Website projects have a funny way of starting off as an exciting new step forward for your business but can quickly turn into a nightmare, time-consuming headache. For most, the language and technicalities around website development are enough to make you go crazy, often leaving a lot of trust in the hands of the company/person you have chosen to outsource to. However, there are a couple of things that you can be aware of to ensure you get the results that are best for your business not just now, but also 5 years down the track.
So, you should consider these 5 areas when looking at a new website development project. P.s. you can assess your current website against these and it should give you some indication of how your site stacks up to the needs of your business.
The best place to start is by aligning anything the website does (or plans to do) with the current marketing strategies and goals of the business. If you aren’t clear on those then you should start with a marketing plan first (a new website may not even be needed!). Assessing how your current website performs in achieving/aiding those goals and whether you can measure their success will help guide decisions around what functions the new website needs to perform to attract, engage, educate or convert customers.
Tip #1: Having someone manage the project who is familiar with both websites and the wider marketing functions of the business will end up saving you a lot of money & time i.e. a marketer.
There is no question that a well-designed website can make a huge impact on your customers. However, don’t get this confused with just making it look pretty! Often websites will look visually stunning but fail to provide clear pathways and call-to-actions (CTA’s) for its users. Think of how functionality and user experience will affect design before letting it get too far into the process. A professional web designer will also be sure to have consistent formatting, headers, text etc all that keep in line with your company’s brand.
Tip #2: Starting off with wireframes and sitemaps help give a basic layout of the website before spending lots of time and money in the design & development phase.
CMS (Content Management System)
How easy is it to use your CMS and edit web content, upload images, post blogs etc? This largely comes down to the platform your website is built on and the level of training required to manage it. Going with an open-source platform such as WordPress is often a smart decision for majority of web projects due to its easiness to use, customise and constantly improve. There are around 41000+ plugins that can be integrated to perform certain functions.
Tip #3: Ensure you have the resource in place to maintain the website on a regular basis or you can face problems with plugin updates, site crashes, security breaches etc.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Everyone will tell you the importance of SEO to help customers find you on the internet… well, they’re not wrong! Without getting into too much detail, make sure the appropriate amount of SEO work is completed before building the website (get a professional to do this!) e.g. keywords, title tags, description tags etc. If no one can’t find your beautifully designed website, there’s no purpose in it!
- 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. (Google, 2015) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
- 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. (Retailing Today, 2014) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics )
Tip #4: Doing the work upfront before the website design begins will save time and money.
Content is king. You should always write with the customer in mind and ensure each page has a clear purpose. Consistently updating and providing fresh content will be one of the key challenges once the website is launched.
Tip #5: Using a professional copywriter is a great way to ensure you display consistent & quality content on your website. Having dedicated landing pages for any online advertising will improve your ad rank and conversion rates.
If you want to talk about your next website project then get in touch with VOLOM. We are the marketing business who knows their stuff and will work with you to ensure your online presence is setup for success.