The main thing to remember is that the purpose of a website brief is to bring clarity.
In short, website briefs have to assess what your business is all about, what you want your website to do, and what outcomes do you want your website achieve?
A description of your company: This is sometimes overlooked on a website brief but it’s important to provide information about your business especially if you’re looking to hire a web design agency to do the job. This includes things like company size, locations, what your brand stands for, your history as well as your company mission, values and your vision. What products or services do you sell? Your USP, where does your company stand in the marketplace?
Target Audience: This is arguably one of the most important elements of your website brief. Essentially, a website is meant to make life a bit easier for your potential clients so it’s vital to describe your ideal customer persona as well as you can. What are their motivations? What are their turn offs? Are you selling membership-only content? What is the one takeaway that you want them to have when they leave your site? What other websites do they visit? Included psychographics and demographics here as well.
Your Goals: Identifying your new sites goals ensures that your website brief is effective, stays within scope and brings the outcomes you desire. How will you judge the success of the new website? Do you have sales or visitor targets? An example of a few common goals are:
- Increase brand awareness,
- Improve online presence,
- Increase online exposure,
- Increase sales,
- Generate leads and enquiries,
- Improved source of information through blogs etc.
Competitor Research: Looking at competitor websites gives you an idea of what pain points their website is not addressing so that you can solve them in your design. Have a look at their features, theme layout, photography, colour palette and see if there’s anything particular that catches your eyes like key functionalities. What do you like and dislike about your competitors’ websites?
Look And Feel: Decide overall what you want the look and feel of the website to be. Is it aimed at potential physio patients so you want the practice to look modern, professional and vibrant? Or is it aimed at people who might want to take up aromatherapy as you want the website to feelmore warm and homey? What illustrations or photographs are available or that you like? How much free reign can the web designer have? What impression do you want the customer to have when they go on to your website?
Technicalities and Functionalities: This is nitty-gritty parts of what you want your website to include. Do you want video and audio clips, online payment, registration forms, membership login areas, location maps or database integration? Does the site feature user logins? How will registrations be handled, authorised, and managed? What will be on the user dashboard? User profiles – What data will be included? What search criteria? Also include general areas that you require on your website such as: News/Blog, Social media feeds, Discussion Forum, Interactive Map, Events section, Online Bookings, Team Page, Covid Form etc.
Content: If you will be providing new content for the ite, it’s clever to have a rough sitemap of the content. Be clear on who is responsible for creating the content and what the approval process is like. Describe how the site will be managed on a day-to-day basis. How regularly will you be updating and adding content? How many people are going through the approval process? What images are currently available? Other than Google Analytics, do you need to gather any more on-going data from the site and for what purpose?
Hosting, Support & Maintenance: Ideally, you’d want the company that is designing your website to provide hosting, support and maintenance for your site but if not, it’s important to detail things like how much on-going support do you think will be required for the site? What might you need help with moving forward? Hosting setups in general, should provide secure hosting, regular backups and most importantly, a fast website.
Online Marketing & SEO: It is vital that your website is optimised to maximum capacity for search. Search engine optimization, pay per click, social media and digital media have never been more powerful. So it’s important to include a well thought out online marketing strategy.
Budget: It’s important to remember that if you’re hiring an agency, that you’re paying for a product and a service, so outline your budget (reasonably) and they’ll see what they can do for you.
ABOUT DIGITAL PRACTICE
Led by Marketing expert, Muireann Fitzmaurice, DigitalPractice.ie is a social media agency that create branded social media content for professional practice owners. It is a subscription service that provides physiotherapy-based content to the practice owner on a monthly basis that can be used on all social media channels. Saving you time and headspace each month to concentrate on other areas of the business.