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how to plan a website for business success

Table of Contents

How to Plan a Website – A Quick Guide

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for small business owners. Your website serves as your digital storefront, and it’s often the first interaction potential customers have with your brand.

Therefore, planning a website should be a thoughtful and strategic process. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Define Your Goals
Before diving into the design and development phase, take the time to define your website’s goals. What do you want to achieve with your site? Is it to showcase your products or services, generate leads, or sell products online? Having clear goals will guide all your decisions throughout the planning process.

2. Know Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is crucial. Who are your ideal customers? What are their needs and preferences? Tailor your website’s content, design, and functionality to appeal to your target audience. This will help you create a more engaging and effective website.

3. Conduct Keyword Research
As a digital marketing agency, you’re likely aware of the importance of SEO. Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of SEO. Identify relevant keywords that potential customers might use to find businesses like yours. Incorporate these keywords into your website’s content to improve search engine rankings.

4. User-Friendly Design
A user-friendly website is essential for a positive user experience. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and is mobile-responsive. Mobile-friendliness is particularly important, as many users browse the web on their smartphones.

5. Compelling Content
Content is king in the online world. Create high-quality, informative, and engaging content that resonates with your audience. This can include blog posts, product descriptions, videos, and more. Regularly updating your content can also boost your SEO rankings.

6. Incorporate Calls to Action (CTAs)
Encourage visitor interaction by including clear and compelling calls to action (CTAs) throughout your website. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or requesting a quote, CTAs guide visitors towards taking the desired actions.

7. Focus on Security
Online security is a growing concern. Ensure that your website has robust security measures in place, especially if you collect customer information or process payments. An SSL certificate is a must to encrypt data and protect user privacy.

8. Test and Iterate
Once your website is live, the work isn’t over. Regularly test your website’s performance, functionality, and user experience. Gather feedback from users and make necessary improvements. Continual refinement is key to a successful online presence.

9. Plan for Marketing
As a digital marketing agency, you understand the importance of promoting your website. Develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that includes social media, email marketing, and SEO to drive traffic to your site and generate leads.

10. Stay Updated
The digital landscape is ever-evolving. Keep an eye on industry trends and technology advancements. Regularly update your website to stay competitive and ensure it aligns with the latest best practices.

In conclusion, planning a website is a multifaceted process that requires careful consideration of your business goals, audience, and digital marketing strategies.

By following these key considerations, you can create a website that not only looks great but also performs effectively in the competitive online world.

Remember, the success of your website isn’t just about its design; it’s about how well it serves your business and your customers.

How to plan a website is a BIG HUGE QUESTION! But we wrote the book back in 2009 🙂

“By failing to plan, you’re planning to fail”

It’s been attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, and a procession of ‘business gurus’. Whoever said it first, however, this quote couldn’t be more appropriate than in the bewildering world of the web.

The Website Big Divide

Few businesses plan their websites intelligently; rather, as often as not, they commission a site simply because they “thought they ought to have one”.In turn, website designers and developers are generally more concerned with the site’s look, feel and technical functionality than its commercial application.

You need to make sure that they clearly understand your commercial and marketing objectives – and also pick a professional team that has a track record in achieving this for their clients.

Small wonder that so many sites provide little more than ‘online brochure ware’.

Properly planned, your website should contribute, directly, to your business’ development – providing a global platform on which to:

  • Build brand awareness and reputation
  • Expand your market reach
  • Generate, qualify and convert new leads
  • Showcase new services
  • Slash your marketing and transactional costs;
  • Communicate with potential business partners, staff, Investors, and the media
  • Deliver better and more timely customer service
  • Sell more products more profitably; and
  • Enhance the lifetime value of your customers

How to Plan a Website: It’s all about YOU…

The onus is on you to define your requirements: to determine what is achievable (in the context of your available budget, your customers’ needs, and your own online ambitions); and to create a detailed project plan, setting down.

Your aims and objectives

    • to sell?
    • to generate enquiries?
    • to service existing customers?
  • The content that you wish to include
    • text
    • images
    • video
  • The manner in which you’d like that content to be presented

and of course:

  • The desired technical ‘functionality’ – which, depending on the nature of your business, could comprise anything from a simple enquiry form to a full-blown online shop.

Setting down your technical, creative and commercial objectives in a language developers understand eliminates miscommunication – enabling you to put your website out to tender, confident that you’ll receive like-for-like cost quotations, backed by realistic delivery schedules.

And there’s more good news: effective website planning is a process, which can be easily learned.

What to consider when thinking about how to plan a website

The easiest way for us to help you make a start is with a list of considerations.

  • Business profile
  • Business objectives
  • Business brand
  • Keyword research
  • Domain Name
  • Web Host
  • Business Email Address
  • Customer profiling
  • Customer Journey – objectives
  • Website objectives & conversion requirements
  • Professional Website/Blog Theme
  • Navigation & usability
  • Images and graphics
  • Video and audio
  • Copy that Sells
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Local Promotion
  • Online Promotion
  • Offline Promotion
  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • Google Apps
  • Website Maintenance & Management
  • Web Stats & Analytics
  • Backup, Backup, Backup
  • A Setup-by-Step Game Plan

 

The above list might seem a bit daunting but please remember, these are just considerations and you may be able to eliminate a lot of them. However we would like you to consider them carefully so that you don’t miss a trick.

An integral part of planning a website at the start is also considering the future and marketing and promotion of your business. This will also inform what you put on your website and the functionality you want to put in place from the start. For example, we always ask about email marketing as our methods of how to plan a website always include some form of data capture for this.

It’s definitely not a one size fits all and if you get stuck we are happy for you to book some time so you can maybe get unstuck 🙂 – Just one hour with us can sometimes make all the difference.

FOR FURTHER HELP – Please download our Real Results Website Planner here

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