You think you need a new website. Maybe you want to launch your new business or your site is outdated. The thing is, you don’t know how to start and what might be necessary for a website launch.
Don’t worry, we got you covered. In this article, we will guide you through the necessary steps to prepare for your new website.
First of all: Don’t make the mistake and reach out to designers or developers you found on Upwork or LinkedIn asking them how much a new website costs.
It is too early. No trustworthy designer or developer would ever be able to give you a reliable budget or timeframe at this stage. Why? Because not even you know what it is that you want. So the first step is to find this out.
A good website helps your customers and therefore fulfills one or several purposes: it is, for instance, the place where people find out about your new iPhone app or you want to attract leads for you B2B company so that your sales team can talk to them. All purposes have to be linked to your business goals.
This means that you have to know what these are. Business goals are a part of your strategy. Ideally, you already have your strategy defined, and you know exactly who your target groups are, why they should choose your product (aka your value proposition) and who you are competing with. If not, then this is the perfect moment to get started with it.
A thorough strategy will not only help you to get the perfect website it also gives you a clear picture of your business. Thus, you will communicate the advantages of your product more precisely, know how to reach your users and turn them into customers.
Got your strategy figured out? Great. Now think about how your website fits in there. Remember: your website is not a brochure. It is a tool to achieve your goals.
Start with your primary objective. What is the most important thing you want your visitors to accomplish? Purchase a product in your e-commerce shop or make an appointment for a hair cut? And how will this action bring you closer to fulfill your business goals?
Now that you have figured out what you want to achieve with your website on a higher level, you should dig a little deeper. As you will be spending money on creating a website and promoting it, you surely want to know what you should get out of it. Yes, we are talking about your ROI. In order to define your ROI, it is helpful to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) or as we would describe it: How will you know if your new website is successful or not?
Especially if you are starting a brand new business, this might be a bit tricky and people to tend to guess a lot. If you want to stay on the safe side, you can use the reverse calculation method. This means instead of starting on top of your sales funnel (this is attracting new users), you start on the bottom (your converted customers). This way you can find out how many users should click on your website to reach your goal.
Here is an example: Let’s say you are selling a new product on your website. It costs 10$, and you want to sell 100 pieces per month. This means you want to have 100 paying customers at the end of your funnel (assuming each client only buys one item). In case you are already collecting data from your website, you can find your conversion rate in your analytics tool. If you are starting from scratch, you will have to use third-party data.
Let’s assume your conversion rate from organic search is 3%. You would have to attract at least 3333,34 customers per month to sell the 100 products ((100*100)/3)=3333,34).
We recommend using a maximum of three KPIs for your website. This will help you to stay focused on the most relevant goals. Keep in mind that your KPIs have to be measurable, achievable, relevant and time-phased.
We figured out a lot about your website so far – good job. In the next step, you will have to plan what will happen during and after your website launch. Even though you will outsource a lot of tasks, like design or development, you will have to take care of some tasks yourself. You play a crucial role during the process. So, it is wise to consider these before starting your project.
One crucial thing we always tell our customers is that they themselves are a core part of the project team. Like the other team members (e.g. developers or designers) you will have a full task list to work on. You will have to make time for that or the project will be facing delays and could possibly cost you more money.
Here are some to-dos you can plan ahead:
As you probably already learned from our GDD approach, your website is not a one-time-launch-and-forget instrument. It is a very active communication channel which needs to be optimized regularly. You will have to take the time to analyze your results. You will need to update your content, make changes based on your results and so on. So please keep this in mind when you calculate your marketing budget and set up your task list.
There is one last thing that you have to decide as part of your preparation. It’s the technical side of your project. Don’t run away or hide under your desk because you have no clue about development or servers. There is no reason to be afraid. You don’t need to be a technical expert. There are just some basics you should think about before talking to a project team because these questions will come up sooner or later.
First, do you already use some kind of technical set up like a hosting provider, a domain or a CMS? If yes, then you have to decide whether you want to keep it or want to change the existing set-up.
If you are starting from zero, then try to figure out these things:
See, that was not scary after all, was it?
Congratulations! You are now officially ready to start your project. Go ahead and reach out to designers or developers and tell them what you found out during your preparation. They will be so happy that you are a client who knows with a plan. If you want to have all these questions in one place, then download our Ultimate Website Prep List. It contains every detail to be perfectly prepared for your website launch.