Analysis: Information Gathering

The first step with any web project is to analyze all the relevant data. This processes is also often called discovery. Our goal in this stage is to determine the specific ways your business can benefit from a new website. And to do that we will need to ask you a lot of questions and to try to gather as much information about your business and about the project as possible. When we are done, we will synthesize our findings into three questions: what is the purpose of your website, what are your website goals, & who is your target audience?

What Is the Purpose of Your Website?

The first question that we will need to answer is why do you need a website? Because our goal is to create a website that helps your business, we need to determine what we wish to accomplish with the website. Answering this general question will allow us to formulate specific objectives and goals.

Authority Website

An authority website is a website whose general goal is to showcase professional expertise and to generate new clients or to gather new leads. If you want to encourage the following actions, you probably need an authority website:

  1. Prompt visitors to schedule an appointment.
  2. Encourage visitors to request a free quote or consultation.
  3. Become impressed with the quality of your services.
  4. Understand how your services can benefit them.

Commercial Website

A commercial website is a website whose goal is to sell goods or services. eCommerce is one type of commercial website, but businesses with physical store-fronts can also benefit greatly from a commercial website. If you want to encourage the following actions, you probably need a commercial website:

  1. Attend an event or purchase tickets
  2. Purchase a product through your website.
  3. Find your various locations and their hours.
  4. Look through a catalog or inventory of products.
  5. Learn more about goods you sell at your physical store-front.

Branding Website

A branding website is a website whose goal is to generate awareness or partipation in a brand or an organization. If you want to encourage the following behavior, you probably need a branding website:

  1. Recognize a logo or slogan
  2. Partake in a giveaway, contest, or election.
  3. Attend a meeting or an event.
  4. Share or promote the organization
  5. Make a donation or give support.

What Are Your Website Goals?

Once the purpose of your website is established, it is time to come up with several specific and articulable goals. A good goal for your website is something that is demonstrable or verifiable. This is important, because by the end of the project we will need to determine how well the website performed. For example, a good goal for a eCommerce site might be to increase daily sales by 2%. Or, a plastic surgeon might hope to double the number of leads generated by an online form. Each business will have it’s own unique set of goals, and your website will be planned, designed, & developed specifically in order to accomplish these goals.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

The last and final part of our analysis will be to determine who your target audience is. Understanding who is likely to visit your website will enable us to make better decisions about content, design, and development, and will enable us to more accurately predict and test the future success of your website.

Depending on your business, understanding your target audience could be the single most valuable metric available to your business. If you sell products it will enable you to more successfully sell more; if you provide a service, it will enable you to better market your services; if you are a professional, it will enable you to seem more professional. Information such as location, age, gender, affluence, buying habits, affiliations, etc., will enable you to market your business to your visitors in the most effective way possible.

Next phase: Planning