website when planning the website, will help you set the higher level goals of the website and will give you a guide line to work with when determining ways you can accomplish these goals for each user group.

 

You can start by asking yourself, as well as those who will be involved in the website, “what does the website need to accomplish”. Is it higher sales, greater exposure, geographic reach, communication efficiency, a smarter corporate identity, or do we simply want a website because everyone else has one and we feel we must? (This is a fair enough reason to have one, and do not let any one else to you otherwise!). Or do we want to replace our existing website because you feel a new one will better address our needs?

 

All of these are valid purposes. The idea is to establish these form the outset and then work through all the ways that your website can be used to accomplish these purposes.

 

 

For any enquiries or further information, please Contact Us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Sydney Website Development and eCommerce Solutions

Cyber Efficiency provides professional website solutions that allow small to medium organisations 'do business' with their customers, partners and employees over the Internet in an easy and highly effective way.

Our highly advanced Content Management Systems and Internet development expertise means that we can deliver great value to your organisation in sales, customer reach and communication efficiencies.

Need help or getting started?Contact Cyber Efficiency today to speak to an Internet consultant for a free, no obligation discussion about your needs. We would like to share some thoughts with you and demonstrate how our Internet and Website Solutions will help you move forward in the right direction.

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