As you start to plan your website, it’s important to begin with a strong foundation by laying out a site map. Creating a strategy and map of your site prior to beginning the design is one of the most important pieces of your website design process.
When it comes to creating your website, it’s tempting to get started on the visual design, what photos to use, the layout, etc. but, before you get started with the visuals of the site, you need to come up with a plan and strategy. Because while your site may look great, it could actually end up being one hot mess! You need to have a plan, or website map, to help your guide your visitors on a journey through your site to the ultimate goal – buying your products or booking your services! It may be difficult to know what content needs to be gathered so your visitors will get the full story, so it’s best to lay this out before you get started.
Goals of Your Site
To start, you need to determine the goal of your site. Is it to buy a product or book a service with you. Maybe it’s getting people to sign up for your e-course. What actions will you need to take to achieve them? Do you need to have an opt-in form or e-commerce options? Whatever your main goals are, you need to make sure they are always the focus when you plan your website.
Pages and Navigation
Next you want to divide these into header and footer navigation, and copyright bar. For example:
Header – Home, About, Service, Blog, Contact
Footer – Shop, Press, Resources
Goals of Your Pages
Next you want to define the goals of each page. What do you want your website visitors to walk away with from each page? How are you going to guide them through to the next page? An example of defining your goals could be:
intro to your business
what you can do for your clients
direct visitors to services page
package and pricing options
direct visitors to contact page
Now that you have your pages in order and your goals in mind, it’s time to gather the content for your website. This is where having your branding in place ahead of time comes in handy. If you have already crafted your brand identity and message, creating the content that will appeal to your visitors will be a piece of cake. Content dictates the design. By laying out your website map ahead of time you will know exactly what needs to go on each page, and how each page will guide your visitors through your site.
Now the fun begins! It’s time to begin on yourwebsite design! With your content created you can now design the website of your dreams, one that will help guide your visitors on a journey to complete the ultimate goal…working with you!