Planning Your New Website
When building a website for your business, failing to plan means planning to fail. Without planning out your small business’ website first, you are going into the website construction blind. Without planning first, important features are forgotten, design can become inconsistent with the business and the site can become confusing for visitors. Before tackling construction of your website, you must first lay the groundwork for what your business will need into order to achieve your business’ online goals. Here is a guideline for how to begin the process of planning out what your website will need.
1) Decide on the purpose of the website.
Every business is different and because of this, every business will expect different returns out of their website. For most B2B businesses, Lead Generation is the expected return from the website. The business is not necessarily looking to sell products online, but rather looking to acquire potential sales leads. However, for a lot of B2C businesses, e-commerce is the central purpose of the website. You should set measurable, specific goals for your website that line up with the overall marketing goals for your business. Make sure that your website is set up with Google Analytics in order to allow you to monitor the website’s performance over time.
2) Create a Budget
While having all the bells and whistles of a state of the art website would be great, understand that these features are extremely expensive and complicated to install. Your business needs to set a budget for the construction of your website and stick to it. In most cases for small businesses, even just the basic features are enough for the business to start to build a strong online presence.
3) Assemble a Team
Once your business’s objectives and plans for the website are in place and the budget for the website is squared away, now comes the time to assemble a team of employees to deal with planning the specifics of the website. In most cases, the small business, due to lack of knowledge about website design and development will outsource much of this work to a web design company. However, while the web design company is generally one who constructs the website, this does not mean that the business the website is being designed for should be hands-off. For many web design businesses, website content creation falls to the business itself. The business is generally responsible for Photography for the website as well.
In addition to squaring away who will responsible for what content and photography, it is also important for your business to establish one person to act as a liaison between your business and the website design business. When your business has multiple people communicating with the web design business, there runs the risk of mis-communication and confusion. Going through one point-of-contact lessens this risk greatly.
4) Site Design
Once the content and site structure are set up (With back and forth design and approval between the small business and the design business) the next step is the actual physical design and development of the website. At this point, you business must both be very open about how you want your website designed, but also flexible in the design. Remember, the people designing your website are professionals, they know what they are doing. If they find a design that fits with your business, chances are you are going to want to go with that design.
An absolute must for any website is the ability to monitor and track the success of the new website. Google Analytics is most widely used tool for this. GA allows your business to track information such as site visits, bounce rates, most popular landing pages and where visitors are coming from. Using this information will help you find where your website is strong and more importantly, where you can improve to make it even stronger.
Is your small business looking to plan and build a new website? Take a look at the packages we offerand give us a call today!