Successful web sites require a mix of variables that include:
- A web design and layout that provides clarity to your message to reach your target audience;
- Content that has an internet marketing focus that aims to align your information with what people are searching for online. This aspect is achieved by doing the appropriate keyword research for structuring your website for search engine optimisation;
- Standards compliant coding for a solid foundation which considers accessibility, modern coding standards, speed of delivery on both desktop and mobile devices, and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) of your content; and
- And using a reliable Hosting service who can be contacted for support.
Planning for Web Design and Internet Marketing
1. To set up a business web site, you need to get organised and consider a few variables to help your web designer get into a better position to help you move towards the results that you want and need within your expected budget and time schedule. The first step to get organised is to identify your proposed web site’s goals and start to draw up a site map skeleton in order to clarify your website’s navigation hierarchy. Start with the top menu links and then consider the sub menu links which may even have further levels of sub menu links. The site map skeleton provides a clear focus for creating a plan for building your web site.
2. You may need to set aside time to sit down and really think and brainstorm your ideas and objectives for what type of web site are you are really interested in creating and why? Start a visual diary or note book of web sites that you could explore for insights, ideas and influences that could help you fast track your own goals.
Imagine the end result and what is required to be able to improve your communications with your customers and prospects to help them get what they are interested in quicker, easier, conveniently which means you are able to make more sales whether it be online or offline. Consider systems that could be used to provide the functionality required to provide solutions to your customer’s interests.
As the internet has now becoming a competitive place to market business, you need to consider how you will attract web traffic to your site. One big question is, “Would you like your customers to find your product or service online using keyword searches on the major search engines like goggle?”
If yes, then you will need to consider the keywords that you would expect your customers to be typing into search engines. Keyword research can be done to first identify your content focus with an aim to help search engines drive traffic to your web site. Keyword research has an aim to find out what keywords are in demand which can then be used by structuring the relevant keywords into your web site content with an aim to match search demand with your business proposition. This process is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Search Engine Marketing (SEM). There are now many services world wide that specialise in both on-site SEO and Off-site SEO.
3. The following questions aim to help you raise your awareness so that you are in a better position to advise your web designer on your preferred directions in your web site project.
- Have you decided on a budget for setting a web site?
- Have you identified what will be your expectations to make the project viable relative to your objectives and expected financial return?
- What would you like people to do when they visit your web site as what is the call to action?
- What is the experience that you would like the user to take away from visiting your web site?
- Do you have a registered business name?
- Have you looked into getting a domain name for your branding and business’s web and email communications?, i.e. www.your_business_name.com.au
- Are you organised with content, preplanned with a site plan and ready to set up a web site with ready to be supplied pre-proof read text and images?
- Are you clear about the content required for various pages with a proposed web site. These pages might include information about your products and services, features and benefits, your opening hours, your location, contact details, privacy policies and you terms and conditions. Maybe even specific web forms to collect information that your customers request.
- Have you thought about writing up a list of the page names to to be linked into a web site navigation system. Have you created a site map or flow chart of your proposed web site? This site map would also include external links to other web sites.
- Have you been looking at web sites of businesses similar to yours? if yes, have you taken notes on what you like and dislike about these sites? Are you are able explain the aspects that you like and dislike as part of planning your own web site?
- Have you researched why you would like to setup a web site?, i.e. do you have an unique idea that can be applied in the web media to compliment your existing business strategies.
- Have you thought about specific keywords that you would like the users of search engines users to find your site with. When we use Google for example, we use keywords to find the information that we are looking for. Therefore, as an author of information to be published on the web, we may wish to write up a list of keywords that we can use to structure your web site pages to be search engine friendly. A term used in the web industry today is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as well as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which are extremely important for ensuring your web site can be found amongst thousands of other web site that have similar information to yours.
- Therefore, have you considered the important need to do keyword research into what words your prospects are using in the search engines when they are looking for solutions similar to your business propositions?
- Google Trends
- Free Word Tracker Keyword tool
- Key word discovery
- Thesaurus.com | Dictionary.com
- Do you have your business details (inc. your logo) readily available in electronic form? if yes, has it been edited for the web as well as proof read by a 3rd party. if no, do you need to seek the services of a professional copy writer?
- Do you have an existing business image that you would like to develop onto the web? if no, do you need to acquire the services of a graphic designer to create your business logo and branding?
- Do you have a deadline or schedule for getting a web presence?
- Do you already have a hosting service organised?