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Check List Before Buying A Website – Part 1

Buying anything can be a long process these days. No one wants to get it wrong. So investigating your purchase before you buy is something that is second nature to us all now. The most difficult problems come when buying something complicated, or less familiar. Websites are no exception. We could write a thousand points on this topic, but have limited it to 2 articles. If you are not sure on your check list for buying a website, read on….

How Can I Use A Website?

This may seem like a silly question, but many small businesses do lose sight of what the purpose of their website is. You can have a site to help manage your internal administration, a site strictly for marketing, a website linked to an app to manage inventory. However, most businesses use websites for one main reason: as a sales and marketing tool.

Who Is This Website Targeting?

This is your most important question. When marketing yourself online you need to mirror your existing marketing efforts and create consistency for your potential buyers. What is your brand voice? Who exactly are your customers? How do they want to be approached?
These questions are extremely important as your target market and their buying psychology has a big effect on how you use design and content to put across your company’s message. Age, income, location and culture are just a few of the factors you should be considering at this stage. If you are selling to businesses your process will be very different to a situation selling to consumers.

What Is The Purpose Of This Site?

We’ve already established that sales and marketing is usually the purpose for a site, but we need to be a bit more specific. Are you looking to actually sell products and services through the website? Do you need that function? It’s a good idea to be clear about what the marketing process is for any business. Some websites are simply used as an additional tool to support a largely offline campaign, whereas others are the main source of sales for a company.

Why Do Your Customers Need This Site?

As mentioned earlier, it can be easy to lose focus on the needs of the customer when creating your online presence. What exactly are your customers needs when they engage with you online?
If your other marketing has your customers ready to buy, then maybe you need fairly little information on your website. If you are using the site more as a complete marketing and educational sales tool, then you need to consider what content you need for your site and how best to help your customers understand and trust what you have to offer. Do you need to explain your products and services with a blog? Do you need some new product pictures? Should you create a video to demonstrate your services? All of these are good questions to ask yourself when you are still in the investigation phase of buying a website. This way  you can save yourself time and money by not making expensive changes at a later stage.

We’ll be following up on this check list for buying a website next month, so pop back and see if you’ve got the same things on your list….

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