Tag: website design

19
Sep

Everything You Need – for Website Projects

For many, just knowing where to start can be the biggest challenge with web-design projects. With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy wee checklist (everybody loves a list,) to fill in the gaps.

1. What’s the purpose of your new site?
What’s your new website for — is it to communicate a change of direction for your company? Introduce E-Commerce functionality? Show a new brand position? Generate more sales? The clearer a picture we have of the end goal, the more we can help find ways to achieve it.

2. Can you provide info on your company?
Let’s talk about you a little. Some info on your organisation helps us get a feel for who you are and what you stand for.

Any of the following is helpful.

– What does your company do?
– What makes your company special compared to others?
– Does your company have any specific vision, mission or values?
– Any other info?

Company documents, links to your current website or Facebook page all work.

3. Who’s the target audience?
Another big one. We want to ensure that your new site reaches the right people and engages them in the right way. What can you tell us about the people you are targeting?

Are they…

Young/Old?
Male/Female?
Fun/Serious?
Take their time/Don’t have time to waste?
Any specific legibility issues to consider?
Anything else ?

If you’re targeting all of these people, this is fine – we can factor that in too.

4. Who’ll manage the website after we’re done?
Once the project ends.

We’d like to know the following about the people we hand over too.

– What would be their preferred platform (WordPress/Umbraco/Squarespace/Other?)
– Are they (Beginner/intermediate/advanced?)
– Is any training required after the site is built?

5. Tell us about the pages of your new site?
One of the first things we do with your site is put together a site structure – this includes pages, menu and any additional functionality.

What we need to know?

– How many pages?
– What are on those pages – images/text/graphics/video?
– How will those pages link together?
– What features would you like on those pages?

Features may include

– Social Media Share Buttons
– Contact Forms
– News/Social Feeds
– Video Snippets
– CTA (Call-To-Action) buttons.
– Anything else you may have in mind?

Again don’t worry if don’t have everything,  include what you can and we can help with the rest.

6.  Content?
Our favourite subject – content. Nothing prevents web-projects from going live more than waiting on content (particularly written copy.)

What do we have and what do we need to create? (This can include any of the following.)

– Photographs of the people in the company or main products/services.
– Written copy to go on the site, likely to include about-us text, service text, etc…
– Graphics or infographics to highlight key statistics, customer data or product features/benefits.
– Any videos you have sitting on YouTube/Vimeo?

Like we said, the more you can provide the better.

7. Any SEO goals for your new site that you’d like to implement?
If you have SEO goals, let us know what they are and we can look at ways to implement these into the site.

We’d like to know about any of the following.

– Any data from your previous website (such as a Google Analytics, Yoast or Crazy Egg Reports?)
– SEO actions already taken?
– Information on Keywords/ Meta tags/ landing Pages?

And finally any tools or measures you would like to take with the new site?

8. Do you have brand guidelines?
We are designers, what can we say. Another favourite, if you have them, we want them.

9. Crucial Functionality & Anything We’ve Missed?
There is a whole host of other functional things to consider with your new website.

They can include any of the following…

– Do you have web-hosting?
– If you require web-hosting, are there any particular things we should provide? Additional Security? Database Protection? E-Mail Systems?
– Do you have access to your domain name? If not, where can we source this?
– Do you have a partner that can assist with the technical part of the project – an IT company, web-development staff or separate web hosting company?
– Any cookie requirements/ legal statements to go on the site?
– Anything else we may have failed to mention throughout this list?

10. Time and Budget?
How long do we have and how much do you have to spend?

Starting with time…

Looking past the ‘Go-Live’ date, are there other dates in-between? Website projects can take months or more, so if we’re creating content, we want to make this available to you as soon as possible.

Regarding budget…

it helps to know this as early as possible. It allows us to properly spec the project. Usually a ballpark of where you feel comfortable with minimum-to-maximum spends is fine. We can take it from there. If you’d like help on maximising project budgets, we have a post on that too, check it out >>>

And that’s us. Whether you have everything on the list or not, don’t worry, we can help fill in the gaps and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions?

