Before you set out to create your new, lead generation website—there are some critical preparations you should address. In many cases, these website design project preparations are viewed as “optional parts of the process” that can either be skipped altogether or revisited down the road
Don’t make this mistake.
By avoiding these preparations—you risk producing a website that is difficult to use, doesn’t solve core needs, and/or doesn’t generate leads for your business.
Don’t worry—these preparations aren’t technical in nature. These efforts will just help you centralize your thoughts and priorities. Whether you’re building your new site by yourself, with a team, or an agency—these efforts can save you valuable time and money down the road.
You can perform most of this activity with just a pen and paper or any word processing application. We’ve also prepared the following Google and Word documents that you can fill out as you go.
Without further ado… Let’s start planning your successful website design project.
1. Identify Your Current Website Challenges
Identifying and prioritizing your current challenges will provide you with insights (and a convenient reference point) as you plan and develop your new website.
What challenges or problems do you currently have? Does your website enable your business growth by attracting leads, conveying value, and speaking directly to personas?
Perhaps your current website…
- Doesn’t exist yet
- Is outdated and no longer represents your brand/organization
- Doesn’t work on mobile devices
- Isn’t connected to other systems (CRM, Email marketing)
- Is difficult for customers to navigate or use
- Is difficult for you to update and maintain
- Is not generating traffic from search engines
- Is not generating leads
- Does not have a way for visitors to contact you or your team
Whatever the challenges—record and rank them. By doing this—you’ll be able to easily refer back to past pain points as you proceed with planning and development of your new website.
2. Outline Your Primary Website Design Goals & Objectives
Now that we’ve identified your challenges—we’re ready to outline the primary goals and objectives of your new website.
What are your most important reasons for a new website or redesign? What do you hope to accomplish with your new website?
Are you trying to…
- Wow customers with a professional and easy-to-use website?
- Improve search performance to get more website traffic?
- Have a website that’s easier for you or your team to manage?
- Increase conversions? 2x or 3x more leads? 5x?
- Add functionality to your website? (ecommerce, interactive tools, forums, chat, etc?)
- Have a website that integrates with a CRM, sales management, or other SaaS tools?
- Add functionality to serve a new business model?
Capture all of your goals as a “wishlist” and then rank them in order of priority. Documenting these will help you—and anyone you work with on your website design project—understand priorities and make “downstream” decisions or trade-offs when the need arises.
3. Find A Few Websites You Really Like
Take a few moments to consider and find a few examples of websites that you really like. Ideally, the websites you identify are in—or adjacent to—an industry like yours.
Carefully consider what drew you to the website in the first place. What do you like about it? Are there aspects you dislike?
Things to consider:
- Do you like the navigation or ease of use?
- Is it visually appealing? Colors? Imagery? Videos?
- Does it have functionality or interactive features that drew you to it?
- Something else?
With a few relatable website examples—you’ll be able determine features that are most important to you as you develop your new website.
4. Define Your Value Proposition, Target Personas, & Offerings
A website needs to convey value and speak directly to your intended customers. It should communicate what makes you different, why you do what you do, and how.
Make sure you have a strong understanding of what these are before you begin building your website.
Here’s what you should outline:
Define your value proposition. It is often as simple as [Something of Value] for [some particular group/market].
Here are a few examples:
- Monday.com: Work the way that works for you
- Slack: Welcome to Your New HQ
- Lastpass: Effortless security from anywhere.
Outline your 3–5 primary personas that you’ll tailor your website toward.
Outline the products or services your website will need to offer.
For more information on developing target personas, see our 10 Step Guide To Mapping Your Customer Journey
5. Determine Timeline & Budget For Your Website
When would you like to have your website project completed and for what amount?
Websites can vary significantly in complexity and cost. By organizing and prioritizing your needs up front—you’ll help outline what’s most important so that you can make important decisions that will help keep your project on time and on budget..
Jot down your reasonable expectations for how long you think your website project will take and how much it will cost.
- Are you going to do it all yourself? Do you have the expertise?
- How long will it take to build your website?
- What date should your website be completed by?
- What is the expertise worth?
- What is the cost of not completing a website to execute your other plans?
- What is the long-term cost and time commitment of building a website that doesn’t perform?
Next Steps For Your Successful Website Design Project
Congratulations! With these preparations—you’re now ready to start the planning and strategy phase of your website design project.
Some additional things you may want to gather as you get started include:
- Brand materials (style guide, colors, fonts, logos, etc.)
- Custom Images & Videos
- Reviews and testimonials
- Anything else that may be helpful to convey your ideas when you’re working with your team, a freelancer, or an agency
Hire The Right Website Design Agency For You!
At SequoiaCX, we help organizations build effective lead generation websites and digital foundations that promote growth through better customer relationships.