Follow these six easy steps to ensure that your website delivers as both the primary communication channel and service provider for current members while also serving as a centralised hub for new members looking to join.
When it comes to developing a website, it’s always important to ask the question “why?” Why am I doing this? How am I going to accomplish that? And, finally, What do I want to achieve? This guide aims to provide a simple six-step framework for answering those questions so that the result is a beautiful, functional website that not only helps you meet your business goals but also increases engagement.
1. Research what your audience wants
- A user-first focus while balancing internal and external views
- Data and observational research
- Outside agency support can strengthen research
Like everything in business, a website must put the customer first.
Companies will often spend the bulk of their website development time focusing on organisation and content without considering the end user’s needs. By building a site that focuses on users, you’ll create an engaging and valuable resource clients can return to again and again.
Support your research through two main sources, data and observation.
Data sources include:
- Analytics tools: These track a wide range of user activities on your existing website. Find out your most popular pages, how long people stay on your pages, how people get to your pages and more. Google Analytics is free and the industry standard, but other tools are available.
- Heat Maps: Heat mapping tools, like HotJar, highlight web page “hot spots” that can clue you into where and how people interact with your website. Like Google Analytics, it’s as simple as adding some extra code to your website.
- Surveys: These go a step further than analytics and heat maps and ask users specific questions about the website. Their answers can help you pin down tough-to-identify usability and navigation issues.
Invite users into your office or use a screen sharing interface like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to watch them interact with your website in real time. It can also help to record their screens and ask questions in a focus group setting. Focus groups can be done in person, but they can work just as well virtually. These kinds of interactions can help deepen your understanding of how the website is perceived and used.
2. Set your objectives
- Think hard and early about what you want your new website to achieve.
- Involve stakeholders to establish clear guiding principles that will generate buy-in and make tough decisions easier.