A website is crucial for the success of any business living in the digital world.Your website is the center of your company’s online presence. Websites allow you to capture leads and help businesses grow through different marketing strategies. “93% Of Business Purchase Decisions Start with a Search Engine Search of Websites.” If 93% of business purchase decisions start with search engine search of your website, not having a website will result in you selling to only 7% of your market. In addition to all that, it is key in building credibility. Without a website, your legitimacy is questioned by many. So, how do you build a website that’ll help you grow?
The Objective of a Website and its Various Types
You can’t understand how to build a website without identifying what type of website you need. Let’s start by noting them down:
- Portfolio-based websites allow you to present information about your product or service. They showcase your work.
- Transactional-based websites are used to generate value-based transactions. They’re websites that have the ability to process financial transactions. They facilitate online payments between consumers, companies, and organizations. You are basically creating a mechanism that allows you to generate sales.
- Lead generation websites, mainly used by B2B (Business to Business transactions), help visitors find information that they are looking for about your products or services. Moreover, it helps with generating and capturing qualified leads. It does that through lead-conversion mechanisms and lead-capturing tools.
There are additional types like news, forum, and community websites, but they are not strictly relevant when it comes to digital marketing. Start by planning what you want your website to achieve and your objectives. After having an idea of your goals, you can now identify what type of website to build to reach them.
Project Ownership and Team Formulation
The next piece to understand how to build a website is assigning a project. A project owner is responsible for the implementation process and will be held accountable for the progression of the website build. They’ll start with the necessary first steps. Assigning a team dedicated to the implementation of the website will be their first step. Each team member will be given a different responsibility. One team member will be responsible for the design, another the website’s content, and so on. Trello or Wrike are great tools for building a project board with each available task and an assignee. It is the project owner’s responsibility to follow up with their team members on a daily basis. Also, they’ll need to assure that the decision-maker (the person who the website is for) is satisfied with all the updates taking place. This helps with better organization, time management, and coordination.
Following, your project manager will identify your scope. Having a clear scope will help you identify everything you’ll need during the implementation phase. The look and feel of your website, the technology you will be using, UX/UI, and so on. Once your scope is ready and well-identified you can set a clear schedule to abide by.
Keep in mind that even though you set a clear map of everything you need and the time it will take, you haven’t eradicated all risks. Unpredictable risk still remains for events you didn’t account for. Always have a plan B.
You need a backup plan to overcome the risk while still delivering the website on time. This is where the minimum viable product plays a role. It is based on the worst-case scenario. The minimum viable product is having just enough features to go live. Once all this is ready, start executing.
Understanding your current situation in the market is the next piece to understanding how to build a website. Conducting a website audit, competitors’ analysis, market analysis, and completing a self-discovery questionnaire are the next steps. Let’s assume you already have an existing website. Here is how you should go about it:
- Start by visiting a website called web.dev, a website made by Google, that helps you measure your core web vitals and website performance. Google has developed web.dev to make it easier to create a high-quality experience. They believe this will enable more meaningful engagement on the web. User experience and satisfaction are a high priority for Google. Web.dev gives you an overview of the speed of your website pages, errors, and it also provides you with some important action items. Assure that they are all marked green before going live with your website.
- Also, make your way to SEMrush. SEMrush is a tool that helps with improving online visibility and discovering marketing insights. It is important to understand the current status of your website and the issues it has. SEMrush allows you to analyze information on what your website is ranking for, what keywords you are ranking on, how many backlinks you have and their quality, run a search engine analysis, and so on. Information like this is crucial, as it helps you dive deeper into the objectives you want to assign and hit.
- Another tool you can visit is Statista, a specialized market and consumer data tool. Let’s assume you’re a smartphone company and you want to analyze the behavior of customers who are purchasing smartphones in the UAE. Through Statista, you can figure out the user’s age, income, and gender. Also, you can discover the average price of smartphones, and how many people use smartphones in the UAE.
- Start with your design and content audit. Look over all the different pages you have and all the content pieces that you have on hand. Ask yourself, can you repurpose this content, or do you need to start over?
It is important to know how your target market behaves, your website’s performance, search engine status, content situation, market condition, and industry affairs before diving directly into designing your website. Also, always keep your competitors in mind. Keep an eye out on competitors’ performance, how much are they spending on ad campaigns, what are they offering, how are they pricing, and what kinds of lead magnets they’re using. Discover what makes you stand out from competitors; what makes you different? In addition, a self-discovery questionnaire helps you identify who you are targeting, why you need a new website, and what you will be focusing on. These questions help you get into the right mindset when building your website.
How to Design Your Website Build
Understanding how to design a website will help with how you build a website. An appealing website gives your customers a reason to stay on your website longer and can lead to customer retention. Since, it takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website, whether they like your website and are staying or not.
Moreover, to ensure the best user experience, consistency is key. It is very important to agree on a single direction for your website. What do you want out of your website, how do you want it to look like, and what are your expectations? This is key to showcase your product in the best possible way. So, for the design, we will be going over 5 main points:
- Brief your design team. If you want to represent your product in a specific way or you want your customers to feel a certain emotion when looking at your product, then it is vital to brief your design team well. They should be very familiar with the pain points you’re solving, who you are targeting, and the unique value proposition of your product. This helps them acknowledge what they need to highlight through their design. Also, keep an eye out for competitors. Brief your design team on important findings you found during your competitor analysis. For example, how are competitors marketing their product, and what is the look and feel of their website? This helps designers get a clearer idea. They can also utilize this information to present your product in a better way.
