Internet marketing strategies generally involve significant investment in a company website. Launching a new website or upgrading an existing one can be a difficult process and many business owners struggle to manage the process successfully. Even if you have a great website designer, it can be difficult to transfer your vision onto the screen and even the savviest of business people can find themselves overwhelmed by the process.
In addition to managing the technical side of developing a new website, business owners must also go through the process of deciding on and creating the content for their website. They must develop the correct marketing messages for their business and decide how to convey those messages on their new website. As a result of all of this many business owners end up compromising on the vision they had for their company website and the functionality that they wanted from it.
Here are some top tips on how to save you some heartache and get the most from the process.
- Before you invest in a new website development project or website upgrade look at your internet marketing strategy and where your website fits into it. What are the business goals that you are trying to achieve and where does your online presence fit into that?
- Set specific goals for your website. Decide what you want customers to do once they visit your website? Is it an e-commerce site – you want to make a sale? Do you want potential clients to download an eBook, sign up to a newsletter or fill out a contact form? Once you set the goals of your website you can use them as reference points when making decisions on the functionality and structure of the website.
- Prepare an outline of the structure. How are you going to organise your website? By product? By service? By location? What pages do you need and how do they relate to one another? When you are doing this, keep your goals in mind. You want potential customers to find your essential products and services easily, and then convert in a streamlined way as possible. There is no point in having your eBook five pages deep and only accessible if visitors follow a specific path.
- Integrate your other online marketing platforms. How and where are you going to integrate your blog – social media Pages etc. into your website?
- Research. Find examples of websites that you like, in terms of colour scheme, style, functionality and layout. They don’t necessarily need to be from your own industry but will give your web designer a good feel for what you are looking for.
I have managed the building of many websites on behalf of clients, working as an intermediary between the company and the website designer. The relationship is similar to that of an architect working with their clients and building contractor. Knowing what you want your website to do for your business and being clear on how it fits into your overall internet marketing strategy will mean that you will get more from the time you spend with your developer and can concentrate on building a website that achieves your goals and looks great too!
We haven’t covered the content side of developing a new website in this article – I’ll shed more light on that particular subject next week – it’s a favourite of mine!