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What are the must-have features for my website?

- Alex Karei, marketing director for Webspec Design, blogs about web strategy.

For such an easy question, there must be an easy answer, right?

  1. About Page
  2. Staff Gallery
  3. Shopping Cart

Wait … you don’t sell your product online? Okay, then:

  1. About Page
  2. Staff Gallery
  3. Contact Form

Oh, shoot - you have a team of two people. Maybe a Staff Gallery doesn’t make sense anymore?

Round, and round, and round we go. The truth is, “what are the must-have features” really isn’t the right question to ask. The content on your website is heavily reliant on two things: one, the audience, and two, the goals you have for your website. So in essence, the “must have features” are going to be influenced by the answers to two questions.

Who’s your target audience?

You must take your audience into consideration when you develop your website; if not, you might be providing content written for the wrong people. Even worse, you might be providing the wrong content entirely. In an ideal world, you will know basic demographic information and the goals of your target audience. Then, you can deliver the content they want to see, how they want to see it.

Think of it this way. If you have a website about a summer camp for elementary school children - and you write it to that audience, you're missing out. Why? Because the parent is the one that is making that purchasing decision. They want to know different things than the child would want to know, and the reading level will be quite different. 

What are your website goals?

I’m not talking about the overall traffic you want to see. Everyone wants people to get to their website. What I want to know is, when people arrive, what would you like them to do?

If you can’t think of anything, think of it this way: why do you have a website in the first place? Examples of potential goals would be lead generation (this could be forms completed), purchases made, or event registrations. It might even be the knowledge that your users are getting three or four pages deep into your site, if you're providing purely educational content. Are they working their way through your content, or dropping off of the home page?

Once you have the answers to these two questions, you’ll be well on your way to identifying the “must have” features for your website. Those features will serve a greater purpose because they are there for a reason. And, hopefully, they will help your business or organization grow as a result.

Alex Karei_124Alex is the marketing director for Webspec Design, a website design and development and digital marketing agency in Urbandale. Connect with her on:

Email: alex@webspecdesign.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/alextriesitout
Instagram: www.instagram.com/alextriesitout
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alexandriakarei


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