In part 1 we discussed the why’s, how’s and cost’s surrounding of a stress free website design project. In this article we will review the planning, marketing and post-launch data analysis aspects.
Planning as a process can be defined as the process of thinking before doing, which is why it is considered one of the most critical steps. If you are seeking the services of a professional web design firm, you’ll likely get a site plan. However, if you are dealing with a freelancer, be sure to request a website plan before starting with the actual work so that you have all the elements accounted for before starting.
Here are a few items a typical website plan will cover:
- Navigational structure of the website
- Total number of website pages
- Color scheme
- Design elements & require functionality
- Reference websites
When we start a website design project, we typically request a Creative Brief be supplied by the client so that all pertinent information is provided upfront for solid planning. Click here to see an example creative brief.
Now that your website’s launched, you’re all done, right? Unfortunately, no. This isn’t a “if we build it they will come” kind of situation. You (or your website developer) needs to put effort into marketing the website so that not only will search engines find it, but so will your clientele.
Here are a handful of items you should consider to improve exposure:
- Search Engine Submission
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Google AdWords
- Targeted Landing Pages
Post-Launch Website Analysis
Now that you have your new website for a few weeks, it’s time to perform a detailed analysis before you start celebrating! Analyzing your company website should be a vital tactic you add to your marketing-mix because once you understand who is visiting your website, social media and other online platforms, you can better tailor materials and content to those specific groups of people and reach them in a more effective way.
Google Analytics is a free service that provides comprehensive statistics about the visitors to your website. Data available through this service consists of site visits, page views, bounce rate, average time on site, pages per visit and percentage of new visits. In addition, GA can also track referral traffic including search engine, direct visits, website referrals and marketing campaigns (Pay Per Click, Banner advertising, e-mail marketing etc.)
Most website developers will automatically install Google Analytics into new websites and provide an automated report, but you might find that you don’t have the time or knowledge to review and understand the tracking data. If this is your situation, you’re going to want to hire someone to who can review of the data and provide recommendation.
Mistakes in any of these areas can make the process of website design not only lengthy but also quite stressful. Careful consideration of each of these items will make for a much smoother process.