Planning is essential for most businesses and organizations. However, when it comes to websites there is often an oversight to plan properly, if any planning is done at all. Occasionally this is because the hectic nature of the day to day running of a business won't allow sufficient time to the project.
Sometimes people simply underestimate the time and expertise that goes into building even the most basic website.Recently more companies have realized that planning for the web is just as important as planning for anything else associated with their business.
What are your website’s objectives?
You should already have a business plan that defines your business objectives. With the goals from your business plan in mind, begin your website planning by defining the site’s goals. Answer questions such as:
- Who is the target audience? Who will be more likely to visit your site and buy your products?
- What are the goals of this website? Do you want to:
- Build brand awareness?
- Generate new leads?
- Increase brand awareness?
- Improve communication with customers?
- Create an informative blog?
- Increase sales?
- Provide access to a social discussion community?
- What information will you need on the site to achieve your goals? What keywords will you use to drive traffic from organic search?
- What is the best way to present information to your target audience? Do you want a formal business tone, or do you want it to be casual?
Be sure that your website’s content is written for humans and search engines. It is important to write your content for SEO, but don’t inject your keywords so often that the content doesn’t make sense and becomes unreadable. Try to add your keywords where they make sense and where they can flow naturally so the information sounds like it was written by a human rather than a robot.
What are your competitors doing?
Chances are that other companies are already selling products or services similar to yours. Spend some time looking at their websites to analyze what is or isn’t working for them. Compare your observations with what you have in mind for your website. Their designs and layouts can give you inspiration for your website.
In addition, you should analyze current trends that are leading your market. Understanding these trends can help you to create a more useful and compelling website for your target audience.
As you define your website’s goals and analyze the competition, you may want to get input from team members and management.