As an award-winning digital agency, we get daily enquiries from businesses who want a new website developing. No matter how talented we are(!) we can’t read minds, so being prepared with details of your website brief can help in achieving the deliverables you require. Not to mention, it will save time and budget if your objectives are clear from the outset.
Before the project starts it is also important to share your brief with your colleagues, for example; can your IT department set up any integrations needed? What will the impact be on the businesses finances? Who will deal with daily online enquiries? Who will prepare the site’s content?
So, how do you start putting together a brief for a new website build? Fear not, we have listed all the things you need to consider when briefing a digital agency on your next website project.
Who will be visiting your site? Why are they there and what action do you want them to take? Do you want them to contact you? Download a brochure? Or sign up to your newsletter?
In the brief give examples of what your main competitors are doing with their sites. It is useful for an agency to learn from what they are doing and devise ways to make your site even more compelling. You can also give examples of what you don’t like about your competitors’ websites and why.
It is essential you are clear from the outset what your budget is for the entire project and what the timescale of the project will be. Being vague about budgets and deadlines only leads to overspend and a long drawn out project.
It is important to separate your websites ‘must haves’ to your ‘nice to have’ functionalities. Outlining your must haves from the outset is crucial, these are the features that your site needs to have in order for it to function how you would like it to. The ‘nice to have’ functions also need to be taken into consideration but if budget and time do not allow, it may be that the ‘nice to haves’ have to wait. Asking an agency to add extra features after the project has begun can increase budget and time. It may also not be easily achievable if the site has been designed to function a certain way.
You will need a ‘go-live’ plan to ensure your regular visitors are informed and therefore not adversely effected by the change. Let them know a new site is coming in advance, perhaps run beta tests with your most loyal customers. If your site involves account details or the need to login, retain your customers history to make the transition as smooth as possible so there is no need for them to re-register.
In order for the agency to adhere to your company branding you will need to provide font names, colour references, high resolution logos, images and any other branding specifications you may have.
Your plans for digital marketing can help determine what kind of website is right for you. How will you raise awareness of your new site and drive traffic to it? Paid advertising, content marketing or both? These details can affect how the site is designed and how it functions.
Giving your agency access to your current analytics account can help them understand what has and what hasn’t worked in the past. If you are not already doing so, getting to grips with analytics going forward can help you monitor things like traffic to your site, most popular pages visited, bounce rates etc… This data will help with your digital marketing strategy and provide a clearer vision on what aspects of your site may be weaker than others.
Creating a new website from scratch can be an exciting project, but it is essential to think about your customers’ needs rather than your own. To discuss your plans for a new website please get in touch with the 9xb team and we will be happy to advise.