Web Design Guide V.2010

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How to save time, money and sanity while developing your small business website

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Web Design Guide V.2010

  1. 1. Building a Small Business Website How to Save Time, Money and Sanity During Website Development
  2. 2. Table of Contents 2 Common Small Business Complaints ………….... 3 Saving Time, Money & Sanity…………………….…..4 Questions to Answer Before You Start …….………... 5 Web Design Options……………..……………..….….. 6 Understanding Website Development: Process…. 7 Understanding Website Development: People…… 8 Choosing Your Best Fit Solution ………………..…….9 Choosing Your Best Fit Solution – Pros & Cons of Web Design Options…………10-12 Communicating with the Creative Team – to save time & money …………………..…………13 Top Complaints Answered…………………..…...14-15 Success Checklist….………………….......………16-17 Additional Resources………………….......….….... 18 © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  3. 3. Common Small Business Complaints 3 - During Website Development 1.  This is taking MUCH longer and costing more money than I anticipated! 2.  Why is my web designer asking me for ‘content’? I sent them all our marketing materials? 3.  Can’t I make these simple copy changes myself? 4.  What do you mean I have to pay for photographs and illustrations? 5.  After all this time and money…I’m not sure I like this website. Now what? 6.  Why aren’t I in the top 10 search results for my industry? 7.  My website isn’t generating much business © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  4. 4. Saving Time, Money and Sanity 4 •  Help is here for small businesses! –  Avoid the most common complaints and frustrations of developing a professional website •  This guide will help you:   Set realistic expectations for budget, time and quality of various web design options   Choose the best design option for their business objectives, time constraints and budget   Understand the process and the people necessary to successful website development   Improve communications with the creative team to save time and money © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  5. 5. Questions to Answer Before You Start 5 What is the purpose of your website & how complex should it be?   Is the main purpose of your website: marketing, commerce or community?   Who is your target market & how will they use your website?   What do you want the website to do?   Will this be a “static” site, or do you want Web 2.0 interactivity?   Do you want to integrate e-mail and other lead gen marketing into your website?   How often will you update your website? Who will host & technically support the website? How much help do you need to develop your website?   Are you computer savvy enough to feel comfortable with online design templates? Will you read the manual & call tech services if you get stuck installing a shopping cart?   How much time do you have to devote to this project? Do you have the time and talent to write your own content copy? Which web design options should you consider? 1. Do-It-Yourself 2. Get Some Help 3. Full Service Agency $ $$ $$$ © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  6. 6. Web Design Options 6 So many choices Today, there are many options for building a website – from “Do-It-Yourself” design templates to full service creative design agencies
 1. Do It Yourself 2. Get Some Help 3. Full Service Agency $ $$ $$$ •  On-line Design Templates •  Freelance Web Designers •  Internet Marketing or •  On-line design templates •  Others design and build Advertising Agency to build a basic website website with your in-put •  Experts design, write and build website and integrate •  Cost*: From $50 - $150 •  Cost*: From $400 - with overall Marketing (including domain name $8,000 (plus domain •  Cost*: $8,000 - $25,000 & 12 months hosting) name, art/photos & hosting services) •  Your Time: Moderate •  Your time: Extensive You give in-put, approve You will choose design •  Your Time: Significant design and content at elements, install You define functionality, key checkpoints. Agency interactive functionality give marketing in-put to designer and provide all can provide all functions and write all content copy and coordinate all content copy services * The stated price range is an average for small business websites in each service category depending on site size & complexity © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  7. 7. Understanding Website Development 7 The Process •  Website development is not a one-step process   While web designers and agencies may describe their process differently, I like the “5 D’s of Web Development.”1 But whatever the labels…be sure all these key tasks are present to build a website that not only looks good, but is a powerful tool Client Review Client Review 2.Definition 4.Development •  Identifying •  Creating the •  Publishing goals & •  Developing Visual Design •  Producing & your site & sharing the user Engineering telling the information experience the Site world about it 1.Discovery 3. Design 5.Deployment User Testing User Testing Client Review 1 Used with permission from © Scribblefish Media, an Orlando Interactive design agency © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  8. 8. Understanding Website Development 8 The People - One person can fulfill multiple roles, but be sure all key functions are included Website Owner Define purpose, objectives & budget, approve progress Marketing Develop marketing strategies Provide marketing & content Director to fulfill business goals in-put to creative team Information & Expert of user experience Build wireframe & sitemap System Architect Communication between Keep project on time Project Manager client & creative team & on budget Graphic Responsible for look & feel of website: Designer design, style, color, animation, sound...etc Turn marketing in-put into copy content Copywriter for each page of website HTML Translate visual design into computer code Programmer & store files on web server Coordinate hosting services & provide Webmaster* on-going IT support of website * A software engineer or programmer may be needed if it is a complex site and/or requires systems integration. © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  9. 