Your website is often the first place new leads will go to determine whether or not they want to do business with you. So what kind of first impression is your website giving? As an inbound marketing agency in Melbourne, FL we've helped a number of businesses launch their first website and even more improve their web design to help give them a great first impression. From custom web design to do-it-yourself website builder platforms these 4 concepts will help you create a website that reflects your business.
Your website and its design is more important that ever. No longer are websites just for businesses who do a lot of business online, but websites are now a driving factor for consumers in every industry . "60% of consumers start by visiting a search engine, then go to the retailer’s website, and ultimately, 88% made their final purchase in store.” - (retailingtoday.com) So let's look at 4 things you need to consider before creating your new website design.
This is the most important step in the web design process. This is where you look at your overall goals for your site. Think big picture. A great place to start is to look at where you are and project forward to where you want to be. Then work backwards from your end goal. Setting goals for your site will help keep the process focused. Ask yourself, why am I doing the redesign? or What do I want to accomplish with this new site? This is a great time to reflect on your business and how your website will show off and establish your brand. Lastly don't forget about the user. Define your buyer persona and build the site for them! They are the ones using it anyways.
The next step is to take the strategy and add structure. This is where you begin to define timelines, architecture and content. You want to make sure you tie up any and all loose ends by creating checklists of action items. This will ensure things don't slip through the cracks. Add everything you can think of. A few of the big ones we always make sure we add and are often easily overlooked are; SEO Factors, CMS options, 301 Redirects and CDN hosting. Plan every step as detailed as you can. We recommend you write it down, on paper. This is a great habit to get into because it forces your brain to take in the information in multiple ways.
Before creating the design, plan the design. Start with the layout. Get ideas from sites you like and believe will translate well with your visitors. Next create some mock ups. This is a great way to get a good idea of what the site will look like. As a local web design agency in Melbourne, FL we always create mock ups for our clients and have them review them to ensure they get the site they want. Next test colors. Make sure they don't clash with the logo, yet give pop and movement to the site and draw users to the information we want them to interact with.
Before you launch your new site make sure it is optimized and fully functioning. You want to check that the site is compatible on all web browsers. We use browsershots.org. Check your site for broken links and misspellings. If you're not the best speller in the world, get some help! I have my wife edit most of my work. (I should have her edit all of it!) The last thing we do is check the on-page SEO. Everything gets checked; robots meta and txt, site maps, images, meta tags, content and mobile friendliness.
Let's close this blog with a quick recap. Strategize - think big picture. What are your goals with the new site? Plan - add structure to your goals. Design - create mock ups to get a feel for your new design before building. Optimize - make sure you've tied up any and all lose ends before launching. By using these 4 steps before launching your new website design you'll give a great first impression to your buyer personas.
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