Checklist: How to prepare for creating a new website

hot air balloon filling upWhen you’re starting a new website, you’ll need the following information to make your site work for both you and your visitors. When I’m working with clients, we do this together so it ends up being easier. If you’d like to know more about my process or get ready for a new website design, here’s how it works.

To start out, we’ll need a list of your ideal client groups. Both you, and your web designer, need to know what characteristics they have to create the proper messaging on your site.

We’ll need to look at 3 specific things from this list:

  • Your clients’ needs are
  • Your clients’ expectations are
  • The pain points that are driving them to seek you out

Focusing on your clients’ needs

Not every person is a right fit for every business. But since the website is going to focus on the relationship between you and your ideal clients, we’ll want to make it clear that you’re a right fit for them. To do that, we need to learn about your clients first.

If a client has an urgent issue, causing them to seek you out, it’s good to address that. You can also communicate how things will be different and how life will be better for them when they’re done working with you.

Sharing about your business

In addition to telling the customer that you work with people like them, you’ll also need to tell them things about yourself. The most important place to do this is “above the fold.” This means the part of the website that the visitor sees at first, without scrolling down.

You want to make it easy for your ideal customers to understand where they are (the ideal business for them) and that they’re in the right place. They need to know who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and what makes you unique (ie what makes you stand out from the competition).

All these things put together will make a great first impression for your customer. It’ll get the right information across and make sure that your customers needs are being met. When they’ve found what they’re looking for, they won’t keep looking.

Be aware of the competition

Another thing that will do is take a look at who’s in your industry and who your customers and potential customers might also be looking at. We can see what working for them what’s not working for them. This way, you can be prepared in a competitive market.

Design preferences

We’ll also take a look at what your specific design preferences are. We’ll take a look at your brand’s current design and branding material. We combine your ideal content with your design preferences and modern web design trends.  

Content planning

As the great designer, Paul Rand said, “Form follows function.” No matter what your design looks like, it won’t make sense to your customer unless your content is accurate and effective. Part of content planning is creating a list of SEO (search engine optimization) keywords. You need to have the words you want to rank in Google for on your website. Having a good content plan can help you rank higher in the search results.

The other things to keep in mind are the timeline your website will take to create, marketing materials like email newsletters and free downloads for your customers, and images you’ll need on your site.

Once you’ve made a list of these items we’ll go through them and put them together for the different stages of your website design. We do revisions on each stage to make sure every piece fits well together and is working for your brand. Contact us with any questions.

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