If you want to build an effective website, then there's a lot of research that needs to go into the process. Not doing the proper research can cause you to run into all kinds of problems when your site goes live, so make sure that you do the following research ahead of time:
1. Research your target market
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to launch a website without a defined target audience in mind. If you don't know who your target audience is, then how do you know how to target them? You could end up using themes, designs, content and keywords that simply do not engage or reach your actual audience.
You need to figure out who your target audience is first and foremost so that you can plan your website around reaching and engaging them. If you don't, you'll have a difficult time achieving any kind of marketing goals that you've set in place. There are a number of ways to identify your target audience, including:
- Using the existing customer data you already have
- Using the data you have available to you on social media
- Creating surveys and asking questions to followers on social media
- Determining who benefits from the solution your business offers
- Determining the geographical areas that you are targeting
2. Research your domain name
You're going to have to choose a domain name that isn't in use. While it's easy to find out if your domain name is available, you should also make sure that the domain name wasn't used by a failed business or a site with a poor reputation in the past. Nor will you want to use a domain name that's too similar to an already existing domain name. For example, if you're selling apples, you wouldn't want the domain name "www.apples.com" as this is too similar to the domain name of a particularly giant computer company.
3. Research effective SEO strategies
SEO is an extremely important strategy that you will want to implement into your site, both on-page and off. Good SEO will allow your pages to rank high on Google's search engine results pages, thereby providing more exposure and increasing the amount of traffic that comes into your site.
However, one of the mistakes many sites make is to assume that simply throwing around a few keywords that seem relevant is enough to earn a high ranking. In-depth research is required in order to identify strong keywords that are relevant to your brand. You shouldn't use keywords that are too broad or that you won't rank for - for example, using the keyword "apple company" in content about growing apples is not going to be competitive for obvious reasons - you're competing against a huge corporation for that keyword.
4. Research your competition
Your competition can provide you with a huge well of knowledge. They've already had to go through trial and error to identify effective ways to run their site, which means that you can learn from their trial and error without having to suffer from their errors.
Competing websites can provide you with information on effective design layouts, usability features, types of content that is effective at engaging their audience and what kinds of keywords are effective for them. This is all research that you will be able to use in the planning stages of your website.
To design a website that successfully accomplishes your company's marketing goals, you need to do a wealth of research before you even get to the planning stages. For additional website design advice, call us today.