When I start on A NEW WEB PROJECT I always start by asking myself, what is my USP and how can I best leverage the worldwide web to inform and communicate with my customers? For those of you who are reading this who don’t know what a USP is, a (USP) unique selling proposition is a statement about what makes you and your company different from other vendors. Its primary value is to create competitive differentiation.

So, let’s look at the basic steps that should be taken to create an effective website.

1 DISCOVERY: Take the time to ask all the right questions and truly understand what your customers are looking for.

  • What products and/or services do I sell?­­­
  • What is my unique selling proposition?
  • What is the purpose of this website?
  • Who is my perfect customer? (age, gender, location, etc)
  • Who are my competitors?
  • What aspects of my business can be simplified or enhanced by using a website or new technology?
  • When do I need the website to be live?
  • What are my website goals?
  • Do I want to gain a better engagement with my current customers or increase the number of customers?
  • What is my budget? When can I expect my ROI.

2 PLANNING: Taking the time to create a plan before you begin can dramatically improve your results. In this phase, I create a detailed sitemap and wireframe design. A website wireframe, also known as a page schematic or screen blueprint, is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. Wireframes are created for the purpose of arranging elements to best accomplish a particular purpose. I consider which features will be needed such as ecommerce, live chat, CRM integration, a blogging platform, embedded maps, a video slider, and a portfolio page. At this stage, I suggest that you resist the urge to start designing the look and feel of the website. Focus on the layout and functionality.

3 DESIGN: Now it’s time to focus on the “Look & Feel” of the website. This is my favorite part of the process because things go from black and white to full color. Always keep the design consistent with the company branding and be selective when choosing the colors. The copy needs to be clean, clear, and legible to all your website visitors. You also want to take in to consideration the industry that you’re in when creating the design.

4 CONTENT: What message do you want to broadcast to your potential and existing customers? Creatively tell your story with words and media. I put myself in my customer’s shoes and I carefully craft the message to speak directly to them. Create at least 4 “Call to Action” messages that are based on the pains of your customer. (e.g. If it’s hard to find an affordable “widget” then explain about how your “widget” is affordable. Etc.

5 DEVELOPMENT: The design is done and now the rubber hits the road. It’s deep dive time. It’s time to take that beautiful design and slice it up and turn it in to a working website. It’s a good idea to create a staging site to allow time for development.

6 DEPLOYMENT: It’s time to go live with the new website. In this phase I look for additional ways to create engagement. You can put out press releases, send an email marketing message, send text messages, and/or leverage social media. Look for the best ways to tie in your offline marketing efforts with your website to bring things full circle.

AFTER CARE: After your website is live you will want to find someone to help you manage your online presence. Someone who can work with you on a regular basis to develop your SEO strategy and post updated content to the website. This is the way to stay relevant with the search engines. In addition to all of that when you hire a good web developer they are going to set you up with website analytics that will help you guide your marketing department.

This process has proven to be successful for 100’s of business around the world. For more tips and tricks follow this blog. #directive @onlinedirective

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#directive offers professional web services that include: Website Design, Ecommerce Solutions, SEO, Website Maintenance, Graphic Design, & Email Marketing. #directive prides itself on creating websites that exceed our client’s expectations, make a statement, and drive results. 

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