Ever spoke with a company and thought that after speaking with them that you had a good idea about what the company was about only to be confused after visiting their website? This happens to businesses and clients way more than it should. So how do you make sure that what you are taking the right approach?
I will coming purely from the tactical angle of your approach and not the specifics and webite design and function as I leave those items for my web partners to handle. With that being said. There are 5 components of the website creation process.
The first component is having a firm grasp on your vision and core values of your business. There is no possible way that your website will do what it needs to if you don't know what your business stands for. Some businesses will throw up a website because they feel like they have to have one up. A website is an important part of your business. Some would even argue that without a website, you don't have a business. The consequences of putting your website up too quickly are obviously a waste of time and money.
Once you are clear on vision make sure you are clear on what problem in the marketplace your vision will solve. This will be the catalyst for sales on your website. A more familiar way of stating this it to have a clearly defined mission statement.
From the mission statement comes your branding. How do you want your business to be perceived? This will dictate the look and feel of your site from color scheme to logos and themes.
Now you have your branding in place, it's time to get your web design and creation team in place. Make sure that the company you are working with know what they are doing and that the understand what you are about. Ask to see past work and what their process is.
You have your we structure in place and now it's time to drive traffic. Make sure that when you are marketing your site that you are doing it in a way that is consistent with your companies' values. You have worked this hard to create your site, don't ruin all of your hard work by shoddy and insufficient marketing.
The most important component to building your site is to pick a team that is going to market appropriately to the times that we live in and approach clients in a manner that you would want them approached so that your brand stays consistent.