If you are embarking on the journey for a new website, it’s important to provide your agency with a detailed web brief in order to receive an accurate quote. Your brief should include information about your business, your brand, and competitors, and should give the agency enough information to be able to formulate a project plan, as well as give you an estimate of costs.

The web brief is an essential starting point for any website build and so the more information you can give your agency, the better. We have put together some key elements which you should include in your web brief, as well as a downloadable checklist which you can use to develop your own brief.

Here is a list of 5 things to include:

1) Information About your Business

While this may seem obvious, giving your agency a full profile of your business will ensure that your website is designed to perform with your business goals in mind and is targeted specifically to your target audience. You should include:

  • What it is you do – You should describe your business thoroughly and include the types of products or services you offer. It is helpful to give as much detail about your products or services as possible, as this can help to define the structure of your site.
  • Information about your target audience – who are the people that purchase your products and services? It is important to be as specific as you can here; think about how your customers currently buy from you, what they buy from you, and how you communicate with them. This information is crucial when developing a website as it gives the developer or designer an idea of how best to display your products or services in order to resonate with your target audience.

Brand concept on chalkboard

  • Your Brand – Your business is more than just what you sell. Give your agency a feel for who you are by sharing with them your brand guidelines. What is your tone of voice? Do you have a mission that’s important to you and which influences your business goals or values? What are your USPs that make you stand out from your competitors? What are your chosen fonts and colour pallets that make your brand memorable? A brand is essential in helping your website to reflect what is it you stand for and so the sooner you convey this to your agency, the better.

2) The Purpose of your Website

A website is bespoke to your business and so its overall design and functionality will be built to reflect your goals. It will also be designed to encourage your users to do what it is you want them to do when visiting your site, such as purchasing your products or services. In your brief, you should mention:

  • The purpose of your site – This could be anything from lead generation to brand awareness or sales. Essentially, what is it you want to achieve by having a website? This may be obvious if your website is an e-commerce platform, but it might be that your goal is to build brand awareness, or simply to showcase your business and its offerings.
  • The functionality your website must include – This will vary depending on the purpose of your site. For example, if the objective of your site is to showcase your work, you may benefit from a gallery or portfolio page. Similarly, if the purpose of your site is to connect with your customers, demonstrate your experience and give tips and advice, a blog might be a great way to do this. If you’re not sure what functions would benefit your business, it is worth asking your agency, who, with your detailed web brief in hand, can advise you which functions would best serve your business goals.

3) Your Competitors

 It is necessary to be aware of your competitors so that you can focus on what it is you want your site to do that theirs doesn’t. Competitor research allows you to pick out what they do well and what you think could be improved, allowing you to create a website which provides the best experience for your customers. In your web brief you should answer the following questions:

  • Who are your competitors? – Provide your agency with a list of business names and links to their websites. It is important to include the ways in which you differentiate yourselves from them.
  • What do you like/dislike about your competitor’s sites? – What impression do you get from a competitor’s site? How can you improve this on your own site so that your customers are encouraged to come to you?

4)Additional Support

A website build is one element of what an agency might offer. Consider what other support you might need, both during and after the initial website build.

  • Do you need support during the build? – This could be anything from sourcing licenced imagery or copywriting, to establishing a domain name or hosting company. It is important to let your agency know that you require these services so that they can factor this into your initial quote.
  • Do you need support after the website goes live? – Many agencies will offer a website maintenance service where they ensure your site is kept up to date. Some agencies may also offer additional marketing services such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, and social media support. Many of these services can be agreed after the website build, but it is worth considering them in your initial brief so that you can factor them into your long-term marketing plan.

5) Your Expectations

Remember to be clear on your timeframes and budget so that your agency can effectively manage expectations and ensure you are aware of what information they need from you in order to hit the agreed deadlines. Think about the following questions:

  • When do you need the website to go live? – Do you have a date in mind to work towards?
  • What is your budget for the project? – It is helpful to include your budget so that your agency can be realistic about whether or not they can deliver a website in line with your expectations within the budget you have. If the answer is no, it is better to know at the start and not waste your time.

Create an Impactful Web Brief

If you’re looking into getting a new website, why not download our FREE website brief template and use it as a guide to develop your own brief.

Supporting your Business

If you have further questions about websites or wish to talk to find out more about what our website design service includes, our team at All Things Web® are happy to help. Why not schedule a no-obligation chat today? Get in touch with a member of our team or call us on 01285 50 55 50.