No matter how great of a web designer you are, you must still satisfy your clients with their expectations, not just your own. That’s why you need to have a clear understanding of the project by asking your client important questions, such as the following.
1. Why do you need a website?
The most basic information you need to get from the client is the main purpose of the website, since not all sites operate from the same premise. It could be for many different reasons such as:
- just a hobby
- a basic hub that connects with several online properties
- an elaborate SEO-driven content site
- a place mainly to collect leads from email
- an attractive brochure of your business
2. What is your business model?
If you don’t know your client’s business model, it can adversely affect development deadlines and customer satisfaction. Make sure you have a basic understanding of not only the industry, but the company itself. When the web designer and client are not on the same page, it can lead to endless revisions.
3. Who is your target audience?
The reason target audience is so important is that successful SEO is built on using appropriate keywords that a target audience will use in search engines. Target audience applies to:
- demographics: age, income level, gender, ethnicity, etc.
- geographic location
- customer familiarity with the industry and products or services
4. Who are your competitors?
It is critical for a web designer to know who they are competing with in terms of style and content. Competing sites can be used as strong references for what to measure against in terms of quality and quantity of web pages. You also don’t want to use the exact same keywords or content as established competitors, which can cause the site to get lost in the shuffle of search results.
5. What type of website style are you looking for?
This is a tricky question because your client may not know that too much style and not enough substance may cause a site to be ignored by search engines. So at least ask the question and if the client needs to be informed about SEO, be sure to offer the facts without sounding like you’re trying to take control of their image. Sometimes style comes down to personal taste and sometimes it will be up to the web designer to make all the decisions.