When I first approach a new project I have a process that I follow to help me get the best out of my research.
Immersion – here I take a large step back from our initial discussions. I research all the local competitors and what they are saying on their websites. Then I look further afield at more of the bigger names. This part of the process can often be irritating for clients because they think I am going backwards but in fact this is all part of me understanding the bigger picture. Also remember that you are very close to your business and I am coming in with fresh eyes. I want to challenge you on lots of things to make sure we are not missing an opportunity, however small, to hook a potential client in with one offering when in fact we want to get across a better offering.
Shaking it up
Next I like to draft out some copy. Of course the copy on the current site (if there is one) is taken into account but I want to come across with a tone of voice that suits your brand. So here I will be shaking things up a lot and suggesting changes, call to actions and really understanding the main point of each page.
With websites there is a fine balance between having enough content, 300 words is the recommended amount for cornerstone content. But of course sometimes it just doesn’t seem feasible to have that much on each page. However with some careful content planning this can be achieved without compromising on the design.