- Set clear brand guidelines. This is where the design team meets up and decides on the font color, logo variations, color of CTA buttons, and the font they will utilize. In addition, the tone of voice of your brand is also decided here. How do you want your brand to sound? Do you want to sound formal, informal, funny, or serious? Make sure that your brand voice is aligned with how you showcase your product. Consistency is key.
- Conduct thorough design research. Search the internet to identify the latest web design trends. The same way marketers search the internet on how they can increase leads, designers search for design trends. How are others presenting their product, their visuals, colors, size, animations, and typography? Do not copy competitors, just use your findings for inspiration.
- Build a mood board. A mood board is a visual collage of images, texts, and objects decided on. It helps convey the overall look and feel of your website.
- Set a timeline and prioritize. You need to have your timeline and priorities set before starting. It is a vital step to make sure that everything is moving according to plan. Since a missed deadline will change the entire timeline. Better time management and organization is the best way to make sure you achieve the timeline expectation you set.
Project Management and Website Build Execution
- Set your Information Architecture
After completing your research and identifying the type of resources needed, it is time to decide on the structure of your project management. This can be done through the website’s information architecture (IA). Information architecture is one of the most important elements when planning a website. What is it you may ask? IA is all about organizing, structuring, and labeling your content in the most effective way. Start with defining what your product is all about, what are the different components of your product, and what particular solution does it solve. It is vital to map your product to your persona and ensure that it is being addressed to them.
Do your keyword research and map your findings to your persona and products. Also, when doing your research, look for similar products and the keywords that they are utilizing. Map these keywords to your product too, if possible. For example, let’s assume that you are a smartphone company. Identify the different keywords people are using when buying a smartphone. Assume that the most common word used by people who purchase smartphones is iPhone, so make sure that the keyword iPhone is mapped to some of your products.
Also, assure that your product is well-defined. This can be achieved by answering the question: what am I offering through my website? In addition, another question you should be asking yourself is what are you solving through your products/services? This is something that is often underlooked, but solution breakdown has a huge effect on how we position our website.
The IA of a website starts with your product, what you’re selling. Your product section should be a separate section. Moreover, you should have a solution section. Your solution section should focus on what you are trying to solve, not what someone gains from buying your product. Show results and sell solutions! What can you solve? For example, here at Hovi, we help our customers generate more prospects, decrease marketing costs, increase conversion, and enhance visibility.
- Prioritize Your Content
Building your information architecture requires a lot of components and content pieces. When making or revamping a website, there are many different sections that need to be handled. Let’s take a look at some pages you’ll likely use: The About Us page, Solution page, and Product page. Each of these pages may require new or updated content. That’s a lot to handle. So, start by prioritizing your content creation. Sit down and put some time into figuring out what your top priority(P1) pages are. Take a look at your P1s and see what is missing – Do they need a new title? Updated content? Enhanced CTAs? Maybe the page needs a complete overhaul. Remember, your P1s are your minimum viable product – Get them right.
There will also be a section for the different actions required. For example, actions might include pages that require new content, repurposing old content, or maybe even content awaiting review.
Another section will include your wireframes. Wireframes help you pinpoint the look and feel of a specific page. Keep in mind, even if you plan your content to a tee, you might find better ways of achieving your goal. It’s ok to adapt your plan as long as you’re not compromising your project timeline and goals.
- Set Up Your Wireframes and Mockup
Let’s build upon the idea of the wireframes. Once the needed content is identified, you can set up your wireframes and design your mockup. The structure of the page, how the page is divided, what to include in terms of design, pictures, and videos needed. All this takes place in the wireframe section. It is believed by many that this section is a designer’s job, but that is not the case. Wireframes fall under the responsibility of the marketing team.
The design team takes over transforming the wireframes into a website mockup. The design team looks over the wireframes and starts executing an actual website design. Figma or Sketch are some tools that can be utilized to generate a website mockup. Web developers then take this mockup and turn them into web pages.
- Place your Timeline
Executing a timeline is vital, here is how you can do it. Let’s say, there are a total of 5 pages under market intelligence and you need to figure the amount of time needed per week to get them done on time.
Start with defining how many designers you have, let’s say that number is 4. Also, let’s consider that each designer can dedicate 40 hours per week. That would result in 160 hours of work in total. Now, the 160 hours will not be dedicated solely to building the website; the design team has many other tasks to take care of. As a result, dedicate a percentage of the 160 hours depending on how much the website is a priority that week. Consider that in the first week the design team will dedicate 30% of their time to design the website, that is 30% of 160 = 48 hours. Assuming that each page takes around 5 hours, to achieve 10 pages you need a sum of 50 hours. So, in the first week, the design team should be able to achieve around 9.5 pages.
This is mainly how you can structure and plan your timeline. It starts by giving out a weighted priority.
These are all the steps you need to consider when planning a website. Start with figuring out the type of website you want, what are you trying to achieve with it, assign your project owner, formulate a team, research and analyze, audit your website, analyze your market and competitors, plan your design, information architecture, and wireframes, build a clear mockup, assign your resources, and finally stick to your timeline.