Whether you’re a small business owner, blogger, or an aspiring entrepreneur, having a website is truly important in today’s digital world. There are multiple benefits that both customers and businesses can enjoy by having their online presence in the form of a professionally developed website.
However, diving headfirst into starting a new website project might take more time and effort if you do. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with a thorough “checklist of factors” to consider before hiring a professional to do it for you since the experience of a web professional will always offer added benefits.
Continue to read this post ahead to learn about the 7 things to do before you start your website project.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Market
The first step is identifying what kind of audience your website will cater to; find out as much as possible about your targeted audience:
- What is their age?
- What draws them in?
- What problems can you solve for them?
- How will they benefit from your products or services?
You’ll need to keep these factors in mind while you build and optimize your new website, and you may take a few actions to learn more about your target market.
- Interview “potential customers” through social media platforms. Learn more about the customers you wish to market to. Speak to the individuals you have identified as your potential clients.
- Send out polls. Sending brief surveys to your previous customers and business email subscribers will help you get feedback in a more organized manner.
- Check out online reviews from customers. If you can’t engage clients in conversation, find out what they’re saying online. Investigate hashtags associated with your brand or industry to engage in social listening.
- Observe website statistics. Monitoring the website traffic using Google Analytics can also reveal information about your visitor’s behavior. Get to know your audience by using old website data to determine which pages visitors occasionally browse before building your new website, learn from the analytics for how frequently they visit your site before making a purchase, and other information. If this is your first website, you can also use competitor analysis tools to find out what type of content and topics preform best online for your industry, in terms of traffic and popularity.
You will better understand your targeted customers and what is going through their minds once you have analyzed this data. From there, you may develop a concise and comprehensive description of your targeted audience and how to market them.
Step 2: Plan Out Your Website Pages (Sitemap Layout)
Your website should have a solid home page and a logical flow toward your objective. Spend time creating your site map and getting input from individuals functioning as “typical users,”. You can install an analytics tool such as Google Analytics on your existing website if you want to collect factual information on how and from where people are exiting the site so you can enhance the flow of your new website.
Laying out your website’s relevant content ideas is the first step in creating an utterly compelling site map. You can brainstorm at this point and consider everything you want to add to your website; you’ll have time to fine-tune your ideas later. There are also a lot of website design tools to help you create a layout very quickly.
Now, it’s time to think about how all this stuff will look to a new website visitor. Determine the navigation categories and arrange the information under them using the page groups you began to compile ideas.
As you add more information to each item, clearly identify each category. A fantastic place to start arranging the technical aspects of your site is by adding the URL for your pages. Think about the “slugs” or what the URL names will be, as this will give you clues on which pages will belong together. Here are some simple pages, and a site structure to get you started:
- Service / Product Pages
- Contact Us
Additionally, you may annotate sites with information such as which pages you want to utilize for marketing, which pages will include video material, or which pages will need the visitor to fill out a form like a contact page. Usually you want strong CTA’s (call-to-actions) to help the website visitor take the steps you want them to when they are on your site.
Step 3: SEO Preparation and Keyword Research
To improve search engine ranking, you want to attract people using search engines who are interested in what your company has to offer. Select three to five target keywords associated with your goods or services and sprinkle them throughout your website material.
Start by imagining the typical user’s search terms to get information about your services or products. Next, consider utilizing a keyword tool to delve into well-known search terms that will improve your website’s organic search results (i.e., your site will be displayed higher in search results when users look up that search phrase). Use SEO tools such as Yoast SEO to optimize your content further.
In addition, on-site SEO factors such as meta descriptions and using the relevant SEO plugins would help boost your website’s search engine positioning (SERP).
To draw potential customers’ attention, they can also assist you in raising your organic traffic clickthrough rate (CTR).
Step 4: Write your Website Sales Copy
Before ordering your website, or starting a website project…. please ensure that all relevant content is written. This is known as your website’s sales copy. Look at your website flow to ensure your primary content has all the details potential customers want without repeating yourself.
Copy should be as brief and concise as possible, and critical details about what you provide and what makes you unique should be prominently shown towards the top, so readers aren’t overwhelmed and exit the site too soon. There a few critical things that all websites should have visible on the page:
- Who you are (Branding)
- What you do (Product / Service)
- What you charge (Pricing)
- How to get a hold of you (Contact Info)
If you don’t write professionally, you should consider hiring a copywriter. Proofreading the material is also necessary because typos and poor language can put off site visitors and lead them to believe that your website doesn’t value content quality.
Step 5: Find Similar Websites
You may use a similar website finder to locate other relevant websites that provide material that is similar to your own. Several platforms are offering these tools, like SimilarWeb many of them for free. There are even tools to find out what type of technology the website is using, so you can help your developer build the most advanced website possible!
You may research your rivals using these tools to learn more about how they operate, what they excel at, and what their customers think of them. You can extract the greatest from your rivals and eliminate everything that doesn’t work by taking in all this information and creating preparations appropriately.
Step 6: Prepare your Images & Videos
Another essential for establishing a professional brand outlook are high-quality images. If professional images are required, hire a photographer, or buy high-quality stock images that capture the “feel” of your company.
All the photographs on your website must be of the highest quality and resolution so that the pixels don’t get distorted. For instance, if you bake cookies and want to sell them through your website, you need excellent photographs clicked.
So, before you start your website project, please list all the images you’ll need (for the location, the items, the personnel, etc.) and plan accordingly.
Step 7: Set Website Benchmarks & Goals
Benchmarking is crucial for determining which portions of the new site perform poorly so that problems may be identified and fixed as soon as possible. It also allows for performance comparisons between the new and old sites. Keep looking for gaps that may yield data-driven insights to support your new plan.
You should always test your website after launch as well. You’ll soon start testing your website to ensure all the various parts are functional, everything works as it should, and a system is in place to track issues and improvements. Usually you would want to check for:
- Website Speed
- Broken Links
- URL Redirects
- Indexing Issues
- Mobile Responsiveness
If some of those things sound too technical or scary, it is always wise to save yourself the time and hassle, of getting things right the first time. A professional website design company like Cowlick Studios have built 1000’s of websites and know how to deliver a website that works for you.
Call Cowlick Studios to Start Your Website Project Today!
Although starting a new website project can seem challenging, it is simpler to break down the requirements and evaluate them against the factors discussed. Once you know the fundamental requirements, discuss them with the agency or professional you hire.
Naturally, once it’s up and running, you’ll encounter new difficulties, but watching your website’s traffic increase and flourish is satisfying. If you’ve been putting off starting because you need help with what to do, consider speaking to us.
At Cowlick Studios, we offer professional website development services. Regardless of the type of website you need, a professional will emphasize your company’s requirements and objectives to build a website accordingly.
We will work closely with you to understand your requirements and develop a highly functional website accordingly.