5 Things To Do Before You Build A Website

If you want your next website to succeed and improve your business, there are several things that you can do before you get started that will help tremendously. Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter if this is your first website or the 10th generation redesign. If you start your project with these five simple tasks, you will get more out of your site.

If you have a website, you need to know how it is currently performing. This will help you understand if your new website actually improved in any measurable way. There are three types of data you want to collect:

  • Analytics – Collect analytics data on your visitors with particular attention to traffic volume, bounce rates, time on site, and entry and exit pages.
  • SEO – Document your current search engine indexing status, including indexed URL’s, search keywords and placement on the major search engines.
  • Sales – Document the number of leads, blog comments, contact form submissions and product sales volume.

Set Project Goals
Before starting any web project, it is a good idea to set measurable and achievable goals. Once you have benchmarked these objectives for your site, you can determine success or failure once the project is completed. For instance, you may target an overall increase in sales as your redesign purpose – but how and by how much? Here are a few examples of beneficial goals to set for your new website:

  • Boost Traffic – Increase the number of new visitors by 150% on average within 6 months.
  • Improve Search Engine Placement – Increase the number of first page placements from X to X for brand and product keywords [list the keywords].
  • Improve Sales by 150% – Increase sales by removing the number of steps needed to purchase a product. Remove products that have fewer than X dollars in sales or fewer than X units sold.

Define Your Brand
You may have a good handle on your brand, but your design team and customers may think otherwise. Be clear about your brand identity and messaging. Provide branding guidelines and current marketing materials to your design team, so they can maintain your consistency. New visitors should know immediately what you do, how it relates to them and why they should stay on your website.

Define A Buyer Persona
Your website is not built for you, it is built for your customers. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data collected from your current customer demographics.

  • Do you have a clearly defined target audience?
  • Is the purpose of the redesign to attract more of the same audience or target a new audience?
  • Does your current brand align and appeal to your current or target audience?

Analyze The Competition
Don’t obsess on your competition, or you run the risk of becoming a carbon copy of their business. Take a look at their website and let your team know what you like and don’t like about them. Add your competitors to your search engine placement monitoring to see how their placement compares to yours.

  • What keywords, products and services do your competitors focus on?
  • How can you do a better job with your website?
  • What are the URL’s of your three most successful competitors?

The Right Partner For Your Web Project
Whether you’re building a new site or revamping your existing site, the experienced, award-winning, in-house team at Grapevine can perform the research, design, coding and optimization services to get your web project up, running and working to achieve your goals. Give us a call at 941.351.0024 today, and we’ll help guide you through these five important steps and beyond for the best outcome for your business.

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