How to plan a successful website
The prospect of a new website brings excitement and opportunity, but the delays, additional costs, and indecision can eventually wear you down. Not anymore.
Anyone who has been through the process of creating a new website will understand the emotional roller coaster you’re on. The good news is that most website headaches can be avoided with careful planning and clear goals. Here are some rules to make the process smooth and motivating.
1. Write down your objectives
Most business owners realise they need a website to be competitive. But it’s important to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to generate online sales? Are you trying to attract leads for your offline business? Every business will have a unique set of website goals, so by writing them down, you focus on what’s important, which guides your decision making.
2. Map your website
Before you talk to any web designer, draw your website up either by hand or using software (there are free online tools). Having an idea in your head is one thing, but putting it on paper forces you to be thorough. It also gives your website designer clear instructions that will save you time and money. Don’t worry about how the design looks (leave that to the pros!). This exercise is to help you plan the elements and content that’s needed for each page.
3. Write the copy
With a clear idea of how your pages should be laid out, it’s time to start writing your content. The content is important so spend the necessary time doing it right. If you don’t have time to write your copy, hire a professional copywriter.
"Having an idea is one thing, but putting it on paper forces you to be thorough. It also gives your website designer clear instructions that will save you time and money."
4. Have call to actions
Every page has its own purpose. When a user visits one of your pages, what do you want them to do? Having a call to action encourages visitors to do something. Examples include “buy now”, “sign up to a newsletter” or “download an eBook”.
In order to come up with a strong call to action, break each page down by its purpose, and what the next logical step is for the visitor. Remember, not every call to action needs to be a hard sell; getting a visitor to find out more or ask a question can be just as effective.
With these tips under your belt, you’ll have an effective website without the frustrating headaches.
What is your experience with creating a new website? Share your advice and techniques for making the process as smooth as possible.