One of the most challenging aspects of building websites is planning the design and developing the content. Here are a few steps to help you decide what to put on your site.
The first step you should take when creating a custom website is to determine the goal of your site. Ask yourself what you would like to accomplish with your website. Will you sell and display products, will you want to create registration/login pages to gather information on potential clients, or will you simply need a static information page that describes you or your business? Also ask yourself who you target audience will be and what information will you need to provide to reach that audience. Your ultimate goals will help you decide about the look and feel of your site
Organizing your content will help you determine not only what text and images you want to use, but also will give you a good idea on how many pages you will need. Breaking the information down into categories is a good way to establish how the site will be navigated and maintained. Creating a hierarchy will insure a smooth transaction of creating web pages from your content.
Probably one of the hardest aspects of planning your website will be to write the textual content that describes your organization, product, or service. Using a business plan can be useful in determining what you want to say about your company. For those who struggle to find the right words, consider hiring a professional copywriter to develop your text. Be mindful that your content should include any keywords that you expect people to use when searching for your company via search engines.
Branding Your Website
In addition to the content and images that you will need to provide, think about how you want your site to ‘look’ and ‘feel’. Keep in mind who your target audience is when deciding. You may already have items, such as a logo or slogans, in existing promotional material that you would like to use. Perhaps your company has a color scheme or particular fonts it uses when advertising. Finding examples or other websites to model yours after may also be helpful. Remember that your website may be the first impression of your business or organization that potential clients will experience.
Establish a Domain Name
One of the first steps in branding your custom website will be establishing a domain name (i.e. www.sadlerwebdesign.com). Choose a domain name the best reflects or describes your organization. The best domain names are short and easy to remember. Keep in mind that domain names play a definitive role in how search engines rank your site so it’s best to use descriptive keywords in your domain name. It’s also recommended to register close or misspellings of your domain name to help direct traffic to your site.
If your business is going to rely heavily on the website to generate business, establishing descriptive keywords to include in your content is a must, especially if you plan on incorporating a search engine optimization campaign. Strategically placing keywords and phrases throughout your site will help search engine decide what your website is all about and help improve your site rankings. There are many keyword research tools available such as Google AdWords or Wordtracker that provide a wealth of information on keyword research.