Before you start writing any content or selecting design or images, make sure you know what you need and want on your website. Here are some of the things you need before you start any design or build.
What is the purpose or goal of the website?
A clear goal will give the site the focus it needs to perform. Are the site’s intent to sell a product or service, generate leads or showcase your work? To make your goal S.M.A.R.T., it needs to conform to the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Questions you may ask yourself when setting your goals and objectives are:
- What exactly do I want to achieve?
- With whom?
- What are the conditions and limitations?
- Why exactly do I want to reach this goal? What are the possible alternative ways of achieving the same?
Measurable goals mean that you identify what it is you will see, hear, and feel when you reach your goal. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements.
If you don’t have the time, money, or talent to reach a specific goal, you’ll certainly fail and be miserable.
Is reaching your goal relevant to you? Why do you want to reach the goal?
Install deadlines, for yourself and your team, and go after them. Keep the timeline realistic and flexible.
Know your target market
Everything revolves around your prospects and customers. Make sure you understand your customer’s priorities, and what their success expectations are. Your keyword research will help you (see below).
Research and more research
Have a look at other websites, look at your competition. Make a note, so what design or layout you like, what features or functionality you need. Perform keyword research to understand what people are searching. Your keyword research will drive your content creation, SEO, and Social media planning. Google Keyword Planner is a good starting point for your keyword research.
Take care choosing your domain name
Short, memorable, relevant, and reflects your business. It is not easy to change, so make sure you can live with it.
Features and functionality
Decide what features or functionality you need on the site. Forms, lead capture, estimating request, shopping cart, calendar, appointments scheduler, newsletter, SMS messenger, etc.
Plan and write your pages and content
Your research and keywords search is the foundation of your web pages. You need to deliver what your customers want. Every page should have a purpose, inform, give you credibility, and tell the visitor what to do next, Call to Action.
Decide on your layout and design
Now you know what features and functionality are needed. You have your content and pages, and you need to put this together visually in a professional and visually pleasing way. Do layout sketches or get someone to help you put it all together.
Find the right images
Every image needs to be a good representation of your business. The pictures set the mood for your website. They are your online facade. Images in a webpage should help drive home your message or underline your point.
Create your business logo
Your logo is your branding statement and needs to illustrate your vision and be easily recognizable. Try to keep it clean and straightforward, and it has to scale well up or down in size. It has to be readable on your business card and your website. You may want to try online logo makers like Canva or Looka or go to Fiverr and find a reasonable designer to create your logo.
If you have done all this you are well prepared for creating your website or give someone instruction what you want and need. Going to a web designer with all this information will save you money and time and give you better results.