When it comes to designing a website, everyone tends to think that they are a professional web designer. This really is not the case. While you don’t have to be a web designer to create a great website, you still should not “fly blind” when it comes to creating your site. These are some ways to create a good design brief to start your site.
One thing that is drastically overlooked by novice web designers is planning. Planning is crucial to the design process. Without a plan, you will waste time and most likely, not get the outcome that you desire. Without a plan, you are basically testing and guessing, which can waste tremendous amounts of time and money. If you are on a deadline and tight budget, these are not things that you want to do. Try picking out some essentials that you want as a part of your site and jotting them down. Some good examples are what message you hope to convey with your site, which features should stand out, and what you want your audience to focus on.
Keep your points simple. Remember that simple tends to take less time and less money. Many people think that the only good sites out there are the flashy and more complex ones, but this isn’t true. Simple doesn’t mean low quality. In fact, simple tends to work better. When you have less “bell and whistles” in your site, your audience can easily find and focus on what you want them to. They won’t be distracted or dissuaded due to graphics and music that take too long to load or Flash animations that may not work with slower connections. When your audience struggles with your site, this can hurt your sense of authority as a professional and cause them to suggest others stay away from you.
Stay current with whatever you put on your site. Very few people are going to look for a site that is full of old content. You need to keep your site active and current. You must stay on top of what’s going on in your field, and your content should incorporate that information. If something big happened recently in your industry, make sure it’s somewhere on your website. Very few people will be looking for something that happened last year as your “latest” post. You must educate, engage, and entertain your audience with information that is recent on a regular basis.
Implement SEO tactics. This is a crucial part of your strategy. You need to figure out what your target keywords are for your particular niche and how you should use them in your site. Avoid keyword stuffing. Place them strategically in your well-written content so that search engines can easily find your content. When they do, so do readers, which will raise your search engine rankings and help your site get more hits. Pairing this with keeping content regularly updated is a great way to boost your site’s reputation.
Now that you’ve seen what you should have in your web design strategy, you should feel better about designing a great site. A great web design strategy allows you to save both time and money, while you get to make a great website that fits your needs.