Monthly Archives: September 2013

Why a good brief is the key to good web design

Website design briefHere at Direct Sites Online we work on a lot of business websites, for a lot of clients, each with different goals, requirements and expectations.

So when we get approached to do a site for a new client, we need to get the client to do some work first and provide a brief so we can scope the project and provide a quote.

The brief needs to focus on two main issues: What the site needs to look like, and what it needs to do.

Here are a few questions to think about when providing a brief to Direct Sites Online.

  1. Is this a new site, or is your current site in need of a redesign? (If the answer is the latter, then the next question you answer should be “why, what is your current site not doing”?
  2. What sort of business is it? What sets you apart from your competition? What problems do you solve for your ideal client/customer? What is your business history? Are you a member of an industry body? Why should people do business with you (via your site) than with a competitor that is just a click away?
  3. What is your business slogan? Tagline? Logo? Do you have any existing marketing material?
  4. Who is your ideal client/target audience? Gender? Age? Income bracket? Family background? Special interest? Where do they live? Be as specific as you can. “Mothers between the age of 25 and 45” is too broad.
  5. What is the budget? At least a ball park figure. This is important because it will help you find someone willing to work within your budget. The cost of a website can vary considerably, and there is no point wasting time looking at Ferraris when you can only afford a Toyota.
  6. Is there more than one person to deal with on the project? Who are the decision makers? Are there other staff members that will need to be brought in at various stages?
  7. What other sites do you like/dislike? And why? This gives the designer a great insight into your personal tastes.
  8. What must/must not be included on your site? Menu, content, images?
  9. Who will provide content? Do you need the designer to refer you to a copywriter?
  10. Do you need a shopping cart? What sort of payment options will you accept? How do you want to track orders? What privacy level do you need?
  11. What keyword phrases are people likely to use to find your site? How will you market your site? How long do you expect it to be before your new website brings you in new business?
  12. How long are you able to spend online answering enquiries? Do you need ongoing website content management? How do you plan to encourage repeat visitors and referrals? Do you intend to blog?
  13. What is the deadline for the site to be live?

So there you have it. As the project is being scoped, more questions might crop up, but these are the basics and answering them to the best of your ability will ensure a smooth relationship with your web developer.

If you need a new website, contact Direct Sites Online today at 02 9557 7623 or email

Social media: It’s time to get on board

If you have decided that social media is not worth your time or energy, here are some stats that might change your mind:

  • There are over 1.15 billion users of Facebook worldwide
  • Linked In has more than 238 million users
  • There are more than 552 million people on Twitter
  • Google + has about 343 active users

Have we got your attention yet? How about if you think of these numbers in terms of potential clients/consumers?

Bingo – a whole new audience for your brand.

You cannot afford to ignore social media

We have said it before, but social media is as good –if not better – that word-of-mouth marketing.

It also allows you to target your ideal client with amazing accuracy – Facebook’s algorithm basically means it knows every users’ likes, dislikes and buying patterns and can target posts and advertising accordingly.

Direct Sites Online can write Facebook ads that work – at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

And if Facebook users are not your audience, then there is always Google +, LinkedIn or Twitter, all of which allow targeted marketing.

But building your social media profile can be difficult, and turning a fan base into buying customers can be even harder.

And if you are not converting fans into paying customers, then you are wasting your time with social media.

Direct Sites Online knows social media, and we know how to build a targeted fan base.

We offer our social media clients a range of options tailored specifically for them:

  • Setting up profiles
  • On-going management
  • Branding
  • Conversion strategies
  • Integrating social media and online marketing.

And, to combat the natural fear that social media could lead to negative feedback, we can handle that for you – turning your biggest critics into your biggest advocates.

So if you need help with any aspect of social media marketing, contact Direct Sites Online today on 02 9557 7623 or email