Three Basic Questions You Should Answer Before Building Your New Website

Updated on Oct 1, 2022

Knowing the answers to these three questions will help your site’s messaging stay focused and clear.

Before thinking about your site’s colors, fonts, images, and content, you should answer these three basic questions about your website’s messaging and goals. The answers will guide you throughout your site design process and help insure your site is focused and will get the results you want.

1. Who is your target audience?

Sometimes the answer to this question is obvious, but in many cases it’s not. Often companies and organizations will offer a variety of goods or services which target different markets. It might be best to split your site into two very targeted sites rather than having one aimed at two separate markets, which would be confusing.

2. What is your tagline, in non-marketing speak?

Have you ever visited a corporate website, studied their home page, and still had no clue about what their product or service was? I see this all of the time. Often, there are two reasons for this.

  1. The website didn’t bother to mention it succinctly. Companies can be so wrapped up in the minute details of their products or services that they forget to mention, in basic language, what they actually do on a fundamental level. Or…
  2. Their tagline consists of marketing gibberish which is virtually meaningless, i.e., “Enterprise solutions that adapt to your business needs” or something like that. Don’t try to sound fancy. Explain your product or service in one sentence of plain English and make that your tagline! It’s what everyone will be seeing on your home page and in Google search results. (You should include search keywords in that tagline, but that is an entirely different conversation about SEO).

Your visitors should be able to tell what your company offers within ten seconds of visiting your site.

3. What is the number one thing you want your visitors to do on your site?

This is another seemingly obvious consideration that is often overlooked. Folks want their site to have the latest widgets and animation effects, but don’t consider the fundamental purpose of the site. Perhaps you want people to:

  • fill out a contact form
  • give you their email addresses for future communications
  • purchase your product or service via your online store
  • donate to your organization
  • sign up to volunteer
  • call your business’ land-line
  • come to your physical store

Make sure your call-to-action is clear, and that your site clearly guides people to that goal.

The End Goal

The goal of these questions is to make your site FOCUSED and CLEAR.  The message has to be really dumbed down. I’m not saying that your visitors are dumb, but they are busy and don’t have patience to decipher vague websites and messaging, and they’ll move to competitors who can communicate clearly.

So, stay laser-focused on keeping your messaging clear and your call-to-action prominent and simple on your website! – Brian

Subscribe to My Posts

Join 287 other subscribers

Leave a Comment or Question

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Articles

20 Critical Problems Your WordPress Website Probably Has Right Now

20 Critical Problems Your WordPress Website Probably Has Right Now

These are the most common and dire problems that I find on existing client websites that I work on for the first time. Check your website for these issues today, or contact a web developer to do a site audit! 1. Your site is not getting backed up regularly Many...

What You Need to Know About Privacy Laws and Your Website

What You Need to Know About Privacy Laws and Your Website

There has been an avalanche of legislation in the United States and Europe regarding online privacy since the rise of the Internet. Today, publishing anything on the web requires familiarity and compliance with privacy laws to avoid the possibility of legal action or...

What You Need to Know About Using Contact Forms on your Website

What You Need to Know About Using Contact Forms on your Website

A contact form is a common feature of many business websites. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to get in touch with you to purchase your goods or services. However, contact forms have several important pitfalls that you may not know...

What You Need to Know About Using Fonts on Your Website

What You Need to Know About Using Fonts on Your Website

Often designers will hand me a website design that uses custom fonts (i.e., not the free ones available online). And just as often, they and the client are unaware of the costs and implications of using these fonts on the web. Web Font Licensing Costs Unfortunately,...

How to Set Up Your Domain Name, Custom Email, and Web Hosting

How to Set Up Your Domain Name, Custom Email, and Web Hosting

Sometimes I get a client who is starting from scratch and needs to get a domain name, branded email accounts, and web hosting (or sometimes they have the domain name already). Here's my process to get that all set up, along with some tips and tricks. Note, the order...

Why I Use the WordPress Divi Theme

Why I Use the WordPress Divi Theme

If you ask a WordPress developer what their favorite builder theme is, you'll get a very opinionated answer, kind of like asking a photographer what brand of camera is best, or a gamer what console is best. The truth is, there are a lot of great themes out there. Many...

My Website Accessibility Checklist

My Website Accessibility Checklist

Per United States and European law, your website needs to be designed so that folks with various types of physical or cognitive disabilities will be able to access the information or perform the functions offered on your website. Not complying could result in...

Why You Should Own Your Own Domain Name and Web Hosting Accounts

Why You Should Own Your Own Domain Name and Web Hosting Accounts

I always tell my clients to set up their own domain name and web hosting accounts and pay for with their own credit card. I do not provide hosting. Here's why I think you should not let your web developer, agency, or any third party own your web and domain name...

My Website Project Kickoff Questionnaire

My Website Project Kickoff Questionnaire

These are some questions I think about before starting a new website project. It's a great checklist to go through before starting to help you scope out your project. 1. Audience and Purpose Who is the target audience of the website? What is the site tagline, in...

Shares