Building a website involves a strategic process.
Websites are often the first place anyone who wants to do business with you will go to. From the moment they land, they will form an impression of who your company is and what it does. It’s takes a second to form an impression and one click and they’re out.
The importance of planning. Websites represent your company 24/7. It is therefore important to think through the job to be done before sending it off to be built. At Brand One, we start with the business and marketing strategies first; and our developers are the last in the process. Essentially, the architect understands your vision and draws up the plans to build the home you want to end up with before the builders come in. No matter how big or small the house is, you still need a plan.
10 steps for building a commercially successful website:
- What is the business strategy? How do we want to position the business in the market? This has an impact on the design, personality and tone of the site and all its content.
- Who are our targeted audiences? It helps to design and ‘speak’ to your audience with relevance and in a tone and style that resonates with them. You may have multiple audiences with difference channels or industries. Consider how you structure your site and be clear that every page has a role.
- User journey. Take the user through a well-structured journey where they are step through a sales journey answering questions they may have thus reducing risk and presenting compelling reasons to do business with you. Use pages with clear links, buttons and menus, leading to the call to action targeted. Build a site map to reflect this.
- Key messages + great design. Serve the user with the key message that are succinctly written and integrated into the design to position the business and help sell its products and services. Serve the messages through well designed banners, diagrams and content.
- Content is king! And less is more. Writing for a website requires experience. Copy should well-structured with clear information hierarchies. Use clear headers and strong opening paragraphs, bullet points, diagrams and visuals to minimise words. Google also rewards relevant and fresh content so keep your website up-to-date. A news page or blog is a great way to keep your site relevant with new contents
- Search engine optimisation. Do the keyword research prior to writing the content. Incorporate the keywords in your copy as Google will reward this. Every page should be named with succinct meta-descriptions (what shows up when you Google your business) to entice the user to click you!
- Scope of requirements and functionality. Functionality should be scoped out in the planning phase addressing not only immediate requirements but ensure your site is fully scalable for the future. This way you can add in more functionality easily as it’s already planned for. Websites should be effective sales tools, providing the user with great tools and information they need to do business with you. It should also be a resource for your sales team with brochures, capability statements, etc loaded.
- Clean web development. It’s what you can’t see that’s important. Choose wisely, understanding how the site will be coded, frameworks or templates used. At Brand One and One Digital, we use solid frameworks, and globally existing modules or plug-ins so that anyone in the future can effortlessly take over its management and more importantly, it is easily kept updated.
Don’t skimp on this – there’s an opportunity cost. Have a pro-active plan to avoid downtime and protect your site. It doesn’t look good if your site has breakages or is down. With the internet platform changing rapidly, it is important to keep it up-to-date.
- Track and analyse. Set up Google Analytics and goal tracking reports. Constantly tweak the pages especially those that aren’t performing. Benchmark your search rankings against a key competitor keeps you on your toes.
Hope this helps!
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