Building a great website is all about finding the right partner. Of course, whoever you select needs to have the expertise necessary to build a beautiful site, but the right partner is much more than that. If you don’t do your due diligence starting from day 1, it’s likely you could end up unhappy with the final product — or rebuilding the site sooner rather than later.
We believe that change makers, those who work where life change happens, deserve the right marketing strategies, tools and implementation. Based on our experiences from serving a broad range of clients to develop many websites over the years, here are five essentials we’ve identified for successful web partnerships:
- Make sure they put in work early.
When building a site, if you start off on the wrong foot, you may never catch up. A great partner spends time considering a strategy for the site and creating a plan that provides direction for the overall project from beginning to end. Though the plan may shift along the way, having one is crucial to preventing wasted time and mismatched expectations. One of the ways we make sure all our bases are covered from the beginning is to start with a Tech Blueprint.
- Be sure they are committed to the right website, not just the website you want or envision.
Having an idea in mind when you begin your website project isn’t a bad thing, but we’ve found the most productive and successful way to work is in collaboration. A strategic partner will listen to you and make recommendations based on what they hear and discover, rather than just what you think you want. By hiring an agency to help with the project, you’re hiring a partner to help guide you through the process. The end actually should look different — and better — than your initial thoughts or vision.
- Be clear about content.
Not only should you be clear about what you want the website to communicate, you also must be clear on a few crucial elements when it comes to the actual content: who is writing what? What content is transferring over from the old site? Who is putting the content in the new CMS? These questions must be discussed ahead of time to avoid confusion, frustration and wasted time as well as dissatisfaction with the end product.
- Know what success looks like.
This may be different for your organization versus another, but in our experience, it’s important to remember it’s about more than just a beautiful-looking site. Yes, aesthetics are important and might get a few “atta boy”s out of the gate, but the real wins happen when conversions start rolling in. Consider your goals and how the site will help achieve them. Your partner should set you up with the ability to report on your successes and failures.
- Know how easy it is to pivot.
Your best website is flexible. As your audience interacts with your site and you observe analytics, you may realize it needs to change focus or be reshaped functionally. It may need to shift for different events or seasonal content. Note, however, that this adaptability is less about design and more about calls to action.
A great website is crucial to your organization’s growth, and by collaborating with the right partner, you’ll create the website you need to move forward confidently.
At 5by5, we work hard to understand your marketing challenges and the goals tied to your mission, allowing us to come alongside your team as committed partners. If your organization is looking to refresh or revamp your website, we’d love to talk!