9. Choosing Your Best Fit Solution 9 - Who Is The Best Web Designer For You?   Now that you understand the:   Compare apples to apples   Three categories of web designers   Not all web designers are created equal   Website development process   Take the time to understand how a   People & key roles to site development prospective web designer works & exactly what technical & marketing services they offer   Compare the pros & cons of each option. The next 3 pages list:   Choosing the right level of   Pros & cons of each web design category expertise & service vs. price   When this option is a good choice for you   You can’t build eBay with basic on-line   On-line or local resources for each option design templates   You don’t want to pay for a level of complexity you don’t need, but you don’t want any   Beware the pitfalls of option 2: surprises or unexpected charges for services you assumed were included   For many reasons “Getting Some Help” from freelance web designers poses more problems than “Doing it Yourself” or hiring   Be realistic about budget – time – a “Full Service Agency” quality   This category has the widest range of   As the saying goes… you can only get two talent, expertise & price including: of three   Your neighbor’s nephew that built his   If you get a good price & it’s done really fast, church’s website the quality will suffer   Up & coming young talent   If you get a good price & great quality, it will take longer   Seasoned professionals that choose to   If you get it fairly fast & high quality, it will cost freelance you more © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  10. 10. 1. Do-It-Yourself + Choosing Your Best Fit Solution 10 $ Option # 1: Website Design Templates   Pros   Cons   Least expensive solution   Most time consuming option   You must write all marketing copy &   Don’t need html programming find/buy all photography & clip art or engineering skills   Installing shopping carts & other   Availability of some high quality functionality can be frustrating templates designed by   May not look unique, or professional professional graphic artists enough for your business   Good choice if you:   Resources: Website Templates   Want a small static website   http://www.templatemonster.com/   Are somewhat tech savvy   Are patient & willing to learn   http://templates.arcsin.se/ software application   http://www.godaddy.com/   Have a lot of time to devote to website development   Are a good marketing writer © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  11. 11. + 2. Get Some Help Choosing Your Best Fit Solution 11 $$ Option # 2: Freelance Web Designers   Pros   Cons   Freelance designers vary widely in   Web design expertise expertise & price   Technical assistance for interactive &   Still time consuming as you provide all commerce functionality direction, content & proof-reading   Customized design and architecture   Web designers tend to be better in either building structure or graphic design   Often less expensive than agencies (rarely both)   Additional costs if you must hire a graphic artist, copywriter or html programmer   Good choice if you:   Know exactly what you want in terms   Resources: Orlando Freelancers of functionality, navigation, & content   Rocky Segarra: rocky@eskee.com   Understand the process, interview designers rigorously and get   Jim Cooper: jim@twisttopgraphics.com references   Sam King: sam.king@yahoo.com   Have significant time to devote to website development   Are a good marketing copy writer © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  12. 12. + 3. Full Service Agency Choosing Your Best Fit Solution 12 $$$ Option # 3: Internet Marketing or Advertising Agency   Pros   Cons   Full service solutions: design, write,   More expensive build and market websites   Agencies vary in website expertise   Strategic, creative and technical expertise   Some agencies are better at technical   Professional quality websites with functionality than graphic design unique graphic design and custom   Not all agencies can optimize and market architecture websites (SEO & SEM)   Good choice if:   Your website is a crucial part of your   Resources: Orlando Agencies marketing or buying process   www.risecreativegroup.com   You need complex functionality or e- commerce capabilities   www.whoiscarrus.com   You want to integrate website into an   www.alianda.com overall internet marketing strategy   You need guidance determining usability, navigation & messaging for your target audience © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  13. 13. Communicating with the Creative Team 13 Communicating to Save Giving Constructive Time, Money & Sanity Feedback on Creative Work   Confirm key details upfront:   “I don’t like it” is vague and non-   Understand your web designer’s development productive. Take the time explain why. process, people & expectations of what they expect from you & when   Refer back to your marketing in-put & consider these questions when evaluating   Timelines & budgets and how you will be notified of potential overages creative design or writing:   Is it on strategy? Does it achieve your marketing goals and strategy?   Provide good marketing input Summarize key marketing objectives and   Does it reflect your brand image? Is the information into one document, including: look, tone and feel appropriate for your   Target audience you want to reach positioning?   Marketing goals & desired functionality for website   Does it communicate your key   Top brand marketing messages messages clearly? What is the most   Key product & service information important message(s) for your target audience?   