Research Questions to Plan a Website

Feature Title

If you are planning a new website, or you want to update your existing website, here are some things you should consider. While these questions are focused on websites, they will apply to most online projects including blogs, Facebook pages, social media sites, and mobile apps.

Organization Strategy

  • What are your short-term and long-term goals? How will they be reflected in your online project?
  • How will you measure the success of the project?
    Website Concept
  • What do you want the website to accomplish?
  • What are you specifically offering to your visitors that they will find valuable?
  • What do you want visitors to do on your website?
  • What do you want visitors to do after they have left your website?

Target Audience

  • Who is the target audience for your website? There are probably more than one.
  • What are the common characteristics of each target audience?
  • How will your website appeal to each target audience?
  • What does each target audience want to see when they visit your website?
  • What will each target audience find valuable and relevant to their needs on your website?
  • How often do you expect them to visit your website?
  • How long do you expect them to stay for each visit?

General Description of Website

  • Type of site: information, sales, service, etc. (or combination)
  • Most important messages and content to be delivered to your visitors while they are on your website.
  • Major features of the website
  • Media types you plan to use: audio, video, podcast, etc.
  • Major functions you plan to use: blog, newsletter, RSS feed, online form, etc.
  • Social media tools you want to use: social networks, blogs, wikis, etc.
  • Who are your main competitors?
  • What do they do right?
  • What can you do better than them?
  • What types of marketing activities do you want to include in the website (SEM, SEO, PPC, landing pages, etc.)?

Graphic Design Considerations

  • Is there a certain look and feel that must be used on the website?
  • Are there corporate guidelines that must be used?
  • Is this part of a larger website which must be matched?

Content Production and Resources

  • Do you have sufficient time, money and staff resources for this project?
  • Who will be responsible for producing the content for the website?
  • How often will the content be updated once the website is launched?
  • Who will update the content once the website is launched?
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