How to plan your Website Design
When people are starting to plan their websites, one of their main questions is: “What do I put on my website?” By this, they mean “What content goes on my website?” This is a super important question to ask. It’s all about planning your information for potential clients to read in a well-thought-out and strategic way. Most website designers call this siteflow. The name itself should give you a hint that you want to reduce any barriers to someone exploring your site.
Time to plan
Taking time to think about how a visitor will actually use your website is super, super important. When I work with new businesses, I notice that they tend to focus on what they believe to be important or get caught up in the design of the website, rather then putting themselves in the shoes of an ideal client. If that is you, know that many people also make that mistake. Think about your own experiences of landing on a website which looks beautiful, but which lacks a logical flow of information; or where you can’t find what you need; or where you hope to find a button or an image where there isn’t one. Put yourself in those shoes. How does it feel? Frustrating? Annoying? We want to make websites that help people on their customer journey, to make websites which are useable.
Low-Tech Starting Point
You don’t have to start off high-tech. A simple piece of paper, sticky notes, and a pen will work. First, think about the objective of your site. Is it to have people sign up for your list, hire you, or buy something from you? Having this goal front and centre will guide your decisions as to what to include AND also what not to include on your website.
Now that you have your goal, think about what should happen when someone initially lands on your site. Get out the sticky notes and write some bullet point thoughts for each question. Write as your ideal potential client. Remember: One sticky note per question. Firstly, visitors want to quickly and easily understand what you offer. Next, they are going to be asking themselves questions such as: “Do I want the work or services you offer? I have some concerns about working with you – what reassurances am I seeing? Do you have enough experience?”
Next, visitors will ask themselves, “Do I like you and do I want to discover more?” And, especially for service-based businesses, “Do I ‘click’ with your personality? How does it work? Can I afford this? Is it a good idea to send you a request? What doubts or obstacles do I have? Do I have enough of the right information to move forward and take action?”
If the website visitor has decided that they like the idea of working with you, the next step is to share reassurances that this is a good decision. “Can you do the same / offer it to me? Where do I find your best work? What did others think of you?”
So, the visitor has made the decision to work with you. Some questions they will be asking are: “What happens now? How long does it take? How can I get to know you in the meantime? Is it going be easy to start this relationship?” Doing this alone will put you ahead of 90% of your competition. Most people focus first on the design rather than on using strategic planning to create their sites. From answering these questions, you can start to see clusters of content. Start to put these together and play around with the order. Now you can start to think about what pages you want, such as home, about, work with me, sales page, opt-in, blog, and contact. Then start to divide these sticky notes in a logical order on each page.
Remember, you want every page to have a goal and a purpose. You also want every page to have a clear call to action, aka, what you want the visitor to do next. And that is how you plan a website design. Need some more support creating your site and would like a ‘Done With You’ Solution? Let’s connect over a video call. Book your Free 30-minute Consult Call here.