The Blueprint for a Great Website: The Importance of Thorough Planning
How to Make a Great Website: Part 1
We’ve all seen dumpster-fire websites where planning was clearly an afterthought. Creating a website is a lot like building a house. You wouldn’t start laying bricks or putting up walls without a blueprint. Similarly, you shouldn’t start designing and building a website without a thorough plan. In this article, we’ll get into the importance of the planning phase and the top points you need to nail down during this phase.
Before we dive into the details of website planning, let’s take a moment to understand why it’s so crucial. A website is often the first interaction that potential customers have with your business, so it’s essential that it’s well-designed, easy to use, and effectively communicates your brand’s message. By taking the time to plan your website, you’ll be setting a strong foundation for your online presence that can drive leads, sales, and growth. Let’s get into it.
The first big piece you need to have in place is your online branding. This involves two vital components: visual branding and brand messaging. Visual branding is all about creating a cohesive and recognizable brand image. This includes developing a logo, color scheme, font selection, and other visual design elements that create a cohesive and consistent brand image. Brand messaging, on the other hand, is all about formulating a message that effectively conveys your business’s value proposition and differentiators to your target audience.
Your online branding is a critical component of your website planning because it sets the tone for your entire website. By establishing a clear and consistent visual and messaging brand identity, you’ll be able to plug these elements right into your website design. Presenting a consistent brand experience for your target audience builds trust and credibility.
Once you’ve established your online branding, the next step is to focus on user experience. A great website is not just about looking pretty; it’s also about guiding users to take specific actions that align with your business objectives. In this section, we’ll explore the critical questions you need to answer to create an exceptional user experience:
– What actions do we want our visitors to take?
– How can we intelligently guide our users to take those actions?
– How can we teach our users about our company and offerings?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to create a user experience that’s engaging, intuitive, and effective at driving conversions.
Speaking of conversions, defining your conversion goal is a critical component of website planning. Your conversion goal is the ultimate action that you want your website visitors to take. Most often this is a sale or a hot lead, but it also could be submitting an application, donating money, downloading content, booking an event, or scheduling a meeting. Identifying the unique needs and objectives of your organization is key to choosing the right conversion goal.
Once you’ve identified your conversion goal, you can start to build your website around it. This involves designing your site to guide users to take the specific action you want them to take. By focusing your website on your conversion goal, you’ll be able to drive more leads, sales, and growth.
Creating a sitemap is a crucial component of website planning. Planning out your sitemap is all about figuring out what pages and content you need to include in your website. A sitemap is a visual representation of the pages and content on your site. It’s essential to determine what pages you need on your website and how you want to navigate your users and present your content.
Often, hammering out the site-map is more about what ISNT going versus what it is. Too many disjointed pages in a website quickly turns into a mess. A mess to manage and a messy user experience. By creating a clear and concise sitemap, you’ll be able to ensure that your site is easy to navigate, and that users can quickly find the information they need.
Functionality is a critical component of website planning. It involves determining what you need your site to do, what tools or platforms you need to integrate, and what other work the website can take off your desk. When planning your site’s functionality, you need to consider what jobs the website needs to do, as well as how you can utilize technology and best practices to implement functionality effectively.
By taking the time to plan your website’s functionality, you’ll be able to build a site that not only looks great but also delivers results for your business. Creating a great website is a significant investment of time and resources, but the rewards can be immense. A well-designed website can help you build trust and credibility with your target audience, drive more leads and sales, and ultimately, grow your business. However, to achieve these results, you need to start with a strong foundation of thorough planning.
At Talking Monkey Media, we specialize in creating custom-designed and built websites for local businesses. Our team has years of experience in website planning and development, and we’re passionate about helping our clients achieve their online goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take your online presence to the next level.