Website Planning Essentials 8 Must Dos When Planning Your Website
Are you getting ready to launch your business? Or perhaps you want to present yourself with your best foot forward online? A natural first step is putting together a website. Before you start playing around with Wix, Squarespace, and all its myriad competitors, there are some essential website planning tasks you should do.
Don’t worry! At Tiny Zen Studio, we’re here to take you by the hand and walk you through everything.
Grab a cup of your favorite tea (we’re partial to green tea with jasmine) and keep on reading to get planning your website mission off to the right start!
1. Define Your Website’s Goals and Objectives
What would a successful website look like for you? Does it leave people with a positive impression of you and your brand? Does it generate leads and re-engage with existing customers? The website world is your oyster, but it’s a good idea to get SMART about this. In other words, your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Some examples of this are:
- improve customer satisfaction by offering better service
- engage with your customers
- attract new employees
Top Tip: Create your perfect client in your head and on paper (in the biz, we call this your ICA (ideal client avatar). What are they like, how do they engage with you, what are their pain points, what calls to action speak to them?
2. Design with SEO in Mind
Search engine optimization is what helps search engines throw you onto the first page of Google. Some people are under the false impression that any website design can easily be search engine optimized. However, designing a website around the core of SEO-friendliness creates a more efficient SEO strategy and better website copy.
Consider: do you want to design around UX (user experience) or UI (user interface design)?
3. Create a Sitemap
Creating a sitemap is one of the best SEO strategies out there. A sitemap, or XML sitemap if you want to get technical, is a list of the different pages on your website. Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to read your content and slot it into their index.
It also helps you figure out what’s in your navigational menu and what pages you want to create or even need. How do they all connect, and what’s their purpose?
An easy way to lose SEO points and customers is a confusing navigational system with visitors frantically clicking the back button rather than figuring out how everything works.
4. Know Your Brand Identity
When you think about your favorite brands, you are likely to realize that all of them have solid brand identities. Similar to your best friend in college, they know exactly who they are. Brand identity comprises all the visual brand elements you can think of, such as brand colors, logos, design, and even fonts. You don’t need to know this yet, but creating a mood board can get you there quickly and painlessly.
Is visual design not your idea of fun? Tiny Zen Studio is here to create custom graphics, logos, and images to articulate your company’s values and personality.
5. Design Aesthetics: What’s Your Vibe?
When planning a website design, you have to consider whether the aesthetics you’re going for are reflecting the created brand identity. Powerful design aesthetics draw in customers and lead to more significant interactions.
Gone are the days of putting utility above visual appeal. Modern website design combines both by giving users:
- the information they want in a visually stimulating way
- interactive features
- clear, easy to understand layouts
- smooth navigation
- icons and pictures that become part of the speedy website learning process
Top Tip: if you’re finding yourself veering off the brand identity path very quickly, you may need to re-think a thing or two before diving back into website design strategy.
6. High-Level Marketing Strategy
We’re not asking you to know when you’ll be running a giveaway or where you’ll want to advertise yet, but getting clear on your marketing strategy is a good idea so your website can support this. Ask yourself:
- Will I use social media for marketing?
- Is email marketing part of my strategy?
- Will I be blogging?
- Will I rely on grassroots marketing?
7. Content Planning for Website Design
What happens when you design before you content plan? You end up with a lot of pretty pages but no idea how you’ll be filling them. It’s time to sit down and write the website copy ahead of time. It can be super vague and will probably need to go through a few editing stages. What images are going where? Planning for a website should always be content first, design second.
8. Check Out Your Competition
Researching the competition can feel like a pretty demotivating task, especially when you’re first starting. Remember, they have had time to finetune their website and strategies. You’re in an excellent position when you do this from the beginning. Your competitor research should include:
- How can you differentiate yourself?
- What are they doing to improve their SEO?
- Evaluate what they’re doing exceptionally well and what they can improve
About: Tiny Zen Studio
Are you feeling more than a little overwhelmed by all of this website planning information? Take it one step at a time, and you’ll plan the website of your (marketing) dreams in no time. We firmly believe that planning a website project doesn’t have to be a headache.
If you want a helping hand, Tiny Zen Studio provides a full range of modern marketing and creative services to get you where you want to be. Organically. Learn more about our signature ‘slow marketing’ strategy here.
Want a fast, secure, and mobile responsive WordPress website? Then Tiny Zen’s Web Design and Development package is for you. We help conscious creatives and emerging entrepreneurs create and launch awesome intentional websites.
Schedule a 20-minute consultation slot today to find out about we can take your website project from horribly bewildering to perfectly zen.
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