• How to Plan a Website Like You’ve Done It Before

    planning tools

    Whatever you happen to be doing, do you like the feeling of knowing what you’re doing because you’ve done it before? Or at least having someone close by who knows and can show you?

    It’s a great feeling to have someone you trust giving you information to help you avoid making big mistakes, and to get you back on track when you have inevitable mishaps and get confused about your options.

    Planning a website is no different.

    There is a huge learning curve the first time you plan a website.

    To avoid that tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach that you don’t quite know everything you need to clipart_embarsknow, you either need to find the right people at the right price and outsource the project, or quickly get up to speed about what you need to know to look after some parts of the project yourself.

    Either way you need information to help you make decisions. If you choose to outsource, to avoid wasting your hard earned cash you should understand what you are paying for and why.

    Articles to help you plan a new or revamped website

    1. Know the Golden Rule of Web Usability

    Start by understanding and following the Golden Rule of Web Usability

    2. Avoid the Mistakes that Others Make

    Recognise why new websites fail and use the information to make sure your website succeeds

    3. Have a Website Strategy and Objectives

    Understand what you want your website to achieve by having a website strategy and clear objectives. Find out why you need them

    4. Define your Target Audience

    By defining your target audience your website and online marketing can be tailored to suit them

    5. Choose your Team of Web Professionals Carefully

    Work with the right team of people. Understand what is, and isn’t, included in their quote, if there will be any additional costs and what experience they have. Ask for reference websites that you can see samples of their work.

    Find out more by reading

    How many skills does it take to make a website?

    How to work with Graphic Designers

    3 Things Every Business Owner Must Know Before Working with a Web Developer

    6. Create a Design Brief

    A design brief maps out your requirements for your web designer including functionality, look and feel, page layout, navigation labels, target audience, website objectives and what logos and other information you’d like to include.

    7. Plan to Build a Database

    Capture the contact details of people who visit your website so that you can communicate with them regularly via email marketing or social media.

    6 Smart Ways to Collect Information from your Web Visitors

    8. Have Access to a Content Management System (CMS)

    Make sure your new website has a Content Management System (CMS) so that you can avoid extra costs by updating your copy yourself, whenever you need to.

    Why all new websites must have a Content Management System (CMS)

    What your new website needs for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

    9. Plan your Website Copy

    Make sure that your copy is specifically written for your website, based on your objectives.  And have the copy ready to go when your website is ready to go.

    Make it easy for people to find out what your business does and what you want them to do (contact you, buy something, sign up etc) and include keywords to let search engines know what your website is about.

    15 Step Web Copy Check; Improve your copy, improve your web results

    10. Optimise your Website Copy

    Work with a web copywriter who can research and select keywords and use them appropriately to optimise your copy to appear in search engine results.  Get your website set up so that you can add a custom page title and meta description to each web page, which is part of optimising your copy.

    11. Choose the Right Domain Name

    Discover 7 Tips for How to Choose a Domain Name

    12. Create a Marketing Plan

    Include a mix of activities, like generating web traffic from search engines, building your network on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and sending email campaigns to your list of subscribers.

    7 Targeted Tips for Marketing your Website Online

    13.Monitor your Website’s Performance

    Ensure that your website developer has installed a monitoring tool so that you can regularly review information about your website’s performance.

    Gotta Have a Website Monitoring Tool

    Google Analytics Dashboard Walkthrough

    14.Review your Progress, Make Changes and Keep on Marketing!

    Optimising and marketing your website is an ongoing process. Commit for the long term.

    Watch a video that summarises some of the key concepts already mentioned above  7 Steps to a Website that Works

    15. And when you need it, Ask for Assistance!

    Email your questions to Mel and Serena from the Grassroots team.

    Sound like a plan?