Our Process - Discovery
What Kind of Site Do You Need?
Here's a list of some of the most popular types of websites IMUK has developed for clients over the years.
- Personal Website: Non-business perhaps for an individual or family that wants to share information on the web.
- Social Sharing Website: Could be for a business, non-profit or an individual. The purpose is for users to communicate and interact. Can be used as an effective way to promote a business or an important source of valuable data.
- Publishing/Blog Website: Provides a platform for authors, writers and bloggers. Often includes biographies of publishers and categories of subject matter.
- Digital Community Website: These relate to digital communities rather than physical communities. They are used by people for social interaction and discussion of mutual interests. Also a valuable source of valuable data.
- Specific Mobile Website: Needed when your target audience is found on mobile devices. Developed to provide the required information to the user with minimum navigation.
- Mobile App Website: Not to be confused with a "native app". An app website is run from a hosted application and not from within the mobile device. Usually cheaper to maintain, content can be modified on a mobile app website quickly without having to update and issue native app code.
- Bookings Website: Could be a travel, flights and hotel booking website, or a restaurant, food delivery or taxi service. These websites are connected to and integrated with one of the large industry specific booking engines such as Kayak or Synxis.
- Directory Website: The digital equivalent of the old fashioned Yellow Pages. Often used to classify and promote business services within specific geographic areas.
- Marketing Brochure Website: Used mainly as digital brochures and catalogues. Can be produced, maintained and distributed at a fraction of the cost of printed media.
- Information Website: Designed to inform users. The largest of this type of site is, of course, Wikipedia. However, businesses that create relevant and useful information can attract visitors that may then be converted into customers.
- eCommerce Website: A website focused on Levels the playing field so a small company can compete with larger companies. Do not underestimate the expense and resource requirement to maintain this sort of site though, as it can be significant.
- Regulated Industry Website: Banking, insurance, pharmaceutical and other regulated industries are required to ensure their website content is compliant with certain regulations that govern their industry. These companies require their websites to include a content management system that has an approval processes built in so that compliance departments can approve content before it is published.
Who Is The Audience?
No matter what kind of web development project is planned, we need to think about the type of people we are trying to reach. In our experience this important factor makes a major contribution to the eventual success of a project. But it's an area that's often ignored by companies when planning and implementing a new website project.
Conducting a buyer persona analysis will help outline who consumers are and who you need to ensure your website caters to.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer based on market research and real data about existing customers. When creating buyer persona(s), we consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
What is the Primary Goal?
The website may have many marketing objectives that is needs to deliver on. But it's important to have one primary goal in mind to help prioritize tasks and focus efforts.
Here are some of the most common ones:
- Acquire New Customers: If the primary role of the website is to acquire new customers, a lot of planning needs to go into the usability of the site (including navigation across different devices). Branding, presentation of information and graphics design (including imagery) are also important. Information is used to tell customers about products or services. The website should be maintained, updated and regarded as a primary sales tool.
- Improve Visitor Conversions: A visitor conversion occurs when a user completes the action the site directs them to take, such as: subscribe to an email campaign, make a purchase online, download a whitepaper, view a video, subscribe to a service, complete an online form, write a review, complete a quiz, provide feedback or complete some other action. The important thing to remember is in order to measure and manage conversions, we must define the conversion criteria at the beginning so we can ensure we have the proper conversion paths built into the site. We will also want to assign a value (in currency) to a conversion. Once the site is launched and spend is occurring on marketing, then an ROI can be calculated from the marketing expense and conversion value.
- Retain Existing Customers: It's a fact that through normal attrition most companies lose customers every year. Percentages may vary, but all business owners know it costs more money to recruit a new customer than it does to retain an old one. Retention strategies can be powerful and may include things like: personalized content, cookies to make future visits more efficient, loyalty offers, frequent communication, excellent customer service, social interaction and other compelling strategies.
- Generate Revenue via Bookings, Banners and Advertising: Affiliate websites require time and energy. There's an initial investment required to build a platform and even more investment in marketing is required to drive large volumes of targeted traffic to the site which needs to convert visitors to generate a reasonable income. Industry standard conversion rates vary, but a good rule of thumb is between 3% and 5%. So if a site does well then one visitor in twenty will convert. To be profitable, the cost of attracting a visitor must be balanced with the commission paid on conversion plus the cost of setting up and managing the enterprise.