We’ve been creating websites for clients of all sizes since 2006. Over time we’ve developed a checklist to assist business owners in getting started with their digital project.
You may also like to read the first article from our Planning a New Website - Getting Started series.
1. Make Time
This is really important. Creating a successful digital presence requires us to work as a team. We know you have a business to run - but so do we. If you don't have time to devote to completing this project, please ensure you can delegate total project control to somebody who can, so it can be completed in a timely manner.
2. Strategy and Planning
One of the main reasons a project will fail is a lack of planning. There are 3 key objectives we believe are essential in achieving a successful digital project:
- WHO - Identify target audience
- WHAT - Identify business goals
- HOW - Identify how best to communicate with that audience to achieve those goals
More information: Planning a New Website - Strategy & Planning
3. Set A Budget
If you really want a digital presence that works FOR your business, you should be prepared to spend some money on your website and consider it an investment.
We follow a sound strategy to deliver custom projects that work for your business. We invest time and energy in identifying your individual WHO, WHAT and HOW, to ensure the solution we implement delivers not only good value for money, but also a positive return on your investment. And we can continue to help you with your digital needs long after the website is launched.
4. Establish Your Identity
Traditionally, establishing business identity involved choosing a name, registering it with the appropriate authority, getting a logo and ordering business cards and stationery. But of course today, there are additional considerations:
- Register a business name and get an ABN/ACN.
- Register a domain name.
- Set up email.
- Set up social media accounts (to claim the URLs).
More information: Planning a New Website - Establish Your Identity
5. Artwork, Content & Images
Now we're moving into some of the things that actually go into your website.
- Develop a logo & branding.
- Organise stationery, business cards, signage & advertising.
- Research website design ideas – sites you like and research competitors.
We’re happy to help you write your website content, but to ensure it is accurate and reflective of your business we will require some information from you. For example:
- Home page - key points you’d like to convey.
- About Us - details about experience, etc. to assist in establishing credibility and trust for end-users (read: https://www.websolutionz.com.au/blog/why-you-need-a-great-about-page).
- Services - what the business will offer.
- Testimonials/Reviews https://www.websolutionz.com.au/google-reviews.
- Contact details – address, phone number(s), ABN.
We've outlined some guidelines to providing your own website content here.
In order to achieve a good outcome, it is important that you provide as much content as possible at the beginning of the project. This is required for layout planning. For example, a Client may initially ask for “a Services page”, so the website is planned around a single Services page, and subsequently we receive a 20 page Word document. While it is always possible to create new content and move existing content around, doing/undoing/redoing takes a lot more time than simply doing it once and may lead to project delays and additional costs.
A professional business needs professional imagery. As the saying goes - "A picture is worth a thousand words" - and online this is particularly true to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
- At least one good quality image per page.
- The fastest way to make your website look unprofessional, is to use bad quality smartphone images. Invest in a professional photographer, purchase stock images, or at the very least ensure your existing images are sharp, well optimised and help to tell your story.
6. Build a website designed for good SEO
7. Develop a Marketing Strategy
- There's no point randomly creating new content without first knowing exactly what you would like to achieve out of it. Have a plan.
8. Develop a Social Media strategy
- Similarly, there's little point randomly throwing content onto randomly-chosen social media platforms, if it won't achieve your goals. Have a plan.