Website planning is an important part of any web design project, as it helps to define the scope of your website and what you want your website to accomplish. Website planning sets out the goals for a successful website build and provides a roadmap for achieving them.
The first step in Website Planning is identifying the target audience that you wish to reach through your website. Knowing who you’re targeting will give you an idea of the type of content and design elements needed to appeal to that audience.
Once the target audience is identified, it’s time to move on to Website Planning Procedure. This involves defining objectives for the website, such as increasing visitor numbers or driving sales, and outlining the strategy for achieving these objectives.
The Website Planning Checklist is an essential part of website planning and will provide guidance throughout the design process. It ensures that all aspects of the website are accounted for, such as customer experience, SEO optimization, content planning, and more.
Analytics are another important aspect of Website Planning. Analytics tools allow you to track visitor behavior on your website and understand how they interact with it. This information can help you further refine the design of the website and make any changes necessary to improve user experience long after your website has launched.
By following this Website Planning guide, you can ensure that your website is effective and successful. Website Planning sets the foundation for a well-designed website that achieves its objectives and meets the needs of your target audience. With careful Website Planning, your website will be well on its way to success!
In this article post we’ll cover:
- Intro to Website Planning
- Website Planning Procedure
- Website Planning Checklist
- Know Your Target Audience
- Using Analytics in Website Planing
Step 1 - Intro to Website Planning
Any successful website needs to have a clear plan in order to achieve specific purposes. Without a plan, it can be difficult to determine what actions need to be taken and what content should be created. Your plan should answer questions like “What are my goals?”
Here are others question your website planning should answer:
- What do I ultimately want people to do when they visit my website?
- What my value proposition, what sets me apart from my competition?
- How will my brand play a role in establishing the tone and feel?
- What is my target market and and is my website speaking to them effectively?
- Along with my main desired conversion, what are my micro conversions to guide my visitors down the sales funnel?
- What’s my content strategy?
When creating a website, it is important to have a plan in place to ensure that the site is effective and achieves its specific purposes. When creating a website plan, there are several key factors that you need to consider. For instance, every page of your site should have a specific purposes and always lead to your visitor’s next step which always leads to a specific call to action (CTA). Each CTA will ultimately lead to your website’s main conversion. This is determined by your content strategy.
What kind of content will help you achieve your desired results? By taking the time to consider these factors, you can develop a plan that will help you create a successful website.
Step 2 - Website Planning Procedure
Here are the basic procedure to planning a website.
- First and and foremost, determine what you need your website to achieve for your business.
- Articulate how your website will be different from other websites in your industry - your competition.
- Understand all of the elements needed on each page.
- Factor in your On-Page SEO! Understand the elements of writing content structured for SEO optimization, like H1 headings, H2 subheads, keyword density, alt tags on images, meta descriptions and E.A.T signals. Read more about On-Page SEO here.
- Build a strong site architecture and menu structure. Determine which specific pages you'll need for your website like, “About Us”, “Services”, “Blog” or “Contact.” Look at other websites in your industry and see what they offer. Additionally, note which pages or elements are missing from their site. Always plan to differentiate your site from your competition. A little opposition research can go a long way.
- Make a list of what you want each page to accomplish, including the keywords that should be included on each page. Remember, don’t use a keyword or key-phrase more than once per page. Google ranks pages not websites, if you have the same keyword on two pages, Google won’t know which one to rank so they won’t rank any.
- Decide who will handle customer service/questions – determine which email addresses you’ll need and list them, I.e.: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected].
- You’ll need at least one external link per page, think of related outside entities that enhance your content. You’ll need to link internally as well, this is where your content strategy kicks in. Also, link back internally when posting content externally like social media posts because this provides value within search engine results.
Step 3 - Website Planning Checklist
The following checklist can be used as a guide to ensure that all important elements are taken into account:
It's important to keep your target audience in mind. Who are you trying to reach with your message? What do they need to hear? Answering these questions can help you fine-tune your content and make sure it's resonating with the right people.
