How to Plan and Prepare for a New Website Design
Are you looking to get a new website created for your business? Are you having trouble trying to figure out where to start? Setting up a website for your business whether it be a brand new website or a revamp of an existing site can be a daunting task if you’re not prepared and don’t plan properly. In this blog post we’re going to review how to properly plan your new website, so you can launch your business successfully online.
Necessary Steps to Properly Launch A Website in 2022
- Register A Domain
- Choose Your Hosting & Webmaster Service Provider
- Map Out You Website Goals
- Identify Your Target Audience
- Identify Your Competition In The Field
- Establish a Design Direction
- Gather Your Website Content
- Gather Your Website Media
- Make a Plan to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Register A Domain
One of the first steps in creating a website is picking out a domain name. Finding a domain can be hard. Sometimes you want it to match your business and brand name and you also might want it to represent your business on a local level. If you already have a domain name and you’re doing a website revamp, you would want to stick with the same domain name. Since Google knows your website within their system, it is likely that the domain has authority and established online presence. This will help rank better when you republish the website.
If you’re creating a brand new website with a new domain, your Website Design Company can provide you with some options based on the availability of “.com” names. Both “.com” and “.net” names are okay to use for local business websites. If you can’t find an exact match domain name, then do something like the business name and state. Example if your business name is Joe’s Plumbing and JoesPlumbing.com was taken you could go with JoesPlumbingri.com, if your business is in Rhode Island. Taking this into consideration will also benefit your SEO.
Choose Your Hosting & Webmaster Service Provider
Once you have a domain, you want to think about hosting & webmaster service plans. At the very minimum, you’ll need a hosting company to make your website live to the world. With ongoing updates, security risks and content changes, webmaster services are key to running any successful website. The majority of small business owners don’t have time for constant updates, corrections, and uploads, so they hire credible web developers to handle the work.
A website is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution, you always need someone trusted to help guide you and drive the ship for you. When choosing a company for webmaster and hosting services. You want to make sure they have security, general support, the resources and know how to maintain and service your website on an ongoing basis.
Map Out You Website Goals
One key item to think about is your overall website goals. It’s just like starting a business, you want to have a business plan in place to help you through the steps and the process. Establishing your website goals first before you get too far in the process will help streamline everything and bring you better results. Laying down your expectations for your website is an important key factor as well. If your goals and expectations for the website are to grow your business, and get leads and phone calls. You want to think about a marketing plan as well to drive users to your website and get more conversions. Some businesses for a website goal just want to have a branding solution in place online, they don’t necessarily need to grow their business or customer base they just want a branded online presence. Whether you’re trying to get more leads or simply establish your brand, an impactful website is a great way to establish an online presence.
Identify Your Target Audience
Once you have your domain name registered, webmaster services picked out and goals determined, it’s time to start establishing your target market. Research is a great way to start looking into your target market, who are going to be the users that are going to be browsing on your site. Who is your ideal client and customer and how would they fit in within your services and product offerings? Once you have your target audience established you want to make sure to properly speak to them on your website. It’s a way of almost getting inside your customers head while they’re viewing your website. So if I’m a potential customer on Joe’s Plumbing website and he has a service on a page that’s dedicated to high efficiency hot water installations, and that’s exactly what I need for my home then this page in his company services speaks directly to me. “What is in it for me?” is the most common question customers ask, and it is your job to explain why.
Identify Your Competition In The Field
Another thing to look at is your competition. This is a vital but most often overlooked stage of the process. If you don’t look at your competition, how are you going to know how to get ahead of them or how to better promote your business online? Doing this research on your competition will help you establish leverage and for you to come up with different ways and ideas to take more market share for your business. You’ll often find that during this research phase, some info on what your competition is doing right and also what they’re doing wrong. This is just another valuable tool and insight to help your business with the process. It’s also a great way to stay on top of where the market is and how to reach it.
Establish a Design Direction
Once you’ve had time to do some research on your competition and target audience, now it’s time to think about the design of your website. When thinking about the design direction of your website, you want to think about the overall layout and appearance. How your website looks on desktop, how it looks on mobile and other devices. One way you can do some research on design direction and to figure out what you like and what you don’t like is again, taking a peek again at your competition. You might have already had a head start on this during the previous step.
For the overall design direction, you want to choose a layout that is simple, consistent and accessible to everyone. For instance, do you like a modern and simplistic look, bold and attention-grabbing or maybe it’s old-fashioned and retro? Whatever is going to fit your brand the most and cater to your target market will be the best design direction for your website.
Gather Your Website Content (about us, history, services, testimonials, etc.)
Next up, you want to plan for the content on your website. This includes your website verbiage, which is generally information about your company; the history, your services and some other other general information that will help users learn more about your company. What is also helpful for planning content on your website is a “Why choose us?” section. Having a “Why choose us?” section helps not only complete your brand and messaging, but also helps convert users into clients and customers.
Utilizing customer reviews and testimonials is also great content to have in your website. This gives social proof for others to see what a great job you’ve done in the past. Your company can only speak about itself so much, and social proof of what others are saying about it will go a long way. Another important and sometimes overlooked piece of content you’ll need on your website is the “Call to Action” elements. What do you want the user to do? You want them to click-to-call, fill out a form or browse your services pages. Whatever you’d like your users to do on your website, you want to guide them and point them in the right direction with a call to action. This way your users know how and when to take the next step.
Gather Your Website Media (images, icons, graphics and videos)
Once you’ve had time to plan for the written content on your website. You will want to start thinking about media, which includes images, icons, graphics and videos. We highly recommend working with a professional photographer and or videographer to produce this media for your website. Having professional imagery on your site gives it that top-notch look and will appeal to your users more effectively.
Another option is to incorporate stock images, but in general you don’t want to overdo it with stock images. You’ll want to find a fine balance between fresh real life brand images and stock photos to fill out your website. If you have the budget to have a video produced that will go a long way on your website and will help your users quickly get to know your company and the services you provide. When users first arrive on your website you want to create an experience and a positive impact for them, and using the right media and photos will help in this process.
Make a Plan to Drive Traffic to Your Website
If you’re trying to grow your business, a great website is the first step. You would then need to think about driving traffic to your website. Think of it as your website is a fresh new house built in the woods. You want to make it easy for users and customers to access and be driven to your website by creating roads, bridges, and highways. One of the first steps to help your business being found online is creating your “Google Business Profile”. This links your website on Google Maps and allows users to easily call you and find your website.
If you’re trying to drive traffic on a consistent basis and really grow your business we highly suggest using services like SEO, and paid ads through Google and/or Facebook. You can also increase traffic to your website by integrating different social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Working with a digital marketing company can help you launch and manage your ads, while you run your ever growing business!
These steps are essential to gaining market research, designing a helpful website, and growing your business over time. It is very time-consuming to carry out this process yourself, which is why you should hire a design agency for hosting, maintenance, and security. In today’s world, where everything is digital, even the smallest design details can make a difference to your online business. The right way to go is to have a website, social media accounts, and a Google business page to effectively capture your audience!