Why set foundations for your website?
measure twice, cut once; our process
Before you begin working on a customer project, you know that it’s all about the ‘planning’, and it is no different for your website creation! In fact, the creative phase should be fairly swift if you take the time to set foundations for your website.
Our tried and tested process is critical to the success of an engaging website, with searchable content that is ready to promote. Here are the three core phases we follow for all of our projects:
01 – FOUNDATION
1. FOUNDATION WORKSHOP TO PROFILE YOUR BUSINESS
When it comes to your website, we start with the end in mind. Knowing the purpose of your website and the goal(s) you are looking to achieve, allows us to ‘reverse engineer’ your website. Read our article about why website goals are important here. Our Foundation Workshop includes three core modules, to profile every aspect of your business, who you want to work with and the essential reason why a potential customer should buy from you. We pull out all of your knowledge, to ensure customers can see you are the expert in your field. This is an in-depth, three-hour Workshop, which also covers your back story and core messaging, so we can create engaging, searchable content for your website.
2. KEYWORD RESEARCH
The whole premise of a good website is one that can be easily found on Google, via searchable words – called keywords. Read our blog about why keywords are important here. Being found in Google and showing up in search engine listings, is not an afterthought, nor does it happen by chance, or simply get bolted on at the end. This is why knowing your end goal is important, as you’ll be more aware of your customer demographic. Once you know this, you’ll understand the type of things they’re searching for on Google, so you can find relevant keywords more easily. For instance, if you sell garden furniture, and you use the keyword “garden sofas” but your customer demographic is searching for “garden furniture”, you are unlikely to appear in their search.
3. COMPETITOR RESEARCH
It’s important to remember that all businesses have competitors, no matter how ‘niche’ your business is. Even if your competitors don’t offer the exact same product/service, it doesn’t mean you don’t have competition. This is where competitor research comes in. How can you expect your website to measure up to your competitors, without first knowing:
- Where they appear in the search engine results pages of Google
- And what they are doing to achieve that position
Failing to complete any competitor research, is planning to fail. It is one thing to understand that keywords are likely to gain more traffic to your website, but it is entirely different when it comes to HOW your customers get there. If competitor research isn’t done from the very beginning, it will be impossible to add it in later on. This is because Google changes its algorithm frequently, so businesses can’t ‘trick’ the system, or get ahead by not being organic in their content.
Competition is always evolving; businesses begin to branch out and offer more products, which may be similar to yours, and new businesses enter the market. Remember, you can’t grow what you can’t measure. How do you expect to be better than your competitors, if you don’t know who your competition is? By ensuring your competitor analysis is done from the very start, you can keep an eye on it, rather than trying to add it in later, which will be impossible.
4. SEO RECOMMENDATIONS AND PLAN
Once we have profiled your business, undertaken some keyword research, and completed our competitor analysis, we are now in a position to provide our recommendations for the keywords for your website. We will discuss these with you and get your input so that we can agree on the website sitemap (pages), and create a plan around the headings/titles, etc.
This is an important part of the process, as this is when we begin to make decisions together. Yes, we will guide you on what works well on a website, but you are the experts at what you do, so we need your input on the keywords, etc. Whilst we mainly work with service businesses, sometimes there is a need for an e-commerce element to your site. And the SEO side of things is quite different and complex, which will require more time from both us, and you.
02 – CREATION
1. SEO – CREATING YOUR SEARCHABLE WEBSITE COPY
If you set foundations for your website, you have a firm plan in place and we are ready to start creating! We will write a draft copy for each of the agreed pages of your website and knit the keywords in as we go along. Your copy will need to work for Google, but more importantly the user experience of your intended audience. So, website copy is both fairly technical and creative at the same time.
It requires a lot of energy to get into the right mindset to write good, creative copy, and it makes it harder if our time is staggered, or we go between projects. From experience, we find working collaboratively over a week, or two weeks, (depending on the sitemap) is the best way to ensure the copy is as engaging as it can be. Then, once we have completed the draft copy of the full site, we will collaborate with you for your input on the tone of voice and expert content.
2. BRANDING AND WEB DESIGN
We can now get creative with an engaging design that fully represents your business. If you are new to business, we can help you with your brand identity; logo, fonts, image style, colour palette, etc. Everything that ensures the emotional connection you want your potential customer to “feel” when they come across your business. We then interpret this into your website design so that it is consistent.
3. WEBSITE BUILD, PRE-LIVE CHECKS AND GO LIVE
This is where we bring everything together to build your website and bring it to life! We have set up streamlined processes so that this stage is seamless. We check all the technical elements are in place to keep Google happy and also to ensure the website works on all devices. We complete our pre-live checks, put the site live and then do our post live tasks. But all you need to know is that we take care of the technical aspect so that your site is set up properly and is ready to promote!
03 – PROMOTION
1. YOUR WEBSITE PROMOTION
Just like a feature film that has been styled, designed, written, created, shot, etc. Without a clear, distinctive, planned promotion phase, how will the general public know that it is available? The promotional trail is a huge part of any successful film! Plus, there is a lot of competition with other films by different directors, so the promotional trail ensures the film stands out. I cannot stress enough that it is no different for your website. Investing in engaging web design isn’t going to automatically place your business on page 1 of Google right away. After all, that wouldn’t be fair to all the other businesses who have taken time, energy, and investment to reach and maintain the page 1 listing.
2. HOW TO PROMOTE
So, like films that rely heavily on promotion in order for them to be watched, there are many strategies to promote your website and many specialists who can help your site be seen. Eddy our SEO / Ads specialist can work with you for a period of time after your site goes live (around 3 months), to start bringing traffic to your website. There are also tons of other effective strategies, so whichever route you take, the point is that activity creates action, and you can’t just leave your website static expecting it to attract traffic. You have to go out there and find the traffic and point it to your website!
Unless you set foundations in your business, how can you expect your website to be set up properly and ready to promote? The success of your website doesn’t come about by chance, it requires careful consideration, in-depth planning and core foundations.
We pride ourselves on creating a website that it is properly setup and READY to promote, so you can confidently build up your audience, capture leads and turn them into paying customers!