When a visitor arrives at your website, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to join your mailing list? Or browse your catalog and make a purchase? Maybe you want visitors to your website to simply enjoy your blog posts and other content. Or maybe, your website is aimed at gaining exposure for your brand.

A good way to approach website design is to realize that there are no “good” or “bad” websites; there are simply those that are effective or ineffective in reaching that stated end goal. Start with the end goal in mind and determine which design elements will best help you reach that end.

Before you start designing your website, you must answer these 5 questions:

  1. Who are you and what do you do? How will you communicate this to people who come to your website?
  2. What are you offering? You could be offering products, services, information, etc.
  3. What call-to-action do you want to create for your visitors, based on your offering? Do you want them to make a purchase or join a mailing list? Would you like them to become part of your community or become aware of your brand or organization?
  4. Where did the visitor come from? Did they come from an email, a blog, a social media link, or a search engine? This determines their mindset when they reach your page. Now that they’re here, what will keep them here?
  5. What does the visitor need and what is the visitor looking for? You have to put this on the right page in order for them to find it.

Make sure you have a clear answer to all of these question. With all of this in mind, you can prioritize your web content and begin designing.