Creating a new website for your company is no small task. Design is only part of the challenge; building the content of the new site needs careful thought and attention. As content writers and website project managers we ask a lot of questions. I thought it might be useful to list these here for anyone considering building or redesigning a business website.
My list of questions is pretty exhaustive. It will tease out all the important information needed to create the type of content website visitors now expect to find. I’ve grouped these questions to correspond with the key sections of a professional website. Answer them as fully as you can to get your message across.
For the About Us section
- How do you currently describe who you are and what you do to potential clients? (Pull out a few examples e.g. from proposals or other marketing collateral.)
- Who do you work for? What kind of companies and people benefit from your help? Where are they based?
- Why do they need you? What issues do you solve for them? (One way to do this is to ask yourself: “When should someone pick up the phone to your company?” Make a list: “Call us if you want to…..”)
- What is going on in the marketplace that makes your services so relevant today?
- What would people search for online to find you? What phrases would they search for?
- What are your particular skills, specialism and expertise? What are you known for?
- List the impressive clients or noteworthy projects you have worked on. Describe your most successful project/client to date.
- High-level benefits you deliver?
- When did you set up your company? Why did you set it up – what’s the story?
- What’s the company structure, number of employees etc? Describe the team.
- Any awards, accolades or relevant qualifications/associations?
- Where would you like to see the business going – what is your ambition?
- How would you describe your mission? What is it that you’re aiming to do? How do you make the world a better place? (Weird question I know but it’s a very informative one).
- What inspired you to set up in business? What was the idea behind it? What difference did you set out to achieve?
- What does your company stand for? What do you believe in? What values are important to you?
- What bugs you about your industry – your biggest frustration?
- Biggest kick you get out of work?
- Describe your approach to your work.
- How does this improve customers’ lives?
- Why choose your company? Why do clients come back to you?
- Who are your competitors?
- What makes your approach different and better from all the other companies in your space?
- Who or what inspires you?
- List your services.
- How would you group these services?
- Which are your main/most popular ones? Which would you most want to highlight on the website?
- For each service give the name, state who it relevant for and why they need it, the problem this service solves, state your approach to this service and the benefits it delivers.
- Provide details on your team.
- What information would you like to appear on the site for each of the team? What tone of voice do you want to convey?
- Provide images of each of the team or instruct a professional photo shoot.
- Any other information you’d like to see to reflect the personality of the team or company?
Clients and Projects
- Create a list of your current clients, giving name, buyer, service delivered, testimonials and case study if available, location.
- Which clients/projects would you like to highlight on the new website? Which are you particularly proud of and why? Collect together information on each key project.
A Library of Valuable Content
(NB: This is different from company news. As an example see:http://www.hingemarketing.com/library)
- What useful information do you provide to clients now, on the website or in other formats?
- What other useful information would demonstrate your expertise and give benefit to your clients?
- List the type of information you could provide. e.g. articles, guides, research, recommended books or papers by others etc.
- List previous news articles you’ve written that you’d like to see on the new site.
- Include details of events, awards etc. etc.
- Provide hard copy or links of articles you’ve had published in the press.
- Provide us with the contact details for your company that you’d like to see on the site.
- A map and directions are useful too.
- Specific legal wording?
And anything else you think we need to know?!