ValuePropositionUnderstanding your Value Proposition is critical to the success of your business. It is what sets you apart from your competition and tells your target audience why they should buy from you. There are many factors to consider when developing your Value Proposition, such as your unique selling points, your target market, and your brand identity. By taking the time to understand these aspects of your business, you can develop a strong Value Proposition that will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Goals & Objectives
Without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, it will be difficult to create a site that meets your needs. There are many factors to consider when setting goals and objectives and what specific goals must your website achieve. (e.g. Increase lead Generation, Increase sales, Increase brand awareness, Improve online customer service)
Branding is an important aspect of any business. It helps to create a recognizable image that can be associated with your company. Your website is one of the most important places to reflect your brand. It should be consistent in its look and feel, from the color palette to the typography. The tone of voice in the copy should also reflect your brand image. Branding is about more than just appearance, however. It's also about creating a unique and memorable experience for your customers. Your website should be engaging and relevant, providing timely and interesting content that will keep people coming back. By creating a strong brand, you can build loyalty and create a lasting impression on your customers.
Content is the bread and butter of any website. Content strategy is the process of planning, creating, curating, and managing content with the goal of achieving specific business objectives. It's important because it ensures that all content is relevant, engaging, and aligned with the overall business goals. Without a content strategy, it would be difficult to maintain a consistent brand voice or create content that leads to conversions. A good content strategy will take into account the target audience, the tone of voice, and the overall business goals to create a roadmap for all content creation. By following a content strategy, businesses can ensure that all their content is working towards their bottom line.
Website features are important in order to have a functional website. Some of the must-have features are lead generation forms, contact forms, discovery forms, a professional portfolio, a blog for content marketing, image galleries, videos, e-commerce solution for selling products, collecting donations for fundraising, social media embedding, etc. All of these features are important in order for a website to run smoothly. Without these features, a website would not be able to function properly in achieving its goals.
Social Media Properties
Having social media properties for your business is important for a number of reasons. First, they provide an excellent platform for promoting your content. Second, they can help you to rank higher in search engine results. Third, they offer a great way to handle customer service inquiries. And fourth, your customers expect you to have them! In today's competitive business landscape, it's essential to have an active presence on social media. By having a well-thought-out social media strategy, you can ensure that your business stays ahead of the curve.
There are a few key things you'll need to get started with your website. Firstly, you'll need a domain name. This is what people will type into their browser to find your site. Once you've got your domain name, you'll need a hosting plan. This is where your website's files will be stored and served from. We have an excellent resource covering these two items on our Getting Started Page. In addition, you'll also need an SSL certificate to encrypt your website and ensure it's secure. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and it's what turns your website from HTTP to HTTPS. This is an important step that shouldn't be overlooked. With these key Website Essentials in place, you'll be well on your way to getting your site up and running!
Step 4 - Know Your Target Audience
Targeting the right audience is key to the success of any website. Without understanding who your target users are and what they are looking for, it will be difficult to design a website that meets their needs. For example, let's say you're working on a marketing campaign for a new product. You'll want to think about who your target market is for that product. What age are they? What gender? What interests do they have? Once you have a good idea of who you're trying to reach, you can start creating content that speaks directly to them. This is where buyer personas come in. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents your ideal customer. https://www.semrush.com/blog/buyer-persona/
There are a number of ways to research your target audience, including surveys, focus groups, and customer interviews. Once you have a good understanding of your target users, you can begin to design your website around their specific needs and search intents. By taking the time to understand your target audience, you can ensure that your website is designed for maximum impact.
Step 5 - Using Analytics in Website Planning
Analytics are an important part of website planning. Google Analytics is the most popular solution on the market and it is important to set it up as soon as possible. Analytics allow you to monitor your website’s performance and gain insights into how visitors are engaging with the site. Reading on tracking pixels will help you understand how analytics work. Pixels are used to track user behavior and can give you a lot of information on how people interact with your site. By understanding how people use your site, you can make changes to improve the user experience. Analytics are a powerful tool that can help you optimize your website and make it more successful.
Here are a few search topics for reading:
- Tracking codes and pixels
- Keyword research
- Google Analytics 4
- Google Search Console
- Organic search and general SEO tools (SEO strategy)
- Paid search
Website planning can be a daunting task, but it is essential to the success of your online presence. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a website that is both user-friendly and reflective of your company's brand. With a little careful planning, you can ensure that your website will be a valuable asset to your business.
When it comes to your website, perhaps you don't want to go it alone. NFD can help you get your website moving in the right direction and on to success. These are the steps and checklists we use when designing and producing websites for our clients. We have affordable packages in which to start with. Book a call and let's discuss your project. We'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!
About the author:
Nick France has been designing everything from ads to websites for over thirty-five years and it’s obviously engrained in his DNA at this point. When he’s not designing or writing he’s usually found loving on his family or strapped to a guitar, singing his heart out.