Ready to be Discovered?

July 25, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

Website Discovery Sets the Stage

The first and arguably most important phase of the website development process is the discovery phase. It sets the groundwork for everything that follows. This is the “getting to know you” phase when your agency needs to learn about who your company is, what makes your brand different and who you are targeting. This is also where they learn what your key goals and objectives are for your site.

This phase will likely include the following:

  • A brand questionnaire/discovery document
  • The kick-off meeting
  • Interviews with key stakeholders
  • Business analysis, including competitor and industry research
  • Review of your current collateral, branding materials, etc.

During that crucial kick-off meeting, there is a lot of information to be conveyed, covering questions about your business, project goals, target audience, decision-makers and stakeholders, what you like and don’t like about your current site, the user experience you expect, how you want to market your site, creative preferences, technical requirements, content needs, assets and more.

If this sounds like a lot, it is. But essentially, your agency needs to quickly become an expert on who you are, what you do, and how to help you achieve your goals. Knowledge is power.

If your organization is planning a new website, it can be helpful to have answers prepared for the myriad of questions coming your way.

At a minimum, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What does your company do and what are its mission, vision, and values?
  • What are the main benefits & features of your product/service?
  • What are the major pain points that your product/service solves?
  • What makes your product/service unique?
  • What is the number one reason your clients use you?
  • What makes clients hesitant to use you/what is your your biggest challenge?
  • What are the trends/major issues facing your business and industry today?
  • Who is your competition and what are they doing in this space?
  • What do you like/dislike about your competitor websites?
  • What kind of style does your company have: casual, professional, modern, classic, fun, trendy, serious, conversational, conservative, etc.?
  • What do you want people to think/feel about your organization?

You should also have a clear sense of who your target market is, and what specific goals you want your website to achieve. What would make you consider the project a success?

Typically, after the initial Discovery Phase, a Creative Brief is written to summarize key findings and establish the foundation for your website strategy going forward. Once you and your agency agree on the Creative Brief, you can be confident that your agency understands your business and can move forward with the design and development of your site.

Ready to be discovered? We’d love to learn all about you. Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.