Choosing the right website design service for your small business can be overwhelming, given all the choices out there. That’s why it’s important to have your goals clearly defined, i.e., know exactly what you want before you choose and hire a service.

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If you don’t? Well, it could be a waste of time and money, as well as a big disappointment when it doesn’t turn out the way you want. That’s why it’s a must that you organize all of your thoughts and ideas before you consider:

Who Your Target Audience Is

To do this, you need to have your marketing message completely worked out. This requires defining who your ideal customer is, what problem they are desperately trying to solve, what is their perceived notion of how the problem will be solved, and how you believe the problem is solved.

Communicate and Learn

It’s easy to get caught up in all the technical jargon without really understanding it. That’s why it’s extremely important to understand what your web agency is talking about and doing. Ask the agency why they are making certain recommendations or decisions. It’s important to do your own research, but you should never feel like you’re in the dark about something.

What Product You Want To Sell

How many products and what kinds of products are you looking to sell? Will you be adding products on an ongoing basis? Can you make the additions or will you have your web designer do the heavy lifting?

What Customers Need To See On The Site

List all of the things your ideal customer would want and need to see on your website. Examples could include contact information, a clear explanation of exactly what your business does, order forms, product images, and so on.

How Are You Going To Present Your Offer

An effective of way of presenting an offer is as a sidebar in your blog. This is less intrusive than offering it as a pop-up, which most customers appreciate. Social media can be another great tool in presenting your offer; one way to present your offer on Facebook is to use a banner at the top of the page that includes the actual offer.

How Will They Order

It’s important to know what payment options you want to make available, whether it’s credit cards, phone orders, via PayPal, checks, gift cards, etc. Some work better if you’re selling a few products, others are preferable for larger orders.Will you create a ‘shopping cart’ type system in which you can accept multiple orders from the same individual?

How Will You Interact With Them

Interacting with your customers can be the difference between finding new ones or not. Or, even retaining the ones you have. Customers are looking for some kind of engagement with the businesses they frequent, and you must decide what kind of engagement that’s going to be. Will you send emails? If so, what email service should you use? Or, will you do it primarily through social media?

What Pages Must You Have

Keep pages to a minimum but ones you must have are home, contact, products or services, and blog. Keep it simple.

Content Is King

The agency needs to know the importance of content first – over art, design, etc. They are, first and foremost, building a framework that houses your content.