Planning your website

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It is easy to be seduced by beautiful looking websites and say "I want something just like that".

While it is a given that a website should look professional and attractive, more important is how it connects with its intended audience (more so than with the business owner).

This workshop walks us through the process of planning a website so that it does just that.

Once the plan is complete, this is what needs to be provided to your website developer.

Other factors which will help reduce costs, such as having your content ready prior to your site being designed are also discussed.

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Planning your website

  1. 1. Urszula Richards, onlineiq Salisbury and Modbury Planning Your Website
  2. 2. Where to start???
  3. 3. Goals for this Session You will leave this session with • An understanding of the basics of planning for a successful website • Knowing what you can do to save money when having a website developed • Answers to some frequently asked questions, and some ‘must know’ information before you start
  4. 4. A successful website must: • Have a clearly defined target market/s / audience • Have defined conversion goals • Have calls to action which match the goals • Have a structure + navigation which support both the goals and the needs of website visitors
  5. 5. Why have a website? • Online Brochure - to prove you exist • Lead Gathering / Lead Generation • Online Shop - selling online • A Hub for your online marketing activities - linking your online and offline marketing and sales efforts
  6. 6. In Essence • LEADS - Bringing in new customers • CONVERSIONS - Achieving a pre- determined goal once they are on your website
  7. 7. Goal – Getting New Leads • Key search terms • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) • Marketing • Paid Advertising
  8. 8. Goal - Conversions • Building a database of prospects • Making a sale • Getting an Enquiry form filled out • Getting someone to call you • Getting someone to pass on information about you • Getting someone to download a white paper
  9. 9. Get the right MESSAGE to the right PEOPLE • Who are your niche / customers? • What are their pain points, wishes or desires? • How can you solve their problem? • Why should they buy from / engage with you?
  10. 10. Google Search • You need to know what your prospects will be typing in to find what you offer • This is called Keyword Research and starting with this as a foundation is one of the smartest things you can do before you start - it shows you what people are ACTUALLY searching on
  11. 11. Benefit Driven & Action Focused
  12. 12. Remember a website is - • A targeted message to your prospects / clients • Conveyed through design, which will be • Built to function and fulfil the marketing / sales goals MAKE THE MOST OF THOSE FUNCTIONS!
  13. 13. Top tips to save you $$$ • doing your homework • content preparation • the brief and wireframe • knowing what to ask for • understanding the process
  14. 14. Some Website Best Practice • Clear Calls to Action • Clear benefit statement • Clear Navigation • Address & Map • Contact Information [top right hand side on every page] • Main Message ‘Above the Fold’ • Pages based around results of keyword research
  15. 15. Supercharge it with • Testimonials • Videos • Blog • QUALITY Photos (of people for services, of products for products) • Resources of VALUE to your potential customer
  16. 16. Turbocharge it with: • Leveraging your offline marketing with a special web page • Create a page or pages to direct specific prospects to • Create a page for special ‘offers’ or topics for different types of prospects you meet
  17. 17. Site Mockup / Wireframe • Map out each page of your site, showing where main elements should be • Decide on main headings in a logical fashion • Use whiteboard or sticky notes when planning, so you can move things around until they are right
  18. 18. Website Look and Feel – the Design • Look over competitor and other websites to get an idea of what you do and don’t like • Show these sites to your designer, and explain exactly what colours, style and feeling you like, or what you particularly don’t like • Provide your designer with logos, and sample content to work with • 2 options - custom & template
  19. 19. Love It? Hate It? It will help your designer get a sense of what you like much quicker and waste less time guessing !
  20. 20. Website Function –Development • The design needs to be now built into a living and fully functioning website • Using a ‘platform’ ie a blank shell with functionality which has your design and function customised OR • Finding and customizing a template
  21. 21. Questions to ask • Are they the same person? As there are two very different skill sets. • Will your platform allow for SEO work to occur • Will they add the content to your website which you have or is that extra • Will they help you to find and customize a template
  22. 22. More questions … • Can you see previous work? • Can you contact previous clients? • Will they add the content to your website which you have or is that extra • Can they customise a template (if that is what you are using), and if so how much customization is needed - you may need to ask this question to developer too • If custom design, how many concepts will they do, and how many revisions?
  23. 23. Questions for Developer • Will they do any SEO work, or can they refer you to someone? • Ensure HTML & XML site map is set up • Ask about domain name, email and hosting • What happens with support & if there is any warranty • What are the support and ongoing hosting costs • Who will provide training if you want to learn how to do things yourself?
  24. 24. Cost Estimates – 5 page website
  25. 25. Cost Estimates Words DIY or $70 - $170 per page or hourly rate $70 - $250 hour Images $0 if you have existing high quality images from other marketing assets or cost per photo from stock photography or custom photography cost
  26. 26. Cost Estimates Support $70 - $150 hr Training $70 - $150 hr Marketin g usually packages Ongoing Costs
  27. 27. Options – Pros & Cons Full Service Digital Agency Pros • Will have all the relevant skilled professionals under one roof, ie. Website architect, designer, developer, search engine specialist, marketer. Cons • For smaller and start up businesses may be cost prohibitive
  28. 28. Options – Pros & Cons Design Focused Freelancer/Agency Pros • Will have all the relevant skilled professionals under one roof, ie. Website architect, designer, developer, search engine specialist, marketer. Cons • May not have top notch developer skills – ask about development experience if they are building the website also Define clearly what functionality you need, & outline how the design needs to serve the business goals you have Many small designers partner with Developers which is a good thing, so make sure you talk with BOTH of them
  29. 29. Options – Pros & Cons Development Focused Freelancer Pros • Will provide a great functioning website Cons • May not be expert at design, or understanding the search engine and marketing goals of a website. Ensure you work with someone who understands this Define clearly what functionality you need, & outline how the design needs to serve the business goals you have Many small designers partner with Developers which is a good thing, so make sure you talk with BOTH of them
  30. 30. Options – Pros & Cons DIY website options Pros • Will provide basis for good looking website with relatively few technical skills needed • Generally fairly cheap Cons • You may not be able to achieve the best layout / structure for your business type • Some important functionality may not be possible Define clearly what functionality you need, & outline how the design needs to serve the business goals you have Review the DIY software to ensure it can create exactly what you need it to for you
  31. 31. Some DIY options • www.squarespace.com • www.createawebsite.com.au • www.handzon.com • www.weebly.com • www.webydo.com
  32. 32. Extra help • Polaris – 4 hour mentoring session • Developing understanding of your customer • Marketing message • Rhys Moult, Polaris Centre 8260 8205
  33. 33. And of course … Ursh from onlineiq, who will help plan your website and create a wireframe with you, instruct hand picked designers and developers, and then hold your hand through the website launch. I’ll also be around to help with ongoing marketing activities to help your business grow! Phone 0413 606 463

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