Launching a great website in 72 hours is possible, particularly for websites with less than 50 pages of content. But there is a catch. You need to have all the necessary information and resources at your fingertips. This includes:
- Website look you are going for – use other websites for inspiration
- Company images and photos
- Login information – domain registrar, hosting, etc.
- Menu structure
- Content – quality copywriting
Once you have this information at the ready, a website can be completed in 3 days by following these 10 steps:
- Determine menu structure – short and simple is always better
- Determine what text will go on the Home Page
- Design home page
- Design inside page – will all inside pages have the same header/title bar or will each inside page have unique images/categories?
- Develop a draft site with the menu structure, home page and inside pages
- Develop footer with required content
- Add relevant Meta data and rich snippets to each page
- Add code for analytics and any other required information
- Proof read and test
- Go live, proof read and test again
These are the basics to launching a great website but the details are important. I have put together a comprehensive list that will further assist in your website design. Every website is unique so some of the items listed may not be relevant to your design.
It doesn’t matter how many people visit your website if they aren’t taking action or doing something, your website is nothing more than a costly, ineffective advertisement. The objective of your website could be one or more of the following:
- Brand/Online Reputation
- Lead Nurturing
- Customer Support
Our top two objectives here at The Story Web Design & Marketing are sales and lead nurturing so we designed our website with those in mind.
Determine the look of your website by checking out other websites. Make a list of things you like and dislike including images, design elements and organization.
Organize all the graphic resources you want to use in your website, including:
- Corporate colors or fonts
- Corporate images
- Company Logo or emblems
- Images of people, products, etc.
- Graphics or drawings
- Samples of stock photos that align with the image you want for your website
- Video files or links
You will need the following login information:
- Domain name registrar
- Existing website host (the domain name registrar and host provider may share the same login)
- Existing website Content Management System (CMS) – WordPress, Drupal, WIX, etc.
- Email marketing, marketing automation systems or CRM
- External landing pages
- Other relevant systems such as events calendar, careers
- Analytics – Google Analytics or others
Required contact information:
- Company address or addresses if there are multiple locations
- Email addresses – note, login information for email might be required
- Social Media site URLs – determine which social media outlets are most relevant for your company/clients/prospects
Our contact page looks like this: The Story Web Design & Marketing Contact Page
Buying and Calls to Action
Outline your prospective client’s buying cycle. What do they need? What information do they want when they start to think about buying the kind of product or service you offer? What about when they are getting serious about buying? What information and resources will help them?
You may have several different buying personas (groups of similar people) interested in your product or service. And this requires multiple buying cycle descriptions. For example, if you sell to lawyers and to non-profit organizations, each will likely have a different process for what they consider and how they consider it, during the buying process.
- Outline your prospect’s buying cycle – what do they consider during their buying process?
- Determine calls to action – what do you want your prospects to do?
- Collect prospect’s information – what type of contact info do you want and how do you collect it?
Content and Organization
Content can be the biggest stumbling block for the completion of any website. Consider the services of a professional copywriter and keyword researcher to ensure you include the appropriate keywords in the structure and content of your website.
Key pages for your web design:
- Home page – key message about your company, highlight the value you provide, main reasons for prospects to take action
- Product/Service pages – description of each product or service
- About Pages – company details, company history, careers, partners, testimonials, news
- Profile Pages – profiles of key employees which may include contact information
- Resources – case studies, eBooks, ROI calculator, articles
- Contact Page
Each page must have a unique title less than 70 characters long. Each page of your website should also have a footer which could include:
- Company address
- Contact information
- Highlighted page links – customer service, feature products, contact
- Social media icons
- Social Media feed
Scroll to the bottom of our website to see how we’ve arranged information on our footer
Do you want www or non-www? For example, my website is URL shows up thestorywebs.com instead of www.thestorywebs.com. You Webmaster can set it up so that whatever a visitor puts in (www or non-www) they will land at your website.
Do you have a lot of mobile traffic and need a dedicated mobile site or is responsive website sufficient? If you expect a lot of traffic from smart phones, you should consider a dedicated mobile site.
You need a project contact. This is a person who has the authority and knowledge to make any necessary decisions regarding your website.
Agree to a website design schedule. As a minimum I always include:
- Project start date
- Website concept review date
- Draft website review date
- Go live date
Search Engine Optimization
A rich snippet is the information you see when you do a search on Google. Each page of your website needs a rich snippet that is easy to read and understand so people know the value of that page. Page titles should be less than 70 characters and page descriptions should less than 156 characters.
For example, my website shows the following in the Rich Snippet for the Home Page:
The Story Web Design & Marketing
Our Web Design, SEO/SEM expertise and digital marketing can help you achieve your on-line business goals. Click here to learn more.
You can also focus on Meta keywords, however, Google has stated that they don’t use them and Bing doesn’t use it for rankings either. Between Google and Bing that is almost 90% of the search market so perhaps it’s not the best use of your time.
Before you go live:
- Proof read all content
- Test each page and all links
- Test all forms
- Smush all images and graphics to enhance performance
- Add additional code such as Google Analytics
- Setup external backups
- Install any relevant security
- Create caching system to enhance website speed
The task of designing a new website in 72 hours is a challenge, but it’s very possible with focused effort. Whether you are targeting completion in 72 hours or not, gathering all of the information and resources you can, will help focus your website design project and finish much faster.
We at The Story Web Design & Marketing, are creative, experienced and task focused. We would like the opportunity to discuss your web design requirements or concepts. Contact us for an initial consultation at 800-349-3394.