10 Must Do’s For Writing A Website Brief
When you line up your web agency for the first meeting or read their tender document, you’re hoping to be wowed a bit. You want to walk out of the presentation, having read their submission, and know full well that these folks can do the job for you. But are you being fair to them? Are you giving them enough information in your website brief about you and your business so they can bring their ‘A’ game to the table?
The more informed the agency is, the happier you will be with your site – that’s guaranteed. So, give your web agency a chance to wow and woo you. Start by giving them the full story.
# 1. Describe Your Business
Talk about your business and put down in writing everything you do, contact details, business name, what industry you operate in, what products/services you are primarily looking to promote on your website – your website does not have to promote/sell all your products and services it can be very focused on specific items. Give the web agency as much detail as you can so they truly understand your business.
# 2. Objectives of your Website
Do you know why you’re getting a new website or if this is your first site, what are your aims, objectives and expectations? If you can’t tell the agency, how do you expect them to deliver a top class website?
# 3. Current Statistics
You probably have already gathered visitor numbers, bounce rates, traffic source data etc. Supply all the data you can to give an accurate picture of your online presence. It is also a good idea to give them details of targets you have for the new website, growth in visitor numbers, sales via the website and sales via specific traffic sources.
# 4. Overview of all products/services
List all products and services as this will have a direct bearing on your site structure. If you have a lot of products and services detail what categories and sub categories of products you have so they can gauge the scope and size of the project and cost accordingly.
# 5. USPs or unique selling points
These form an integral part of your marketing message. This part is all about message and your agency should understand your message comprehensively and visualise how they can communicate that message to the online world.
# 6. Target Markets
It is advisable that your agency knows who your target market is. They may never know it as well as you do but a solid knowledge of your target audience will enable them to design with confidence. Give them as much detail as possible, break your target market into location, gender, age, socio demographic etc
# 7. Navigation, Wire Frame & Internal Linking
In order for them to present a coherent, online solution, they must be aware of a preferred wireframe or indeed your preferences regarding navigation.
# 8. Content Management System Requirements
If you want to update your own content, you will need a CMS (content management system). Tell your prospective supplier this and ensure it’s something they can supply. Be specific with your requirements, if you prefer one platform over another let them know. Wordpress is an easy to use CMS and a large per cent of businesses use WordPress for their website and/or blog.
# 9. Website Copy
Who will supply the copy and written content for your website? Will you write your own content or will you require a copywriter? This is an issue that must be agreed beforehand.
# 10. SEO & Social Media
Keep your web agency informed on this level too. They will need to know your thoughts and targets with regard to SEO and social media. Give them a list of your top 20 target search terms, list the top search terms for your existing website so the optimisation for these can be retained in the new site. Give them a list of your current social media accounts and where possible let them know what your strategy is for your social media so they can build elements into the site to compliment this.
These are just the top ten. Essentially you must keep your prospective suppliers in the loop as they can only design the website you want – if you tell them what you want in your brief you will get the website you need at the best cost.
So remember – full disclosure ….and the wow factor could be closer than you think! Have you any more suggestions for writing a website brief?
Sandra Hennessy has a passion for all things digital and when Sandra set up her new business in 2010 her main objective was to empower businesses to manage their online marketing in-house at an affordable cost. For 12 years Sandra has been providing online marketing services and a suite of online marketing training programmes for training organisations and SME's in Ireland.Read Full Bio