Competitive information & keyword research   Will it be appealing to your target audience? Will it motivate desired action?   Provide website content & edits efficiently   Compile electronic files of logos, photos & other   Creative design is a process assets for use on website   Don’t be discouraged if it takes a couple of   Use an outline or “site map” to organize copy content rounds to agree on the best creative concepts and edits for the creative team   Although your marketing materials will be helpful background info, you need to provide page-by-page copy content for creative team (or hire copywriter) © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  14. 14. Top Complaints Answered 14 Unless you are designing a simple 1.  This is taking MUCH personal website with on-line templates, your website will involve longer and costing more multiple steps and people to design, money than I anticipated! write, program and host a quality business site with a professional look and functionality 2.  Why is my web designer Web designers are not copywriters. You can asking me for “content”? either write your own copy for each page of the website, or you will have to hire a I sent him our marketing copywriter. Even with a pro, you will want to prioritize marketing messages and not send materials? a data-dump of all your marketing materials 3.  Can’t I make these Unless you’re an html programmer, you won’t be able to make copy changes simple copy changes directly on your website. It is possible myself? to set up a client interface or “content management system” that allows you to update content to web pages. This needs to be decided before beginning design because it costs more & impacts SEO © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  15. 15. Top Complaints Answered (cont.) 15 You don’t pay for your company’s own 4.  What do you mean I photography, and there is some free have to pay for photographs art available on-line. But just because it is on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s free. and illustrations? Be sure you have permission to use any copyright protected materials You NEVER want to get to this point! Take the 5.  After all this time and time up-front to: 1) Ensure you pick the right level of web design expertise 2) Ask for 2-3 money…I’m not sure I like creative options (of homepage & one interior this website. Now what? page) upfront 3) Approve a roadmap or “wireframe” of website pages & navigation 6.  Why aren’t I in the top Your website may not be optimized for search engines. Don’t assume your web designer is a 10 search results for my Search Engine Optimization expert (SEO). Understand SEO basics so you can ask about industry? keywords, meta tags, page titles & alt tags 7.  My website isn’t Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is not considered part of the web design process. You will need a generating much business Search Engine Marketing Plan to specifically drive traffic to your site © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  16. 16. Success Check List 16 Be prepared:   Define website purpose (tied to business 1.  Be prepared… do your objectives) & its role in overall marketing homework   Look at competitors’ websites for industry standards & do keyword research   Clarify what users want & need & how they will interact with website   Define desired functionality & how often and who will update site   Identify actions you want users to take & how will you measure success (conversion). 2.  Clarify all roles and Clarify roles: functions of website   Website owner development team   Marketing & content contact (client side) (internal & external)   System & information architect   Project manager (creative team)   Graphic designer   Copywriter   HTML programmer   Webmaster & hosting © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  17. 17. Success Check List 17 Summarize key in-put 3.  Compile & summarize key   Summarize website goals, objectives & key in-put for easy access by marketing information into one document design team   Compile electronic files of logos, photos & graphics   Use a site map to organize content information for products, services, “About Us,” etc   List all other websites & media to be linked (give user name & passwords for social media sites etc.) Timely approval and feedback 4.  Give timely feedback &   Approval of budget and timeline approval at key check-   Approval of website architecture (wireframe ) points of design possess   Approval of homepage design concept   Approval of interior page design concept   Content approval for each page © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370
  18. 18. Additional Resources 18 On-line Marketing Resources About The Author Visit www.kmpmarketinginc.com for Kathleen Peters, owner of KMP additional advice and resources: Marketing, Inc., in Orlando, FL has over 20 years strategic   Orlando Marketing Directory for local marketing experience. marketing providers including web designers, copywriters & full service agencies that have been recommended Her mission is to make world-class brand by clients or industry experts marketing strategies accessible and affordable to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations   Free Marketing Tools for a listing of the in Central Florida. Ms. Peters holds an MBA from best free online tools, articles & other Georgetown University’s McDonough School of resources for small businesses, B2B Business, has worked in brand marketing at marketing and non-profit marketing Disney, and taught business and marketing at Seminole Community College. Kathleen Peters has helped numerous clients develop strategic marketing plans and select quality vendors for all their creative development needs, including website development. © 2010 by Kathleen Peters, KMP Marketing, Inc. I www.kmpmarketinginc.com I (407) 977-9370

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