Step 1: Strategically design an immediate placeholder site. Before building your placeholder, consider steps 2 through 8. Then use them to build a 1-3 page placeholder site that will represent your image online; and avoid putting something up that:
- Is badly written,
- With no calls-to-action,
- Isn’t responsive,
- Isn’t professional, and
- That represents your brand poorly
Though this should only take a few days for your designers and writers to build and post, it must represent your business properly.
The 7 Main Things You Must Do Before Starting Your New Website Build
Step 2: Do customer research. You might already know your ideal customer well. However, whether you do or you don’t, take the time to write a detailed description of who your ideal customer is and also the type of person that has already bought from you. If you don’t know who that is, use social media, incentives and other strategies to find out quickly. Make sure you can quickly and simply define your target to your marketing team, writers and designers.
Step 3: Find out what your competitors are doing right and wrong. Definitely check out the top companies in your field and find out where they shine and how you can get there. Why are they on the SE’s first pages? What is good about their site? Is their marketing better. Are their products or services better? If so, how?
Step 4: What’s your brand image? Once you know who your customers are, your marketing team can help you define your brand. Make your brand image part of your:
- Paper correspondence,
- Email correspondence,
- Social presence,
- Offline brick and mortar presence,
- Employee/consumer interactions,
- Product and service line, and
- Anything else related to your business model
Step 5: Decide on your content strategy. Content will become expensive if you change your mind midstream.
- Plan to use calls-to-action effectively with sales copy on landing pages and throughout main pages.
- Don’t just add a blog unless you plan to fill it, (or pay someone else to fill it), with useful content. A blog isn’t necessary, though it’s a good marketing tool; and
- Add fresh content or change your website content at least 2-4 times a year, and along with trends in your industry.
Step 6: What social approach will you use?
- Will you focus your efforts on one platform like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram?
- Will you represent your brand on all platforms?
- Will you build your own branded community?
- Who will handle your social media communications? and
- How many dedicated social media managers will you need when you’ve finished everything?
Step 7: Social media and customer service go hand in hand. Modern customers expect customer service through all popular social media channels and through any private social media platform you build. You should also have phone and chat access if you can. Though people will accept email communication only, it’s more professional to have customer service representation through all vehicles.
Step 8: Create a plan and design for ease of use. People aren’t willing to spend time digging through your website for the information they need or want. Make sure your designers craft a website that is:
- As simple as possible,
- Easy to navigate and understand,
- Grammatically correct and well-written,
- Professional and appropriate, and