Set your goals and design on a strong foundation.
Just like your business, you have a business plan and goals, so your website should also have a its’ own plan and goals that support your business.
Your business-website plan should include:
- What are the services and products the business is providing?
- Who is the client or prospect the website is for?
- What do future clients want?
- How will the website support and interact with current clients?
Why Use a Website Plan?
Some times going on a road trip without a map can be fun, but this is not a joy ride with no direction in mind. We do have a goal and the website business plan gives us a map or a path to take.
Answering some questions will help us figure out what the website will need.
- Will the website be more than a brochure?
- Will it include an eCommerce store?
- What client services will it provide?
- Are there multiple offices with different contact information?
- Will you Introduce new products?
- Are there other ways your site will make money?
- Will clients use the site to interact with different divisions of your company?
- Who will be the key contributors to the website?
- Will there be other marketing programs funneling interested parties to the website?
- Will there be a blog? An RSS fed?
- Will there be an email news letter?
- Will you be more concerned with sales or creating relationships?
Content Plan & Strategy
Will you be providing:
- A blog or adding content over time
- Documents to support products or services
- Images of products and image galleries
- Videos of services or how to use products
Planning for specific items can help when designing, navigation and growth changes over time.
You may not use all of these:
- Customer testimonials
- Photography for people that directly meet with clients
- Photos of products
- Illustrations, blue prints or diagrams products or past projects.
- Videos of products or services in action, directions or how-to.
- Videos to introduce your company.
- Brand specific logo, fonts or colors.
These will help your company stand out from your competition.
Once these topics are well defined then the design, navigation, and content will fall into place. Design a client and new customer flow patterns.
Now you decide on contact forms, email sign up forms how your site will work with social networks.
I still do not recommend using your social networks to interact with customers, but just a way to guide them to the website for more personal contact and interaction.
So now it’s time to look at design and navigation.