Putting together the most appropriate website which will do justice to your brand and will eventually be successful in creating an impact with existing and potential end-users(in short, making the cash register ring!) can be a hugely daunting task.
To plan and decide on an apt design for your website, you need to get the answers to some questions before starting to create and work on it:
Define Motive and intent
You first need to define what the main objective of your website is, and what you intend to achieve through it. For business or professional websites, the objective is usually to promote the product, company or service, and have better customer outreach.
You also need to define goals, like the percentage increase in the number of visitors you want to target every month. For this, choosing a Web design software integrated with Analytics tool is highly recommended, as it can help you monitor site visitors, and correspondingly plan improvements.
Decide Target audience
What kind of audience are you targeting, through your website? The design and content on your site should be pertinent to these.
Weed out potential customers that don’t fall in the categories of your target audience, and focus your time and energy to work on catering to the target (potential)customer categories.
Decide on the Budget
The costs for making a website will usually include funds for web design, development, and web hosting mainly, though other expenses may also apply depending on the software or tool you choose.
You need to decide your budget in advance so that everything can be planned within the set costs.
Decide Content strategy
Next, you need to plan the content to be put on the website. A pretty and friendly design can attract people to the site, but to keep them interested, the content has to be powerful as well.
Do Competitors research
Keeping tabs on your competitors is necessary as well. You need to regularly check the sites which have the same target audience as yours, to get to know what and how they’re doing well, what they might need to improve on and anything else you can learn from these.
But try not to be too influenced; Copying or mimicking competitors content or even showing them in bad light may have disastrous results and could be catastrophic to your business’s future too, so you need to steer clear of that idea.
You have to just use the knowledge to figure out what they are not doing so thoroughly, or what things they are missing out on with respect to potential customer’s needs, and maybe try to improve on or include those, to give the same customers the things they can’t find in those websites.
Decide SEO Strategy
Before starting work on the website, one important thing to decide is the Search Engine Optimization strategy, because this can be a pain to implement on a website after it is built.
Search Engine Optimization is done by site builders, to ensure that their website is easily found by any search engine, and not be left behind in the later pages of search results.
For search engines to detect your website easily, the proper keywords need to be highlighted, which can be done only using a good SEO tool. The CMS or software you select for making the website should hence have an effective SEO tool integrated with it.
Decide Site structure and Pages
After doing all the above, you can define the structure of your website, and details like how the content needs to be placed, the number of pages and what each should contain.
So you basically need to decide how you want your entire website to look, and create an abstract or blueprint of the idea in your mind.
After deciding on the requirements and design, you can start finding and allocating needed resources to do this, define deadlines and team members (if any), while keeping aside some time for testing and improvements too.
Define your Call to Action
What do you want users to do when they visit your site? Decide what you need to do for that, accordingly.
For example – If you want them to register by giving details, add a Contact form.
If you want them to buy your product, provide links to do so.
If you want them to just go through your content and contact you immediately or visit multiple times, make your content powerful enough to influence them.
Decide on how you want your site visitors or users to behave and what you want them to do, and define your call to action accordingly.
Select the perfect CMS, matching your requirements
When you have gone through everything and have your plan ready, the only thing left to do is to find a good CMS platform, with the mentioned features that will help you make the website as you desire, help run it successfully and also manage it effectively.