Steps in Planning a Website
Purpose - Why am I doing this?
The first step in planning a Website is to define clearly your purpose for creating a Website. Are you looking to increase sales, build brand awareness, or gather feedback from your customers? A purpose statement should focus on what the website will accomplish and what the audience will get out of it. Your purpose should be written and communicated to every person who will be involved in the development of your Website. All of the pages of your Website should support your objective.
Audience - Do your homework.
Clearly define your target audience and check out your competitors' Websites for ideas on what's good and not so good for your site.
Review Competitors’ Websites
Search the Internet and review the Websites several of your key competitors. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each of the sites. Which sites appear to be developed with Website goals which are similar to yours? View the source document and look at the keywords the Website contains for Search Engines. Make a list of these keywords and phrases. Do these Websites contain useful information? Do they contain too much information? Are they easy to navigate?
Analysis of your competitors’ Websites will give you ideas for planning your Website. If you want assistance with this, contact us.
Keyword List for Search Engines
Websites contain Meta Tags consisting of keywords and phrases that are used by search engines to locate information on the Internet. Make a list of Keywords and phrases that you think your target audience would use during their Internet searches. Ask company employees who have initial contact with new customers to make a list of keywords and phrases used by new customers in their initial contact. Compare your keyword lists to the keywords used by your competitors. A good keyword list can be developed from these sources. If your keyword/key phrase list is too long, organize and separate the lists to make them Web page appropriate. Visitors can enter your Website on any page, not just your Home Page.
Content - Prepare the Text
Listing the need content and then organizing it according to your target audience's needs is critical. In the process of gathering your content, eliminate anything that does not support your defined purpose or meet the target audience objectives. Then organize the content. This will form the basis for your site's structure.
Schedule a meeting with us to discuss plans for your Website. At this meeting you should provide us with the following information:
- Purpose of your Website
- Definition of your target audience
- List of your major competitors
- List of noncompetitive industry related businesses
- Keyword list
- Any proposed content and site structure
- Copies of existing brochures and related material you want included
- List of your industry memberships.
We will discuss these topics during the meeting. The scope of work, fees, schedule, and related issues can be determined at this meeting.