Too many websites exist just for the point of existing, they look pretty and maybe have a contact form or a few PDFs to download, but the users or website owner seldom get as excited as the South American football (soccer) commentator I quoted in my post header.
Why?.. because with no clear Goal or objective it is next to impossible to gage how effective your website is. The very bottom line for a business website — when you pay for a website design your making an investment, and you should expect to get a return on that investment (ROI).
So you need to define a site Goal, there must be a point to you needing a website. This is normally an action, find what it is that you want a user to do at your site and then that action is your website Goal and becomes measurable. In this basic form of just defining one simple action you want your visitors to perform on the website, you will be able to create a website structure and content around it.
There are far too many parts to take into consideration for me to cover in a single post, but the main one is your Audience. You need to learn about users you needs:
* needs for information
* ways of thinking about, grouping, and organizing information
* expectations about your site
* levels of knowledge about the subject matter
* levels of experience with the Web and similar types of sites
* ways of working with information (how much they want to read)
By working with users, you can also find out about the technology they have available to them — whether they are on broadband or dial-up, what resolution they typically use, the physical environment in which they work, and so on.
To sum up:
You need a Goal to benchmark results against so you can figure out a ROI and not just a site that looks pretty.
Or put another way:
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”