Your business started with a plan, so why would the online representation of your business be any different? Make sure to take the time to plan and organize your website. To get the best results, don’t rush – invest in your plan. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of things to make your plan a success.
What are your Goals?
Understand what you want out of your website and what you wish to accomplish. Create a concrete list of expectations. Choose element that will create the perfect look and feel of your site. Your goals are your thesis statement. Use this statement to guide every decision and bring you closer to that goal.
Every site is created for a different purpose and therefore shares different features. Understand what you would like the user to do and determine the best features to help them accomplish those tasks. For example, an e-commerce site needs a shopping cart, but a photography studio should have a gallery. Make a list of possible features and how each will benefit your users and your business. This process will create a great visual and shows you how you want your site to behave.
Know your Competition
Look at the current market. Pretend to be your desired visitor and search for desired terms. Know how your competition drives traffic to their site. What features or aesthetics do you like? How would you change it? Experiencing your business (or your competitor’s business) as a consumer will create ideas about your own site and your approach to your current business.
Mapping it Out
Once you know what you want from your site, shift your focus to setup and structure. Create a list of the individual pages you wish to be displayed on your site. For example most sites contain a home, location, and contact us page. Limit the content to one feature per page to optimize user experience. Got your list? Good, then it’s time to move on.
You have a site map (your list of pages), so you need to populate those pages with useful and relevant information. Use your social media content to start the process – it’s your most recent and relevant information.
No social content? Not a problem – every business needs new content. Make sure to start writing content with keywords, but be sure to not overload your pages. Remember, proofread multiple times on each page to spot typos and irrelevant content. Tip: incorporate great photography and graphics on your pages – it keeps visitors on the page longer and compels them to come back for more.
Select a Design
The next step is design development. Start thinking about colors and themes to complement your logo and the personality of your brand. Keep the readability of the content in mind when making your selections. Understand the look you want and go for it.
You’ve done all the prep work – now plug it all in to your website builder of choice.