There are many things to consider when planning your website. We take you through the process step by step to ensure you get the result you want in a time and cost-effective manner. We understand how daunting planning a website can be so we have compiled a basic list of things you should think about. We provide all our clients with a detailed website planner before starting the project to ensure nothing is missed out. We do not just make what we are instructed to if we think that this may not be the best way. We actually provide you with consultancy and helpful advice so that together we can create a useful website that caters for the needs of your intended audience. • What is the purpose of your website?• Who is your target market?• Plan your website content• How do you want your website to look?• Make a to do list• Review, amend and finalise your website• Market your website
1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR WEBSITE?
A web site advertises information and invites audience feedback. From a commercial perspective a website can market your business, its products and provide valuable customer services. The first task in website planning is to outline what you hope to achieve from your website.
2. WHO IS YOUR TARGET MARKET?
What type of people / organisations will you want to view your website? Your target audience will help you define the content and design of your website.
3. PLAN YOUR WEBSITE CONTENT
You should ensure that your website content serves its purpose and appeals and satisfies your target market. You want people to visit the website, be interested enough to browse through the pages, and to return to the website. You should aim to provide useful information that benefits the reader in some way.
Your Website should be easy to navigate with readers quickly being able to find information they want. Draw a navigation overview (site map), a family tree format often works well.
4. HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR WEBSITE TO LOOK?
Your website purpose and audience will affect the site design and may impose some design constraints. What kind of website would your target market appreciate - should your site look corporate, creative, fun, modern, official etc.
5. MAKE A TO DO LIST
Make a list of which pages you need to prepare content for and how and where you will gather the information/images. Do not under estimate how much time it can take to write quality content and collate the images and information you require, especially if you are relying on other people to give this to you.
- Will you be using any images or video? - will this need to be edited?
- Do you have a domain name in mind? - is it available (you should purchase this asap as domain names are cheap and may not be available the next time you look)?
6. REVIEW, AMEND AND FINALISE YOUR WEBSITE
After the first draft of your website is complete you should review the site to ensure it meets the purpose and target market you set out to serve. Ask yourself and also ask others as it is good to get unbiased opinions and feedback:- Is the content aimed at your target audience?- Does the content alienate anyone, if so who, is this what you want?- How does the content achieve your websites purpose?- Will your website design be appreciated by your target market?
7. MARKET YOUR WEBSITE
When your website is online, tell everyone about it. Here are some techniques for website marketing.
- Submit your website to Internet search engines (Google, Yahoo etc.). Target the most popular first, and any specifically aimed at your field. For each page submitted decide on the keywords that people would search for to return your page. To help decide these you could use the Google adwords service. Make sure the key words are in the title, first heading, first paragraph and elsewhere on the page. When linking to the page from other pages, make sure these keywords are in the link.
- Post messages, ideally answering questions, in one or two relevant newsgroups/blogs. Make sure to include your website address.
- Research related sites that would benefit from the service/product you are providing and suggest that they may like to add your website.
- Send press releases to relevant magazines and newspapers detailing how your new website will be of interest to their readers. This applies both to print and internet publications.
- Quote your website address in all adverts and literature (manuals, leaflets, newsletters etc.).
- Consider mailing a regular newsletter to subscribers to keep them updated about your business activity and any new services, products or offers.