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By creating a digital presence online, potential customers will be able to find out about your products and services and gain a good understanding of your business ethos and culture.
But building a new website is something that needs thorough consideration and detailed planning before any design and development work can take place.
Here is our advice on what you need to consider to plan a successful website…
First of all, clearly define your target audience. Consider the different characteristics of your target audience and create a profile or persona for each group…
Having a clear definition of your target audience will help you to plan the content of your website.
The extent of the internet has made it very easy for more and more people to set up new businesses without incurring vast start-up costs. In order to ensure your website will be competitive in the marketplace, it’s important to spend some time reviewing your competition.
Search for potential competitors using different words and phrases that are relevant to your business and product range.
Make a list of at least the top 10 competitors and have a good browse through their websites. Compare your product range to theirs, check out pricing (if relevant) and see what tone of voice and design they are using to capture visitors’ attention.
Whilst looking through their websites, make a note of any ideas that spring to mind that you could incorporate on your website to differentiate yourself and make your site stand out from the competition.
Whatever type of business you run, it’s important to consider what information your website should contain. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about what they would like to know to ensure they are approaching a professional and reputable company.
In general, potential customers will want to know the following:
In addition to information that will be incorporated in a text format, think about whether there are any additional applications or functionality you would like to include.
Depending on your business, it might be helpful to provide your customers with a calculator that provides them with additional information to help their purchases. Some examples of popular calculators available on the internet today include:
Other ideas of functionality that you may want to consider are:
If there is something completely bespoke that you require for your website, try to document it in a diagram format that your future design agency and developer can work from.
Once you have a good idea of what information you want to include on your website, it’s important to consider how the site might be structured. Your site needs to be clear and easy to navigate so that visitors can find the information they need as quickly and easily as possible so they don’t get frustrated and go elsewhere.
Here is an example of how a typical website structure might look:
HOME: A brief introduction to the company and products - use strong call-to-actions
ABOUT US: A more detailed description of the company
PRODUCTS/SERVICES: A detailed breakdown of products or services
NEWS: Regular news stories and articles
CONTACT US: Information on how customers can get in touch
Although you will now have a good idea of what information you need to include on your website, it’s a good idea to consider what sort of style your website should take and the tone of voice that should be used to communicate with your visitors.
If, for example, you are a supplier of decorative items for the home, do you want your site to be in a contemporary or traditional style?
If you are a business provider, do you want your site to be wholly professional or have a fun element to it?
The style that you choose for your website is key as it will make that all-important first impression on your visitors.
Last but not least, as part of your website planning process, have a think about what words and phrases your potential customers might use within search engines to source your products. It might not be a single word, it might be a combination of words that helps users to find a specific product or service in a particular geographical area.
Make a list of at least the top 10 keywords and phrases. These will need to be incorporated into your section headers, page titles and text throughout your website to help you be found on search engines such as Google. But remember, it's important not to make the text too spammy and be sure to be natural in your communication approach.
If you would like help planning a website for your business, contact us on 0800 849 0888
Article by: Tim Bennett
myCloud Media | Yorkshire Web Designers
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We will reply to you in the next 24-48 hours.
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