What you need to Plan a Website
There are so many ideas out there to plan a new website, but there are a few very important aspects to keep in mind. Let’s look at the main ones.
1. Business Strategy - Objectives
You need to understand what your objectives are to promote your business in the best way to attract potential clients to act on your website. This may be in buying a product or contacting you for a quotation, no matter which one, the goal is to convert a lead into a customer.
Your website is the digital persona of your business and needs to reflect who you are, what you sell and the value you can add to a customer.
If your object is to get more sales, you need to have a strong call-to-action point for visitors to take action.
Just remember to always provide the customer with enough information to make a qualified decision.
If your object is to just promote your services, then ensure that visitors can identify with what you offer. Ensuring that they will find your company credible to stay loyal to your brand.
2. Market Share – Unique Selling proposition
Make sure you do the necessary research on your market share and who your competitors are. This will help you to know what they are doing and for you to plan and strive to do better.
Find the gaps can see what youhave to offer that your competitors do not have, your competitive advantage and niche and unique selling proposition.
Use this to drive more traffic to your website.
3. Define your target audience
It is very important to understand your target audience to determine the kind of voice your content will have and what the target audience will need from your website.
Questions you can ask:
· What do you think is working well for them?
· What could be done better?
· How often do they add new content or items for sale?
· Are there any trends that you notice on different websites related to your industry?
· Are there any good practices you haven’t thought about?
· Are there any gaps that you may be able to fill?
4. Choose a domain
If you already have a domain no problem but if this is your first website, choose wisely. Choose a short name that will make sense. For example, TM Construction Services may be tbconstruction.com as the full name tbconstructionservices.com will be too long. To look for domains, you can use https://domains.com/ to see the availability of your domain. When you have found one you can determine a hosting service company and register the domain through them. Also do a bit of research on what domain extension (TLD) .com, .co, .org, etc., will be most suitable for your business and how they’re used. Changing your domain name after it had been establish is going to be a mission and should be avoided.
5. Find a hosting service company
To find the right hosting company, see what companies are in your target market location. Then look at what they offer at what price and compare a couple to find the perfect match.
6. Project Planning
Now you are ready to plan each milestone with resources that will be responsible for the delivery of your project.
Day 1: Discovery Meeting
Day 7: Content Strategy (This will include your keyword research and content planning)
Day 21: Initial Design presentation
Day 25: Design Feedback
Day 28: Design revisions represented
Day 31: Design approval
Day 33: Development commences
Day 53: Prepare all CMS asset upload.
Day 73: CMS completed and provide training to use
Day 83: Beta Testing
Day 90: Launch
7. Keyword Research
Do the due diligence and find the keywords that you need to compete against and then use keyword phrases to help with your ranking.
The keywords/phrases will be used in your website content in headings and body text to ensure it is crawled by search engines and found credible to rank you higher on search pages. It will also be used to set up your Meta Title and Meta descriptions.
8. Content planning
This part takes the most time in starting a new website. You need to look at your existing website if you have one, and then see what pages brought you any traffic. Look at the content, see if it is relevant, see if you address the pain points of people that will visit your website and see if you have the correct keywords in your content. For new websites, make sure you understand what pain points your potential visitors have and that you address that in your content. Use the keywords you have researched to structure your content correctly. Make sure you structure your content for each page to assist with the design layout of your website pages. Ensure that your content is short but to the point, with no long blog-like sentences that will lose your visitors when they land on your pages. The home page of your website is the most important page and to structure this correctly content needs to be prioritised as not all services or product ranges can be displayed on the home page. Never forget the legal documentation required for your website:
· Terms & Conditions
· Return Policy
If you are not certain, get an expert to help. Marketers that plan content all the time will be far more equipped to help you construct your content.
9. Designing the Website
First, you need to have a website structure that is well thought through for the user experience. It is called UX design. The UX design is done to determine the menu structure and page structures to ensure there is a district user journey.
This is the fun part, where the website is designed according to your CI colours. It includes treatment of images to be used on the website, button colours, link hover over colours and much more.
For this, the design is based on the logo and the corporate colours. If this is not in place, you should first that the time to get the logo designed.
The logo is a visual representation of your business.
People will identify your business name with the logo visual.
This will set you apart from other businesses.
· A Colour pallet is created to determine the colours that will be used on the website.
It is important to have a brand guide to establish:
Font use and sizes
Other marketing elements
The layout designs of the website are based on content, call to action and priorities, so a clear understanding needs to be established first.
Look at all the website elements you would need to add:
Ensure that all designs are signed off before the development begins to shorten the back-and-forth discussions in the development phase. It will also be helpful for the implementation of functionality where required.
Ensure that you have selected the right technology for your website’s functionality and that the development team has the required skills to execute the development planned.
It is very important that the development team has clear instructions and descriptions of functionality to be used to ensure the website functions as envisioned.
Ensure that all content is well structured for easy access by the development team to implement.
Make sure there is a checklist of all the requirements for the website's backend and front end.
Mobile Responsiveness & breakpoints
Ensure the site is first developed on a developer server and not on the main domain. This allows the development can happen on its own with multiple corrections until it is ready to go live. Then you transfer the website to the live server and link the domain.
11. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is set up on the website to help search engines show your website when someone searches for keywords on your website. There is a meta title, which is normally the page title and the website name displayed, but you can customise it with a tool like Yoast https://yoast.com/ and others.
Then a meta description which should include your keyword/phrase. It is important to write something that describes the page in just one sentence. Part of SEO is to ensure that your website is responsive on all devices and that the site speed is as fast as possible.
Because search engines look at the user experience if the site is slow, it is recon to be a user experience issue.
There are tools to measure your site speed with page speed both for mobile and desktop https://pagespeed.web.dev/
Remember that Google does mobile-first searches, so your mobile speed needs to be fast.
12. Google Analytics
Analytics help you to track where people are clicking in your site and how many page visits you got and many other reporting to help you to establish where to focus your marketing.
Currently, there are 2 Google Analytics, namely Universal and GA4.
Universal was the main analytics account but will be taken over by GA4 from Sept 2023. So, when you start you can set up both by selecting it when you create your google analytics account.
If you have an existing universal account, you can add GA4 now to ensure a smooth transition.
For the ease of setting up tracking tags and triggers, Tag Manager is used so that no further coding is required to set this up.
You can track anything from button clicks, form submissions, product purchases, etc. There is a tracking method for everything.
Google Search Console needs to be linked to your google analytics account and your sitemap needs to be attached as well.
You can create various variations of your property for instance, http://website.com | https://website.com | http://www.website.com | https://www.website.com to ensure all is picked up. But only link the one that you will be using for the main tracking i.e. https://www.website.com
13. Web page redirect
When you have an old site and you do not intend to use the old URLs in the new website, you require a developer to redirect the old site’s URLs to similar content on the new site. If this is not done, then those URLs will show 404-web page (does not exist) messages if visitors use a previous URL they had to link to your website.
14. Website Maintenance
Website maintenance is as important as developing a new website. There are always updates that need to be done for security or other reasons and to update the website as and when required.
For WordPress sites, WordPress itself require regular updates and then other plugins and themes require updates when they become available. This is for security reasons so that the site will not be hacked with a plugin that has not been updated.
Ensure you budget for monthly maintenance on the site.
We have covered the most important aspects to think about when planning a new website.
Planning is the key to a successful website project.
Make sure you have all the boxes ticked and all the resources planned before you start.
If you think this is too much to absorb or you don’t have the resources to attempt this, then we are ready with a team of experts to help you get the best website for your business.