Ready… Set… Wait a minute… What do I need to do for this again?
Websites are a major investment of time and money for your business. However, this is also potentially one of the smartest investments for your business. Not only can it generate revenue for you, but it is a resource that can continuously be built upon to save you time, communicate with your customers and build upon your brand. We put together a list of 11 ways you can prepare for an awesome website launch:
- Decide the primary goal of your website
- Figure out your target audience
- Do your research
- Get a unique brand identity for your business
- Write out your services in detail
- Prepare a list of the products you sell and all the variations of those products
- Get your images ready
- Think about a descriptive and memorable hero section
- Secure your domain name
- Prepare written content for each page of your website
- Think about features that are priority
Determine Your Primary Goal
How will you measure success for your website? Will success be more leads, more efficiency, more revenue, or just being found more easily online? Perhaps success will simply be having a really professional, accurate, and easy to use website that you can comfortably send your customers and clients to. Take some time to decide what you would consider a win for your website.
Figure Out Your Target Audience
Who is your product or service for? What does that person do for a living? What do they look like, and how do they like to be spoken to? These are important questions prior to beginning your website. If you are selling products specifically for children that website will look dramatically different than products intended for a barber shop. Think about if you are speaking to men or women, their age group, and what they are typically drawn to. This can be hard if you are just getting started, but even then you likely have an idea of the type of people you are looking to help with your business.
Do Your Research
As a business owner research never stops. Starting a website is no different! Once you figure out who your target audience is and what you are selling you can start looking at what other similar businesses are doing with their online presence. Pay attention to the features on their blogs and which social platforms they are using. Think about ways you can do things differently in your business, and hopefully better! Figure out what you like and dislike. Make a list of features you really love and are hoping to have for your own website.
Design a Unique Brand Identity for Your Business
Branding makes all the difference between your website looking organized and clean to it looking unorganized and random. The first step in every one of our web design projects is to ensure the brand colours, fonts, logo, and textures are defined. This is to ensure that you as the business owner and us as the designers are on the same page for how you would like your business represented visually. It is statistically more likely that a person will judge your business based on look and feel prior to reading a single word.
Write Out Your Services
Make a full list of what the services are that you offer and then SIMPLIFY! Try to summarize those services into 3 main packages. It is much easier for people to make a decision about what service is right for them if they are faced with a few very clearly defined and specific choices rather than a large catalogue of complex services and options.
Prepare a List of the Products You Sell and All the Variations of Those Products
If you are getting an e-commerce website it is important that you make a list of all of the products you will be selling. The information you will need for each product is:
- Colour, Size, or other variations (ie. black shirt, white shirt, red shirt)
- Dimensions and weight for calculating shipping
- The categories that your products should be organized into
Get Your Images Ready
High quality professional images are a must for any great website! It important that your images can be enlarged without losing quality. Images that are horizontal, with lots of white space are ver versatile and can be used in any number of scenarios from web design, to print design, to social media marketing. Try to get images that tell the story about your bunsiness. Images that show your tools, products, or demonstrate your services should be the primary focus. We try to also ensure that the photos on our sites include the business’ brand colours to create a cohesive look and feel throughout the site.
Think About a Descriptive and Memorable Hero Section
The hero section on your website is the most important on your entire website! Did you know that humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish? You actually have less than 5 seconds to communicate to your website visitor if they are in the right place and what they should do next. Your hero section should include images that clearly describe what y ou do or feature your products. Should have a very short bio or a few words that describe what you do. It should also include a call to action to tell your visitors where they should go next. For more information about what makes an effective hero section on your website check out this blog post.
Secure a Domain Name
Selecting a domain name for your website is likely one of the hardest things you will do, however it is also one of the most important. You want it to be clear, SEO friendly, easy to spell when said aloud, short enough for email addresses and hopefully memorable. If you are ready to secure a domain name you can do so at Name Cheap.
Prepare Written Content for Each Page of Your Website
After you have your site map figured out you can begin writing your content. Go page by page to start writing your content. Don’t worry about writing a ton, honestly 150-300 words per page is plenty! The important thing is to be very clear and take advantage of headings to draw attention to specific topics and keywords. The wording on your website also becomes increasingly important when you are looking to get better results on your SEO. Search Engines will index every word on your website and help send traffic to your website based on the words you use that are relevant to search queries.
Think About Features That Are High Priority
Are you thinking of having a blog on your website? Maybe you would like to have a newsletter optin, social media integration, or custom forms to collect information. Perhaps you would like to streamline some of the processes in your business like scheduling and appointment booking. If you are investing in a website try to think of ways you can give it a job to benefit you and your business to the fullest.
BONUS: Research Web Designers and Get At Least Three Quotes
Yes we are a Digital Design Studio and we specialize in brand strategy. But we still encourage our clients to shop around and do their research. We want to make sure that our clients are excited to work with us and that they feel their investment is the right investment for their business and goals. We offer a free initial consultation and quote just to help you with your decision making process! We would love to hear from you! You can contact us here.