How to plan a new website
So, you’ve been tasked with creating a new website for your company. The burden fell on your shoulders, and they want a brand new website as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you’ve also been given limited time and resources. You’re a little out of your depth, and don’t know just where to begin.
Well, here’s the first piece of good news you’ve been given all day; you’re in the right place.
If you’re looking for guidance on website planning, then we can help you out. At Juniper, we have lots of web design experience. As such, we know the essential steps that go into planning a new site. It’s important that you follow these steps because they provide you with some structure. You end up with clear aims and goals; a framework to refer back to. It will help you be more productive with your time and work towards your end goal.
So, here are a few key steps you need to implement when website planning:
Define your target market
All websites begin with finding your target audience. Who will this website be aimed at? When you know this, it helps you set the tone for the site, and it also aids the visual design aspects later on.
Thankfully, this task may already be done for you. Grab a copy of your business plan, and it should have a section on the target market. This will give you all the details you need; target age, gender, job status, and so on.
Define the website goal
What is the purpose of this website? Does your company want to sell things online? Is it purely for lead generation to get more emails or calls? Define the main goal of your business website, and it helps you understand how it should look and operate.
A website that directly sells products will be considerably different to one that’s just there to provide information on your business and generate leads.
Consider the essential features
We’ve worked on many websites, so you can trust us when we say there are endless features you can implement in your web design. A big part of the website planning process is to understand which features you need, and which ones you can avoid.
Consequently, you have to look back at the website goals with your target audience in mind. What features do you need to achieve your goals? Which features help you connect with your target audience?
As an example, you need a host of e-commerce features if your site aims to sell things online. You probably need compelling content, great photos and videos if you want to generate leads.
Work on the visual design/layout
You must start thinking about how the website will look with all the features you require. A lot of places do templates or themes that you can use to cut down on time. But, ensure you focus on a layout that’s appealing to the user. Not only that, remember it might not always be a time-saving step using an off the shelf website theme.
Make it SEO friendly
Search engine optimisation is vital if you want the website to rank well and draw in a lot of traffic. So, spend some time considering all the important keywords you need to include throughout your website. Take care of simple things that improve the SEO too; make sure it loads quickly and create good content, etc.
All of these steps are crucial when website planning. You now know the key things to focus on, and this helps you plan and design a new website. If you’re really looking for an effective way of bringing your company’s vision to life, then it can benefit you to work with an agency like Juniper.
How will an agency help you plan a website?
To start, we have more experience than you. We’ve designed websites for many clients, so we know the ins and outs of website planning. By empowering you with our expert knowledge, we will help you take your vision and turn it into reality.
Plus, agencies have technical skills that you might not have. As a result, there could be aspects of web design that are impossible for you to deal with. By working alongside an agency, you get these technical things handled.
What’s more, an agency can provide you with a discovery workshop. This is something you can attend, at it allows you to put forth your concerns and work with the agency to identify all your clear design problems.
Why is a Discovery Workshop important?
When planning a website, discovery workshops help you get on the right track. There’s a type of workshop called the Design Sprint in which you go through a process to answer all the critical business questions.
In essence, if you attend a discovery workshop like this, then you will find solutions for your main problems. It helps you figure out the direction you want to go with your website, and allows you to plan everything professionally. If you dive in right away with no discovery stage, then you run the risk of facing so many different issues.
By working with an agency, you can sit down and attend a discovery workshop that’s designed to help you. We look at your project, and we take all the main points into consideration; target market, goals, SEO – everything. With your knowledge of your company and our knowledge of web design, we combine forces to develop the ideal plan for your new website.
Website planning is no easy feat, but it’s a crucial task. With no plan, you have no direction. The steps listed in this article will help you plan out a path for your site. But, it pays to work with an agency and attend a discovery workshop. Here, you can go into planning in more detail, to the point where you have a clear sense of direction and know how to plan the perfect website.