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen and happen fast and in a big way. He wants things done yesterday and is relentlessly driven in his quest to make tomorrow better than today for his company, the people he serves and the wider community.

28
Sep

Professional Service Websites – 7 Tips

Where to start when building that website for your firm can be a bit daunting. We thought, we’d take a moment out of our day and see if we can help? 

These are 7 tips to help those who are considering how to build their next professional services website or those who simply want to refresh what they currently have.

1. START WITH CONTENT

Many traditional website designers used to create layouts, structures and then create content to fit. We suggest the opposite – create the content first- and create a responsive structure to suit. The reason being is that content list can be a bit daunting and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start? The list may include – staff bios, service benefits, specific methodologies, images, news items, etc. It may include information on culture, values, vision, etc. Get all the information down in one place – post-it notes, scrap sheets of paper, etc. Anywhere, you can look over it all in one go.

Then work out what’s important? Prioritise which bits of content you want to emphasise? These are the bits where you use professional photography, copywriting or even video. By starting with content, you build a more user-friendly site and are more in control of the areas of your company that draw the most attention. Another really great tip is to use leverage and use the images, videos or articles (content) to share on Social Media channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter – obviously a critical part of your digital presence.

2. PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE

Professional services are all about people and relationships – your website should be big on this. Bring your people to life online, this usually means – great images of your staff, personal stories, anecdotes, anything that builds the human story. Some like technical but most don’t so keep specialist information in a separate place to more general information.

The simple act of creating a simple clean layout with just the right amount of information that a client needs to know is an effective way to build a good professional site.

3. TESTIMONIAL SHEET

Not just a website one, but definitely one that will enhance any Business Development activities – the client testimonial sheet. Many professional firms are wary about publishing testimonials, especially on their website, in fear of having their clients poached. We believe that showing others that you do a good job is more than worth the risk.

The most significant improvement to our sales process has been the introduction of a ‘client and testimonial sheet.’ More testimonials gives you greater credibility. You cannot have too many of these. Have them on your website but also a simple doc or PDF file to E-Mail to show new people that you are trying to do business with can be helpful.

We don’t believe you can really have enough testimonials.

4. BESPOKE REQUIREMENTS

Most organisations will have services that are similar if not completely identical to their competitors. Whether it is advising on selling a business, providing an insurance specification or creating a will – we nearly all do the same things on paper. However, ‘it’s not what you do but the way that you do it.’ Being able to talk authentically about the differences demonstrate greater value-add and will help you stand out compared to others.

5. TELL A STORY

As a follow-up to the last tip. Your website should have a basic message, theme or a range of ideas that differentiate you in the marketplace. 95% of professional service firms rightly say that client-service is at the heart of their offering – this is a good message – but when everybody says the same thing, you may want to consider going a little further.

How do you serve those clients better than everybody else? Are you faster? More dynamic? More friendly? More precise? Do you have more specialised knowledge? More useful partnerships? A joined-Up Approach? Obsessed about the detail? Pick a couple of ideas and tell a few stories either with your web-copy or images that will help to emphasise and bring these ideas to life.

6. MAKE CONTACT EASY

A very, very simple one but something which can be neglected at times. It is YOUR duty to ensure that the person looking at your content can reach you easily. This means contact details in all the right places – on the home-sliders, on the menu, an easily-accessible contact-page, a good quality enquiry form, social media links or numbers directly to partners. You decide what that line between ‘accessible’ and ‘desperate’ is but it should never be a chore to contact any organisation. Otherwise you don’t deserve the business.

7. CONTEXT

Professional services are all about reputation and relationships. The majority of your clients will have come through referrals.

Try wherever possible and with whatever means to tell a story – even a short one about the kind of service you provide? There are so many tools out there such as video which allow you to introduce a little more of the human side of yourself. Take a chance and get yourself out there. You’ll be one of the few that do and fortune favours the brave.

If you’d like some help – contact us >>>

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft, a design and branding studio based in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.