You want to create the perfect website for your business? A website that convinces your buyer persona and has a lasting positive influence on the success of your company?
Whether you are planning your first website or relaunching your existing site, what you need is a polished concept. You should go through the following steps in your planning process.
What to expect:
7 steps to your website concept
The web presence is one of the most important factors for companies to be successful on the market. As a digital flagship, your website describes the core aspects of your business. It presents your potential customers with solutions that you create with your company and should help you achieve sustainable business success by targeting your buyer personas.
For a coherent Website conception you should proceed strategically.
1. Define goals
First of all, you should be clear about what you want to achieve with your website.
Define short-term and long-term goals, which are to be pursued with regard to your business goals.
Goals can be more sales, more customers, lead generation or even a cost reduction by using automation processes.
It is helpful to use the classic W-questions as a guideline for formulating your goals and to consider "What do I want to achieve??", When and how do I want to achieve my goals?" and "What means are available to me?".
If you are aiming to relaunch a website and have thus already collected key figures for measuring success, it may make sense to include these in the definition of goals for the new website.
2. Consider buyer personas
Also important for the creation of your website concept is the orientation towards your buyer personas and their buyer’s journey. This is how you should z.B. Base the structure and placement of content on your website on your personas and their user behavior.
Imagine you are founding a digital payroll service. While the CEO of a company is most interested in how your service can efficiently contribute to cost reduction and process optimization, it is more relevant for his employees what opportunities for pay optimization your service can offer them.
For example, it makes sense to place content on the topic of "cost optimization" for the CEO already above the fold on the home page.
For the employee, on the other hand, you would have to structure the content differently than for the CEO, as these people have different areas of interest.
So, for planning your website, you should know your buyer personas and be aware of the relevance of each persona. You then align the strategic structure and content of your website accordingly.
3. Develop page architecture and visual concept
The Page architecture of your website forms your structural rough concept. You create this in the form of a Sitemap. With such a sitemap you create a hierarchically structured overall representation of your website. What does it mean? Determine the subcategories and content pages you need from your home page to represent your business and its services.
Let’s say you start a sustainable business selling organic products and running a blog. If you create a sitemap for this purpose, you must u. a. Subpages for your products, your sustainability blog and the about page.
An efficient tool for the creation of sitemaps offers for example gloomaps. This allows you to easily visualize sitemaps and insert content.
You should also think about the Navigation structure You have to think about the structure of your website, because the navigation structure influences the user friendliness and user experience significantly.
Once you have planned the structure of your website, you can use wireframes to sketch out your rough visual concept .
What is wireframing?
A wireframe is a rough sketch of ideas that represents the basic structure of your content and its functionality. It builds your basic framework, consisting of lines and empty boxes.
Later on, you will develop the wireframe in the form of a mockup with visual elements, such as text and images, until you can finally create interactive prototypes of your site.
4. Plan content strategy
When strategically planning your content, you should be clear about your topics and the appropriate content formats. Use your buyer persona to determine which topics are most likely to appeal to them and which formats they prefer. From a technical perspective, also consider the impact your content will have on your site’s performance and therefore SEO.
When choosing your content and its formats, the amount of text and your wording also play an important role. For example, a website for a game paradise for children of elementary school age must rather be equipped with pictures, illustrations and videos and only needs to contain short texts. For an informative blog, which is addressed to middle-aged people, texts play a completely different role.
In addition, you should use trust-building elements, such as seals and awards, in appropriate places and make them clearly visible to users.
5. Choose a suitable CMS
In the next step you should think about which content management system (CMS) you want to use to create and manage your website.
Why do you need a CMS?
A content management system (CMS) is a set of software products that you can use to manage web content, such as content for your website.B. Create, edit, publish and manage text, images and graphics for the long term.
What are your CMS requirements? The various systems offer a wide range of options. Some of them require a certain know-how in programming, while others are easy to use, even with little knowledge.
Probably the easiest option is to use a modular system, such as Jimdo, which you can set up with just a few clicks. The disadvantage of this is that your website may not be very extensive and you have very few customization options. The advantage of building kits, however, is that you don’t have to worry about system administration, which in turn reduces effort and running costs.
Most content management systems provide a user interface on which the website can be directly adapted and, if necessary, extended by programming. Popular CMS systems on the German market are WordPress, Typo3 and Contao. All these systems are free of charge, platform-independent and only require a common browser to access the backend. However, there are small differences in the way the systems work and not every system is suitable for every purpose.
Weigh the pros and cons of the various content management systems in light of the goals you want to achieve with your website.
6. Create a web design
If you have created your basic concept up to here, the Web design. This includes the structuring and visual implementation of elements on your website. To do this, create layouts as part of a screen design that represent how your website might look on a screen. Finally, these prototypes need to be developed to the point where they are not only user-friendly, but also feasible in terms of technical development and meet SEO requirements.
7. Search engine optimization
In order to achieve a good ranking in search engines with your website, you should carry out OnPage optimization. In this context, the quality of your content becomes particularly clear, because Google follows the principle of ranking better those websites that offer users a clear added value.
In addition, you should provide Google with structured data, for example by including an important keyword in your subheadlines and setting internal links.
Another key to success are Keywords. Conduct a comprehensive keyword research and include relevant keywords in your website. How to make the search engine understand what the content of your website is about. However, you should not overdo it with your keyword density. Google admonishes keyword spamming and the user experience is also negatively affected by too many repeated words and an unnatural reading flow.
Meta Title and Meta Description represent the most important meta information. Together they make up the Search Snippet, i.e. the search result displayed by Google in text form. You should integrate at least one keyword in Meta Title as well as Meta Description to improve your ranking.
Finally, everything revolves around the user experience. In order to create a positive user experience with your website and achieve a good ranking, it must have a high level of usability. This includes technical aspects, like the loading time of your website. This can u.a. be improved by the programmatic optimization of your images.
If you consider the rapidly advancing process of digitalization and the accompanying change in our consumer behavior, it becomes clear how important the Internet presence of a company is for its success. Since your website represents your business in the digital world, a good concept is crucial. Once you have defined the goals for your website, you can use them as a basis for planning the relevant points of your website step by step and make sure that your new website will be a complete success.