Eight Steps To Get a Website Design Launched
By: Thomas Young
Does it ever feel like your new Website will never launch? In ten years of marketing Websites, we are constantly amazed at the length of time it can sometimes take to launch a new Website. This usually happens because people underestimate the amount of work that goes into developing a Website that can accurately market their business. Here is an action plan we have developed to launch new Websites quickly and insure they get results.
1. Have a Strategy
Have a clear understating of what the Website is going to accomplish and keep this in the forefront during the entire design and development process. Review competitors and decide on a look and feel that will work before the design process starts. Keep the new design consistent with other parts of the company’s designs and logo.
2. Assign Tasks and Set Deadlines
Each person working on the Website should have a clear list of action items and deadlines. The development process should have a schedule and a project manager to keep everyone on task and meet deadlines. Hold regular status meetings along the way to build accountability and keep people on track.
3. Final Decision Maker
Someone has to have the final say on the new Website design project. Websites by committee are not a good idea. This person is usually head of marketing or even the CEO.
4. Avoid “I know it when I see it.” Design Approaches
Work with the design plan and initial concepts put forth by the designer. Trust the designer and the strategy to get it right and sign-off on the design when it is correct from a strategic standpoint and meets user needs. Design approvals can be the most lengthy part of this process and planning ahead of time will save time. Some Websites completely stall at this point and never move beyond design drafts.
5. SEO and Positioning
If you are replacing a current site, make sure you do your homework to keep current search engine rankings.
6. Writing Content
Hire a writer for the Web and start on content at the beginning of the project. Taglines are especially important. Learn as much as possible about Web copy and how people read on Websites. The resource section on www.IntuitiveWebsites.com has many articles on the subject.
7. Get Feedback from a few people in the target market.
Talk to potential visitors and people in your target market. If possible, conduct user testing on the test site before it launches. This is absolutely critical.
8. Perform Key Word Research
Analyze and determine the appropriate search engine key words during the strategic process well before the Website is designed. Use WordTrakcer and Google to understand your online marketplace through key search terms.
The launch of a Website is the begin of an ongoing process of updates and design tweaks. As a rule of thumb, when the Website is better than what you currently have, it is time to launch.
Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and usability firm. To learn more about Intuitive Websites contact Tom at 719-481-4040 or tom@IntuitiveWebsites.com.