1 Diagnosis of your Company on the Internet
To start you have to know your company. A specific goal should be determined to fully optimize the website according to the product that you are selling or the information that you are sharing. One must keep in mind that a website is created for users who will be active on it. This interaction adds an extra dimension to the communication medium, which must be taken into consideration.
This step revolves around the following factors:
– Your company’s target
– Your company’s strengths
– Opportunities presented thanks due to your web presence
2 Marketing Steps to follow!
Once we have established your website’s expectations we must figure out the type of site you want to create.
The Showcase Site allows you to introduce your product or service. It can also allow you to relay information with a precise goal. It can also serve as a registration platform depending on your needs (e.g. restaurant table reservations, event registration, filling out forms before a visit …). You can also simply introduce your company so that its presence can be detected thereby creating a means of contact for your target customers.
The e-commerce site has the same foundation as the showcase site but its purpose goes further. It allows your customers to create a financial transaction to purchase a product, book a room for a paid event or even order a service.
Whichever site is more appropriate for your needs, keep in mind that an e-commerce site will incur additional costs in terms of design and/or integration. But in most cases, the additional cost is worthwhile as more and more individuals are making online purchases.
3 The content
The site’s content consists in the text, images and modules. Texts and modules are extremely important as they are the foundation for your images and pages. The content is how Google measures the quality of your website. When a user makes a request related to your business, Google will list your site in the search engines based on the keywords you will have put in place.
At this stage, it is important to identify the modules that will be added to your website because they must be perfectly aligned with your site in the following steps. The modules must have a purpose and a reason to be on your website. We must not forget that a blog, a chat or agenda must be maintained. Nothing gives a less professional image than a site with empty or abandoned modules.
4 A well thought out tree structure is the key to success!
The tree structure represents your website’s plan. It will allow you to view the elements that will be present in each page, rank the pages against each other as well as link the pages to one and other. This can be achieved by various means such as via menus and links within the content or in the form of words, buttons or images.
At this time, we can also decide that a single page site may be the most ideal for you, where the goal will be for the user to scroll down to see the information in a clear, hierarchical manner. In this option, it is also possible to insert a menu that allows the user to arrive directly to the information of interest.
Feel free to make diagrams of the site as well as of your pages. After this step, you can visualize more clearly the navigation within your website and determine what you like or what you do not like.
The design of your site will have multiple purposes. It will help to understand the meaning of reading your site, prioritize the information per page and align your site around a graphical theme and guide the user in its navigation.
When contemplating the design of your site, one must of course take into account one’s style. The site should please you and reflect the company’s aesthetics. However, it also needs to please your target and relate to the current flavour of your company. My advice: keep it simple and avoid adding too many visual elements that could confuse the user in its navigation.
Do not hesitate to research websites you like in order to identify what appeals to you as well as talk to individuals in your target market to find out what they like too.
After defining your graphic style and your navigation preference, it is much easier to control the integration part, because all the pages will have a preset design.