A lot goes into the creation of a brand-new website – far too much to detail in a single blog post. But there are certain highlights you must consider when you start to plan your website. Make sure you consider the following necessities.
Define your goals
What is your website’s purpose? Do you intend to just get information out about a product or service? Do you want an e-commerce website where customers buy directly from your site? Do you simply want to build credibility for your business? Remember this primary goal when you make decisions about your website and how it will look.
Know your intended audience
Much like the rest of this “checklist,” defining your intended audience is part of goal-making for the website’s design. You want to appeal to the people most likely to visit your website. You want to grab the attention of those best inclined to become your customers.
Getting those people to your website is an important consideration, too. What’s your plan for marketing the website? How will you assure your website ranks high on popular search engines and gets the exposure it deserves?
Set a launch date
Even if there’s no urgency, set a launch date to take your website live. The launch date is a task like all the others in your website’s creation. It dictates your timeline to keep everyone on task and moving toward the same goal. The launch date puts things into motion because there’s a tangible deadline. Without it, website design tasks wind up on the back burner as your people do other chores with clearer deadlines.
Make it reflect you
What makes your business unique? What is the culture of your business? These questions dictate how you personalize the website. Don’t create a whimsical, colorful website filled with sparkles for a title insurance company or a heavyweight law firm. But don’t settle for a bare-bones, matter-of-fact website if your business purports to be creative and innovative. The website should match who you are as a company.
Customize to personalize
The design of your website gives you ample chances to customize – to make it yours. From the URL selection to the design and layout, every decision should support your goals. For example, if you want to show off your products to compel people to buy them, feature many images throughout. If, however, one main goal is a streamlined website that loads quickly, dozens of images undercut that goal.
Content is key to success
The content of your website is what makes it stand out from the online crowd. Will you have blogs? Videos? Slideshows? Informational articles? And once those are in place, how will you make sure the website increases your credibility as a business and as an authority in your field?
Pull together a content team that’s familiar with the writing practices unique to website content – this isn’t a job you give to someone who’s “a pretty good writer.” You want someone who knows Internet content best practices and can maintain your “voice” across the website.
Let people know it’s coming
Use your social media channels to tell people your website is coming – make sure to include the launch date! Build excitement by involving your customers. Ask them what they want to see on the website. Perhaps profile a customer or two on it. Gather testimonials to post online for potential customers see your current customers’ positive experiences.
All these tasks build anticipation for the website – people love to see themselves online and will share their profiles with online friends. It’s just one way to let other people help you market your new website. That’s why it’s important to set aside website space for such these profiles and testimonials.
Maintain your website
Website design isn’t a one-and-done task. You’ll want to make changes as you monitor how the website works for its intended audience. You’ll want to update the content as your business grows and evolves. And, of course, to spotlight your growing success as a business.
Do you need help to design (or redesign) a website? Call (402) 341-7323 to talk to a local professional about your website design goals.