Planning is a key part to running a business. Whether it’s planning for a company event, a project, finances or a marketing strategy, every task needs a set of steps to achieve success. Without a strategy, your assignment is likely to fail.
Preparing for a new or redesigned website is just as important as planning for everything else in your business. Taking the time to plan your website sets a defined direction as well as prevent backtracking and miscommunication between you and the site builder.
The steps below will show you how to plan a website redesign and lay the groundwork for your upcoming site.
Step 1: Define Your Target Buyer
The starting point is defining your target market – your ideal buyer. After all, the marketing and sales team need to know who they should be focusing on. Before you dive into researching ask yourself these questions.
- What industry does this ideal buyer work in?
- What is the size of their company – revenue, employees, building?
- What is their role within the company?
- What is the buyer responsible for in the company?
- What are their biggest challenges?
- How do they search for information and purchase products? Online? Ask friends and family?
- Describe the buyer’s demographics.
- Describe their education and career path.
- What value would the buyer get from your product or service?
Once you’ve answered these questions you should have a clear picture of your target audience. This will help you keep your message and branding consistent on your website.
Step 2: Set Goals for the Website
It’s important to identify your website’s purpose and set attainable goals. Is the purpose of your website to increase awareness of your company? To sell products through an online store? To educate the public? Or to gain support for a cause? Whatever your intent, set measurable goals. Tools like Google Analytics and Hubspot are great choices to measure your site’s performance.
Step 3: Research
Take some time to explore websites in your industry. Look at national companies, local businesses, product suppliers, even the competition. What is the content on their website like? How about their features? Their design elements? Make a list of what you like and don’t like about each website.
Step 4: Create a Map or Guide for Your Site
Before you ask a web development company for an estimate, create a plan of what your website might include. Consider the following:
- Number of pages in the navigation
- Plugins or tools such as an event calendar, a gallery, a contact form, etc.
- Copy writing and SEO
- Amount of services covered online
- Selling products via an eCommerce store
Defining what you might like to see on your site will help the web building company create an accurate proposal for you.
Step 5: Set a Budget
No matter what size of business you have, you should always set a budget for digital marketing which includes your website. Your financial plan should include web design, coding, hosting, domain purchase and renewal and website maintenance. Be sure to do a little shopping around and get quotes from professional developers. But remember, don’t just compare pricing. Look at the company’s experience, testimonials and their portfolio.
Step 6: Define Roles and Responsibilities
Having too many cooks in the kitchen can cause many headaches when building a website. You can avoid this by defining a point of contact for the project. This person should be able to provide answers to the web designer’s questions and help move the project along smoothly. There should also be a head decision maker that gets each team member to approve all pieces of the website.