Building out a new website for your company, campaign or organization is a significant undertaking.
There are decisions to be made on who you select for your team, what technology to integrate, what platform to build on, the needs to your target audience, vendor selection, identifying who will manage the vendor, identifying the right internal stakeholders, setting the budget and a million other things that require careful evaluation.
One area that causes significant challenges and is often the most over-looked is correctly defining the scope of the project.
Failure to define what work needs to be done, your core needs and the technological realities, is the fastest way to blowing your budget out of the water with multiple new work orders and consulting fees, as well as to create a sour working relationship internally and externally with your vendor.
The construction of a new website should never just be the sprouts from the vision of a few executives or a project run by an isolated group in the marketing department. If you do not have someone who can anticipate a person’s online behavior, who understands site architecture and has a blend of marketing, social media and technological know-how, you are going to end up with a website that has significant holes and user-flow problems.
Here are three questions to ask yourself when defining the scope of your website project:
1) Do we have someone that can help the team to create a visual site map, and discover the initial design gaps before the site goes to build?
2) Do we have someone who has several years experience in SEO that can build a strong URL, page and content structure for the website that will generate the necessary search engine juice and help drive more organic traffic?
3) Do we have an expert in social media, online engagement and user behavior to evaluate the effectiveness of the new design and page structure?
If you have someone who can address all three of the above, then you have someone who should be part of the team that builds the scope of your project and sets the technical requirements.