“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
Developing anew website is not only a monetary investment but a commitment of time as well. With the right preparation, you'll save yourself time and ensure a thoughtful end result. Below are a few things you can do prior to kicking off your web project.
1. Interview Stakeholders.
One of the most important, and often overlooked, tasks are meeting with department managers. Find out what feature(s) of the current site they like, use or don't want to see go away and what they think the website is lacking. This gives you a great jumping-off point for adding new content and useful features.
2. Put Yourself in Your Customers' Shoes.
Think you know your customer? Great. Make a list of the top 5 actions you think a customer takes on your site. Whether it's looking for a phone number, finding a location, buying a specific product, or deep diving into your services. We'll use this in the next task.
3. Inventory Your Website.
Take an inventory of your current site content. List all of the pages you can navigate to on the site. Once you think you've listed all of them, head on over to Google. Search Google for site:domainname.com replacing'domain name' with yours. This will give you a list of the pages Google has indexed. Once you've cross-referenced the results with your list, you can begin narrowing down the pages you no longer need and addressing any content shortcomings you find. Be sure your site content and features address your customer needs as well as the stakeholder requirements. You should end up with a nice list of website pages and required features. The next step is to organize content to ensure conversion funneling. But don't worry about this step, that's what you have us for.
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