How to start planning your own website? Where should you start? What should you take into consideration when starting your own website? Get a better understanding of this process and plan it step by step!
1. Name for your website
If you don’t have a business name yet, you should brainstorm about the name that best describes your activities. Think about your mission, vision, goals or words that might be associated with your business. If you have some ideas, write them down! Check if your name is available, you can check it, for example, here.
Is it available? Great!
Check what results you get when typing your name in Google. Make sure that your business name won’t be associated with other companies’ activities.
No one uses this domain, no one won’t associate you with another company and social media business pages don’t exist with such a name?
Time to create a survey and ask people what they think about your choice/choices and what is their first impression!
2. The goal of the website
Have you found your domain name?
Now, it’s time for the next step. What is the goal of your website? What would you like to achieve with your website? Some examples:
- Build interest
- Sell products, services
- Enable a passive income, such as affiliate marketing
- Collect e-mail sign ups for your newsletter
- Increase your brand awareness
3. Target group
Knowing and understanding your target group is a foundation of each business. Think and analyse who your ideal client is. Below I included some questions that can help you find your target group.
Where do they live?
How old are they?
What do they like?
What are their hobbies?
How do they communicate?
What do they do every day?
How do they search for information?
How can you reach your target group?
How much do they earn?
What is important to them?
What challenges do they face?
Can your service or product help with their challenges?
Going deeper into your ideal client persona, you should think about the problems she/he faces and how you can help her/him, why they would visit your website and what they can get from your website. Therefore, when designing and creating your website, you will immediately have a persona image in your mind.
See below an example of a persona.
Remember that you create your website for your visitors, not for yourself. Of course, it needs to meet your goals but more important is visitors’ satisfaction and that they can easily find all information they need.
How to get information about your target group?
If you have a website or a fun page on social media you can use Facebook analytics or Google Analytics. If you just started with your online business, look for a Facebook group related to your activities and make a survey. You can create a free survey by using google survey, you can find it here. However, if it is not possible to check your target group, write what you think your ideal clients are and after some time you can come back to it and compare your expected target group with the real target group. Do analysis, survey, verify and adjust your target group.
4. Functionality of your website
Go back to the point where we talked about goals of your website. Based on that, you can think about functionalities that you will need. For example:
- Contact form
- Newsletter sign-up
- Online chat
- Online payment
- Several languages
- Automatic translation
- Connecting stock with Amazon
- Google Analytics
Do you struggle with what functionality you might need? Check other websites! Get inspiration!
5. Website architecture
Simply, it is about the way how your pages and subpages are grouped. You can grab a small piece of paper and write all the pages and subpages you want to have and try to organize them in groups that it will be logical for your visitors. To make sure your website is organized in a clear way, ask people what they think and where they would look for specific information on your website.
One more note: when naming the pages keep it simple, use keywords.
I hear from many people that they don’t want to write posts because blogging is not for them and to be honest they don’t really see added value coming from blogs. It doesn’t matter what kind of industry you are in, thanks to the blog you can increase the number of visitors because having more online content gives your website a better position in google. Additionally, by having a blog you become more reliable, and you will be perceived as experts in what you do. Interesting content will be also shared and recommended what gives a free marketing.
I have a question now, has someone ever recommend a website to you because there was a phone number and an address?
Remember when sharing knowledge, don’t give you all knowledge for free. Give something to build interest and to position yourself as an expert but the best piece of cake leave for later.
Thanks to that:
- You have content on your website what influence your search position in google
- Clients don’t bother you with every question, because they find answers on your blog
- People who don’t like to call, they type in keywords in google, and they come across you and your offer
Thanks to your organic traffic you can save time and money. So, if you haven’t thought about it yet, consider your own blog because it is not complicated and can bring in many marketing opportunities.
Don’t have idea what you can blog about? Start with the most frequent questions from your clients, check your competition what they talk about, or think what you would like to educate people about.
7. Design of your website
Find three websites that you like their design, check them and make notes what you like in terms of colours, elements, design and style. Start with a piece of paper, draw a layout of your pages by using just simply geometrical shapes, where you want to have a logo you write logo, a photo, text etc. Thanks to that, you will know better what you want and what kind of templates you are looking for.
An example of a home page:
When thinking about design, it is good to take into consideration:
- Where you want to have your logo, to the right left or in the middle?
- Where you want to have your menu, at the top or in the column to the left or right?
- Where you will place photos?
- How you want your blog to look like?
- What is your offer and how you want to present it?
When choosing colours, go back to the part where you described your target group and think what they will like. When choosing photos or images make sure it fits with your colour pallet. You can find colour pallets, here.
The same goes for fonts, don’t use more than 2 font types! One font use for your headings, the one other one for paragraphs.
You can find the best matching fonts, here.