Here are some of the reasons to take just a little bit more time for your website development plan.
Streamlining Your Website Development
Website development planning helps you to create a website that gets to the point. The more streamlined a website is, the faster it will load, the less it costs and the better it performs. Studies show that you only have four seconds for your site to load once a visitor clicks on your link. If your site does not load fully in that time, your visitor will go find a competitor. Amazon estimates it loses US $1.6 billion/yr for every extra second of load time it has on its website.
Streamlining your website development is important for load time but also for the content of your site. Writing simple text is better. Avoid putting your history on your home page. Try instead to answer your users questions and demonstrating how you solve their problem is crucial to build interest quickly. Here is an article we wrote on Website Design and Trustworthiness.
Organizing Your Website
You may have an extremely simple idea that you don’t think requires planning for the website design. Take a look at Google – it is one of the easiest sights to navigate. How much planning did that take? You might be surprised to find out that there was actually a great deal of planning involved.
Your site organization affects metrics such as “time on site” and “bounce rate.” (more on Google Analytics here). Both of these metrics, are affected by site planning. If you know anything about search engine optimization, then you know that better metrics in this area lead to a higher search engine ranking. Higher search engine rankings lead to lead to higher click through rates and more trust and more conversions.
Site organization also increases your click through rate and conversions in a more direct way as well. If your prospects can move through your website without a great deal of trouble, then they are more likely to take themselves through your entire sales process and end with a conversion. This will save you money in re-marketing efforts, and it will also raise your overall marketing ROI.
Longer Life for Your Website Development
If you begin your process with a streamlined, organized website, then that website will usually last much longer than a website that did not have a plan from the very beginning. Websites that last longer do not have to pay for as many updates, because the plan considered the future of the site.
If a website lasts longer, it also keeps a company from having to re-brand when new competition or technology comes into the market. Re-developing your website, may cause your customers to be confused about your brand. Confused customers will simply move on to another company; they will not try to stay and figure it out.
Future Proofing Your Website
As new technology comes out, your company will invariably look to add some of it to your website. If you have not planned for the future you will miss out on opportunities. If you do not adapt to new technology you will probably lose customers in that business cycle. This becomes a downward spiral that will not end until you put a huge investment in updating your site – an investment that you would not have to put out if you had prepared your site from the beginning of the process.
The best websites are planned for many reasons other than the above. These are among the most important reasons that websites fail (Here are some design tips to help your website succeed), and if you are looking to create a website that lasts into the ages, start from the beginning of the process with a plan. A plan will save you money over the long term. It will also save money in the process of creating the website itself. Creation begins from planning, and your website deserves to be a long term investment that you can believe in.