Welcome to a new series of blog posts from 2020Media.com on planning, building, marketing and selling the best possible website for your business.
Part 1 – Planning
Who is your website for?
Websites can do a lot of things, and some of the ones you’ve looked at for inspiration probably do very different things. However take some time to think about your website will help you achieve your business goals.
Plan and Prioritise
Ask questions like: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How can a website help you get there? Basic questions like these can really help focus your aims from the start. They will reveal what you want from your website, what is unnecessary and that your expectations are realistic.
Looking for Funding?
Grant and fund managers will look at your website. “We find a well crafted website is a good indicator of quality and professionalism” says Elliot Fry of iwoca.co.uk. So having a good website could even improve you chances of getting funding.
Choose the right Domain Name
Picking a domain name (website address) gives your website and email address legitimacy, inspires trust in your customers and will help people find you online. A good choice is a maximum of two or three words, so that it’s more likely people will remember it, and more importantly pass it on to their friends and colleagues.
Don’t forget your core idea and get carried away creating hundreds of additional features. Extra ideas added during the process can easily end with your website becoming as confused as your train of thought. But a website is a continual process – tech changes, your brand evolves and so do the people using it. Stay in touch with people who can help you keep it up to date and relevant.
What is your USP? The internet is huge – think how you will stand out from the competition. If you sell product online, you might not be able to offer free delivery like Amazon, with their huge volumes, but having a personal touch and fast replies to queries will make you noticeably different and bring repeat business.
Start with a Niche
It’s great to think big, but sometimes it’s better to focus on a niche, and grow over time. Designing, building and optimising a highly targeted website helps focus every aspect of your business, and lets you cut through the noise to reach the exact people you are looking for.
Paper and Pen
Before you spend money on a fancy web development agency, or while away the hours playing with an online website design tool, start with a design on an A4 sheet of paper. Draw a spider diagram of your site showing how evrey page links to another. Look at the ways visitors will navigate through your site to reach the goals you want them to. Shuffle your paper around until you reach a point where you are confident to reach for the computer mouse.
Look at other sites to see how they optimise their navigation to reach their goals. You can benefit from the work they’ve already done in “User Experience” optimisation.