You have done your homework, reviewed the competition, analyzed your current website pages and have the facts to start your website redesign. Now, it's the fun part. It's time to plan, create content and produce your lead generating website selling machine!
Whether you use your in-house designer or a professional web developer, they should ask for more than image and copy assets. They should want to understand your sales process and the competition. Consider your web developer as an asset in helping you understand competitve research and web analytics along with designing a site that appeals visually to your target audience. If they don't have that level of skill the weight of building your online selling machine falls on your shoulders alone.
It isn't about building a pretty site. It has to be designed with the target audience in mind.
The colors, copy and visuals work together to make a statement about your brand. But what appeals to a new mother is much different from a golfer or a financial executive. It's exciting to win an award, but the boss, employees and board of directors are more thrilled with seeing sales that keeps the company growing.
Start with a site map, the plan of what pages you will have and how they are organized. Will it be simple navigation with every page visible in the navigation bar? Or do you have a huge amount of information to lead prospects through the sales process? A popular solution for large company sites is to have drop down menus or segmenting site by customer type (retail vs wholesale). We have developed site maps for our clients and you can ask for your web developer to create the site map.
Make the content flow in the order of how your customers shop.
Website content will make or break your sales goals. A website should be a lead generating, selling machine. If it doesn't, you have more work to do.
Present your information as you would on a package and billboard. Remember that your customer is a moving target offering you only seconds to persuade them to stay. I love the billboard analogy because everyone has experienced driving on a highway where our speed makes it impossible to take in a complex wordy billboard. When you are out driving take note of ads on buses, billboards, even restaurant signs. Notice whether they are legible and you know with one pass what they are selling. You are sure to see a poster on the side of bus that is impossible to read because the copy is too small. Consider the cost of that sign and the lost opportunity because it didn't work. Everything should have a formula to weight its return on investment.
Whether it is a B2B or B2C site, every decision to purchase is an emotional decision. Until they find a solution they are confident will solve their problem: make their life easy, make their boss happy, put a smile on their loved ones face; they won't buy. The latest, greatest, best value can be selling points, but only a shopoholic buys for the thrill of buying. Dig deep and find the reason someone has to buy and deliver what they need.
Provide clear understand of the objectives for the website redesign and SEO expectations to the web developer.
Basic SEO is not always included in the price. Basic SEO is not going to achieve top page listing but it is the foundation. Refer to this blog article for more information on SEO (http://blog.catalpha.com/bid/326775/SEO-Strategies-That-Will-Lower-Your-Page-Rank). SEO strategy helps position your web pages to be found by people looking for what you have to offer.
To help you go through your website development or redesign, we have put together a book with 10 steps to build a better website. Download it for free.