If you’re planning on getting your business a new website, there are a few things you can do to ensure the process runs smoothly. No matter how good your web designer is it really helps to do a little bit of planning so you can give everyone involved in the project a better idea of exactly what it is you require. In this post I’ve laid out a few things that not will not only help you communicate your ideas, they should also help prevent you making some common yet unnecessary mistakes.
The success of your new website will depend largely on how it has been built, and how you plan to use it. The following factors should help you to brainstorm ideas from which you can form a solid plan to pass on to your web designer.
Plan Your Content
Writing your content can take a lot of time and thought, and so it should! The internet is awash with sources of information so in order to stand out your content must be both useful and well written. When you’re thinking about what pages you’d like to include on your website, think about what’s really necessary. Avoid writing ‘fluff’ just for the sake of padding your website out, and try to make sure that each page serves a purpose and acts to draw your potential customers in.
Consider Your Layout
Planning the way your website is laid out is a crucial step that you absolutely must take. If you’re new website is going to be particularly large, you have even more of a challenge on your hands. Your aim should be to make each page accessible within a few clicks of any given page. Also, try to think about your users journey through your website; what exactly do you want them to do and how do they arrive at that point? Is this journey quick and easy, or is it complicated and unclear? I’ve found the best way to do this is to write out a family tree style diagram with your homepage at the top and deeper pages at the bottom. This can then be passed on to your web designer leaving little room for confusion.
What’s Your Key Message?
Consider exactly what it is you want your visitors to do; could that be buying a product or signing up to your mailing list? With a website, you have an extremely small window of opportunity to grab people’s attention. It’s almost as if you need to make sure your website is fool-proof; leaving absolutely no doubt in your users’ minds that they are in the right place. Try asking a few people to look at your design for a maximum of five seconds. If they don’t get the message, rethink the way you’re trying to deliver it.
It probably goes without saying that you’re going to need people to be able to find your website. Unfortunately, some people believe that simply lunching a new website is enough…sadly this isn’t the case. Making sure your website can be indexed by the search engines is crucial, and there are a few basic steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of this happening. At the very least, your website should be fast to load and each page should have unique content backed up with unique page titles and descriptions. You should also do your best to ensure that all your content can be accessed quickly and in a hassle free manner.