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How to plan a website

Posted by admin on September 1, 2015

  1. Mobile
    With over 50% of google searches now done on mobile and tablet devices, you’d be crazy to build a website that isn’t optimised for mobile. Make sure any agency you speak to understands this.
     
  2. Blog and social media
    We’ve talked about the importance of blogging and creating new content here. Blogs help your customers by serving up relevant, useful content. Doing that means that Google knows you’re a useful site and it will reward you for consistency with better search rankings. On that subject, any blog posts you write should be shareable via social media handles like twitter, facebook, Instagram and Google +, so do ensure you have social buttons alongside your blog posts. Social shares and activity also help your rankings.
     
  3. Design
    The average time people spend on a website is just 15 seconds, so that’s the time you have to capture someone’s attention. If your design is anything but beautiful and your site usability anything but easy, you can forget people hanging around for longer. Great design can act as a signpost to help your customers find content that makes their life easier, whether it’s downloading a helpful guide to your industry, sharing a great how to video or just finding your phone number. Best in class design also helps to build your brand by creating a style that people can recognise and identify with.
     
  4. Copywriting
    You can do all the design in the world but if your copy isn’t crafted to speak directly to your buyers then you’ll be wasting your time. Professional copywriting for web and blogs is a skill and can be the difference between a new customer choosing you over the competition.
     
  5. Calls to action and user journeys
    Once you’ve got your web users’ attention, what do you want them to do? Where should they go next? User journeys should be planned out before you start building a site. You can build in calls to action by adding free downloads, signposting with a menu and adding in links in your copy to other useful pages on your site. If you’re planning on sending out newsletters and updates, you can capture user information via enquiry forms, blog subscribe forms and your free download buttons.
     
  6. Buyer personas and target audiences
    You should identify several different types of target customer, or buyer persona, building up as much information on each one as you can. Doing this will help your copywriter speak directly to each of them, anticipating what sort of questions they might have. If you’re clear about your target customers you can start to build up a bank of useful content, answering their questions with relevant content on your site.
     
  7. Think about advertising
    If you do all of the above and consistently create content that your users find helpful and shareable, your website should perform well for you. If you feel it needs a push you can also look at advertising with google, twitter or facebook which are all highly measurable.
     
  8. The right agency
    If you don’t have in house coders, copywriters and designers, you’ll need to talk to an external agency. If they can talk to you about mobile, blogging and creating amazing video and design content for your brand as well as calls to action and copywriting, you should rest assured.

Martin Holmes is digital director at The Wrapped Agency, a full service marketing agency that helps companies offer truly great content, whether on the web, via social, blogs or in the press. We work at a strategic level to diagnose issues and identify opportunities to inspire, educate and delight your target audiences with campaigns that cut through the noise. @wrappedagency www.wrappedagency.co.uk

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