In today’s digital world, having a website is essential for any business. A website can help attract new customers, provide information about your products or services, and even facilitate sales. However, building a website can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. In this blog post, I will discuss how to start planning your business website to ensure a successful online presence.
Define your Website Objectives
Your website is a business tool, it is not created to just look aesthetically pleasing. You want your site to aid you in achieving your business goals. Think about why you actually want a website and what you would like it to help you accomplish.
Knowing who your target audience is is the first thing you need to nail down before embarking on planning your website. This is because even though your business website is yours, your potential clients are the primary users and you need to construct it with them in mind. Who is your target audience and what problems do they have that your business hopes to solve?
Think about what the primary purpose of your website is. Your purpose can be broad and should be the primary reason for you wanting to create a website. Obviously, this is subjective, you can’t choose a “wrong” purpose, and this is not the only thing that your website will achieve.
- Do you want to increase brand awareness?
- Would you like your business to look more professional?
- Do you intend to provide information to potential customers?
- Do you plan to sell products?
- Or something else?
Now for your goals, think of more specific things than the purpose. What are you hoping to achieve with your site? What are some measurable goals you want to accomplish?
Some goal examples are:
- Sell 20 products per month
- Have 2000 monthly visitors
- Get 100 new students for your course per month after 6 months
- Have 5 consultation calls per month
Research what you do and don’t like
Being clear on what you do and don’t want is an essential part of crafting a website that is suited to you and your needs. Looking at other websites is an excellent way to get inspired and see what is possible. Whilst browsing the internet, make a note of website designs that you do and don’t like as well as the reasoning behind your opinion. This will help you shape the design of your own site.
Fantastic sources of inspiration are:
Purchase a Domain and Site Hosting
What is a domain?
In layman’s terms, a domain is the name/address of your website e.g www.figdrop.com. It is what people type into the address bar to visit your site. You can purchase domains from a plethora of companies, however, I would recommend purchasing a domain from the same company that will host your site. Doing it this way streamlines and simplifies the process of setting up your website. However, if you already have a domain or would like to buy one from a specific company, your domain can be pointed to your hosting provider.
What is Site Hosting?
Your Hosting Provider stores all of your website databases and files. They are kind of like a landlord who leases their land/storage to you. If your site is being built on a platform like Shopify, Squarespace etc, the hosting will usually be included in your subscription.
I personally recommend purchasing a domain and website hosting from Siteground. I have used this company for years and you can buy both domains and hosting from them. There are many other providers out there but after trying many I have found them to be the best.
If you are working with a web designer or developer, they can set up your domain and hosting for you. If you wish to work with me, I include domain and hosting setups as part of my website packages.
Plan what pages and functionality you will need
What pages and functionality do you need your website to have?
I would recommend at least: Home, About, Contact, Blog, Services/Shop (depending on whether you are a product or services business). Other pages you may want to include are a gallery, portfolio, FAQ and legal pages.
Furthermore, think about what additional functionality your website will benefit from.
Contact forms, newsletter integration, booking functionality, chatbots, and e-commerce systems are all examples of functionality that could enhance your customer’s experience.
Plot out a Site Map
A sitemap enables you to visualise and plan the structure of your site. Consider which pages you want in your main navigation (the links that are usually at the top of the page). The pages mentioned above in the “What Pages and Functionality You Will Need” section are most commonly placed in a website’s main navigation. These top-level pages can also have sub-pages, for example, you might want to link to an “our team” page from your “about” page and can have this as a drop-down menu item.
Source and/or create website content
Content is the most important part of your website. It’s the actual meaty part of the website sandwich! Content is what will attract visitors and keep them engaged. When planning your website content, keep your website goals in mind. Your content should be clear, concise, and relevant to your target audience.
When sourcing and/or creating website content always consider your company branding and target audience to portray the right message through your images and copy.
Reach out to a Website Designer/ Developer
Now you have completed some initial planning it would be the perfect time to reach out to a website designer/developer! Of course, you do not need to complete all these steps before contacting someone to build your website for you, your web designer should guide you through the process and every service provider will have their own unique way of doing things.
If you would like to work with me, you can find out more about FigDrop’s web design services or contact me to start your journey to online success. I would love to hear from you, whatever stage of the process you are at!
Planning your business website is the first step to a successful online presence. If you follow the above steps you will be well on your way to crafting the site of your dreams and achieving your business objectives in no time!
Have you started planning your website yet?
Bonus: If this article has encouraged you to start planning your dream website, I have a freebie for you! This 12-page planner covers website planning in greater detail and includes workbook pages for you to fill in and put your planning into action. Download my free website project planner by filling out the form below!