One day on my drive into work I happened upon an episode of Inbound Marketing Today. This is a podcast that takes different aspects of inbound marketing and into actionable pieces. This particular episode was called 10 Key Questions to Ask When Designing a Website, and it got me thinking about how these same questions can apply to building a jewelry website.

This got me thinking about what it takes to plan, and build, a new website for your jewelry business. Regardless of whether you are creating something that showcases your design aesthetic or an eCommerce website where people can buy directly from you before you even begin looking at templates it’s important to do some planning. Here are nine questions to help guide you as you plan your jewelry website:

1. What’s the main purpose of your website? What are your products and services?

This might seem like a no-brainer, but before you breeze past this first question stop and truly think about it. What is the ultimate goal of your website? Do you want to increase brand knowledge? Are you trying to sell something?

Clearly thinking through this question and aligning your website to accomplish this goal will help the longevity of your website. This means that if you think long-term with your goals your website won’t be obsolete after a year.

This question will also determine the kind of website platform you need to use for your website An eCommerce store has many different considerations than an informational website.

2. What is the primary call to action on the website?

A call-to-action (CTA) is what tells your audience what action you want them to take. The importance of clear CTA can’t be stressed enough. Make sure you define one single CTA to focus on for your website. If you have multiple CTAs that all ask for something different, you’ll divide your audience’s attention and confuse them.

Begin by establishing your goal and then craft a CTA that supports this. Then stick to it without being distracted by any secondary goals.

3. What are your products and services?

This question is certainly more straightforward for those in the jewelry world. Are you a jewelry designer looking to sell your handcrafted jewelry, or are you looking to introduce your brand to the world? Are you a jewelry supply store that is looking to sell your jewelry findings and beads online? The different products you sell, along with the services you may provide will drive the final website function.

4. Who is your target audience?

Your target audience is that group that you are trying to sell your product to. Similar to when you established your overall brand, you’re going to want to ensure that you are thinking of your target audience through the website creation process so that you build something that appeals directly to them and features information they will find valuable.

5. Who are your top three competitors?

Looking at your competition is important because it can highlight differences between their company and yours, but it can also help highlight what they are doing well. Emulating what your competition is doing that seems effective can help you see the same successes.

6. What associations are you members of or what has your company been featured for?

Are you a member of the American Gem Trade Association? Do you belong to International Colored Gemstone Association? Have you been awarded the Saul Bell Design Award or any other honors for your design work or customer service? Be sure to display these awards and memberships on your website so your potential customers can see.

7. Who are you exactly?

Showing yourself and giving customers a glimpse at your personality humanizes your brand. Remember this: people like to buy from other people. When they see the glimpse of who you are and your personality a bit more it will help them connect with you in a personal way, helping forge a stronger relationship with your company.

8. Do you have professional photography?

You may be able to get away with cellphone shots for your Etsy Store or Facebook posts. However, with a website it is important to really take and spend the money to get professional photos. The higher resolution will make all the difference on larger screens. It will also give you the ability to tie in your design aesthetic and overall brand to the website.

9.How will you market your new website when it’s designed?

Consider how you’ll announce that your website is live. It’s also important to consider how you’ll drive traffic to your website. Give people a reason to return with engaging content, inspiring photos, or special offers. Also consider how you will promote these offerings to your audience. Will you run ads? Promote on Facebook? Send email? Aligning this strategy to your overall website is important to outline at the beginning.

Taking the time to thoughtfully consider the answer to these questions before you begin to build your jewelry website will help you be successful long after the launch. What other questions do you think are important to ask before you design a jewelry website? Be sure to share below in the comments!

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