Creating a successful new website can be an overwhelming process for business owners. Often our new clients have so much on their plate that they would love to pass off the entire project to an Internet marketing company. We understand that efficiency is important to all businesses, so we have created an easy three step blueprint to help our clients prepare for the website development of their new website. This process will guarantee that a three-week project doesn’t turn into a three-month headache.
Here are 3 steps to a successful new website
1) Picking a theme
One of the most crucial steps in building a new website is picking a layout design for your new website. In this process there are many elements to consider.
First you will want to think about the overall design of your website. Do you want a full screen, widescreen or boxed design? Here you will also want to think about if you need a single image or a slideshow showing off the best content on your site.
Then focus on the top area of your website. This part of the website is called the header. Here you will typically have a logo and your main menu. Some websites will also have social links and additional information like a phone number and/or tagline.
Next think about the layout in the middle of your theme. This will be the content below your header (and most likely slideshow). In the web world it’s considered below the fold which is a term taken from the newspaper industry. Most of this information will be accessible by your main menu, but this gives you another opportunity to capture the attention of your audience with your most important content. Here you will want to think about laying out your content in rows and columns. This provides an opportunity to list your services/products with a short description, post your most recent blogs or showoff your portfolio/gallery.
Then choose a theme that has a layout that works for your content (or interior) pages. Ideally you will want a look that is easy to replicate as you add more content to your website in the future. Also make sure your website theme has a blog layout that works for you. As you may know, blogging is a great way to keep your site updated with fresh content. Additionally most themes come with additional page choices like an About Us and Contact page.
Finally, make sure you pick a theme that is mobile responsive. A responsive website theme will auto detect the screen size and fit the website in an optimal layout for a great user experience.
To help you gather your thoughts for a new website, check out our website creative brief. These questions are used to organize your ideas for the website layout and functionality.
2) Gathering Content For The Website
Web content consists of images, text, video, audio and graphics.
Starting with an amazing theme is just the beginning to the web development process. If you don’t dedicate the time to creating valuable content then your site can feel empty or even incomplete. To guarantee a fast seamless build of your website, it’s beneficial to have all of your web copy (text) written and multimedia (images, graphics, audio and video) created.
Images make a website. Most people don’t often realize that images on a website influence their feeling about the overall design and layout. Gathering images for your website can come in one of two ways. You can create your own custom images with photos taken by you or a hired photographer. Or you can use stock imagery from websites like iStock, Shutterstock or Dollar Photo Club.
Pro Tip: Make sure to pick images that match the subject of the page it will be displayed on, so as visitors read the text, the overall experience will be clear and consistent.
Web copy is very important to the success of a website. Having valuable copy that your target market finds compelling will create long-term relationships with your audience and will convert visitors into consumers. When creating copy for your site it’s important that the person with the most knowledge of your industry/niche either does the writing or creates a detail outline for a professional copywriter.
Pro Tip: Great website copy should speak to your web visitors, often answer questions and incite a particular call-to-action.
Adding supplementary multimedia to your website is beneficial, although many companies or individuals don’t necessarily need it to launch a new website. Below are examples of videos that could help explain more about your site.
If you have this content completed that’s great but if you don’t, it’s very easy to create a website that will incorporate content like audio and video down the road. This should never hold you from launching your new website.
3) Setting expectations and measuring success
Web development can be exciting and exhausting. Setting clear expectations as well as a deadline to complete a website is very important. One of the most detrimental mistakes in building a website can be leaving the process in limbo. For many business owners, Internet marketing can take a back seat with day-to-day business tasks. Finding the time to provide feedback and delivering website content early on will guarantee a successful web building strategy.
Determine what a finish project is, and how to evaluate the success of a site.
Here are two major web-building pitfalls to avoid
Just like watching a movie you love or hearing a favorite song over and over you can get tired of your own website. What was once an amazing website, can turn into a site that your pick apart pixel by pixel. Keep an objective point of view and try to remember your initial feelings of a seeing your site for the first time. While your website is very important, your visitors will mostly be concerned with finding the information they are looking for quickly and easily!
It’s important to set a deadline for a website. Setting a target date for completion is essential in measuring success. While there are many reasons to move a deadline, try to make a plan and stick with it. A website is an important marketing tool and you will want it working for you as soon as possible, to help grow your business. Another reason to finish your site quickly is for SEO purposes. There is a lot that goes into a search engine optimization strategy in terms of techniques but what some people may not know is most websites need 3-6 months to be indexed multiple times by search engines to gauge the validity and to start ranking.
A completed website is really version one of a website that will be constantly growing. Overall it’s important to think about your website as an app on your smartphone or tablet that will be evolving with each update. If you take time to plan out the web development process, you will be able to create a website that will flourish and adapt over the coming years. If you have any questions about creating a new website, then contact us for more information!