5 key steps to creating a sales-oriented website

 

I have been fortunate to know the evolution in web page design since in 1996 I began to carry out my first web projects in a professional way, and in this time I have been able to understand the keys to creating a sales-oriented website. I remember that then I used tools like the Netscape browser editor , which allowed creating html pages organized with tables, frames, some primary css, etc.

Since then, many things have changed and others not so much, because since the web must be responsive and accessible from mobile devices, the new web pages structurally resemble the first ones, lighter and faster to load in the then more precarious internet connections .

One of the first challenges is to create the right team of people to carry out the planning of the project. The IT department is usually chosen, but they need those responsible for marketing, communication and sales, if we want the website to be aligned with the business objectives.

You may be interested in this other post about 3 keys to create a better corporate website

Every web project has three fundamental phases of development that generally involve several departments of the company:

  • Information design: what we want to offer to our audience
  • Navigation design: how we will guide interaction and conversion on the web
  • Visual design: defining the graphic style of the site

Most companies think about the positioning of their website in the search engines after creating their website on the internet, they even usually start the project evaluating possible graphic designs without even thinking about the business objectives.

Starting from this initial approach, in these years of experience we have been able to develop 5 stages with more concrete actions. If you are considering the development of a new website for your company, this process will help you so that a website is well oriented to marketing and sales.

Stage 1 – Project definition.

Stage 2 – Navigation planning and design.

Stage 3 – Visual design.

Stage 4 – Production and control.

Stage 5 – Publication, maintenance and optimization.

Stage 1 – Project definition.

It seems obvious but generally you want to start the development of a new website without clearly analyzing the objectives or those that motivate the change are too generalist such as “modernize the web”, “make it more accessible”, “generate sales”. It is almost always posed from the company’s own perspective without thinking about who we want to really use it.

You can ask yourself a series of questions to try to define those objectives and how you can align them with your marketing and sales objectives:

  • What are the conversion goals of the website?
  • What is the proposed plan to achieve them?
  • How much is the project going to cost?
  • How much time or resources are allocated to the project?
  • What will be the graphic and communication line?

In this topic you can develop key actions such as collecting information about the company, products and services, preparing a survey of potential customers, conducting an internal briefing by departments to analyze the objectives.

In any inbound marketing strategy in which we want to attract business opportunities, the web must be the axis and center of operations, therefore the detailed analysis of your buyer persona will help you define their priorities and plan your project based on their motivations to offer you what you are looking for.

From this moment on you can have a good briefing to hire an external company to develop your website or to go ahead and run it from within your company.

Stage 2 – Information planning and navigation design.

This phase deals with the design of the information, regarding the content, the structure of the site and the navigation by the user. It is about planning before designing, in addition to obtaining content from all departments.

It is the moment to see the digital marketing strategy, the phases of the purchase process of your client and evaluate each part of the web and how it helps your target audience at each moment of the decision phases.

For this, the navigation routes must be established taking into account the points of contact and conversion .

The objectives for this stage should be:

  • Plan your SEO search engine positioning strategy.
  • Establish the content of the website.
  • Create the content delivery plan for site updates.
  • Establish a sitemap and navigation and conversion paths.
  • Plan the necessary programming and the order of development.

Stage 3 – Visual design.

Now that we know what information we want to offer, when we have thought about our visitors in their different stages of the purchase process and points of arrival to our website and the conversion routes, it is time to start thinking about graphic creativity and how this can help facilitate access to conversion, understanding the tone of communication and integration with the brand identity.

Nowadays an intelligent design must be made thinking about the use, times and technical capacities of our audience .

You can establish a creative summary with the communication department and the steps can be taken in the layout:

  • Review the business objectives of the website.
  • Plan graphic creativity and design based on user needs, aligned with our creative brief, customer surveys, internal briefing, and approved content diagrams and navigation routes.
  • Approval of design sketches by web elements.
  • Creation of a functional prototype that should provide an overview of the functionality, without design, to approve and avoid delays in later phases of development.
  • Create the final graphic templates
  • Create a design style guide, with definition of colors, fonts used, etc.

Stage 4 – Production and control.

This is the phase to start working at the development level, implementing and integrating design and programming. It has three different parts: Prepare, Schedule and Test.

This is when the functionalities of the site begin to be shaped and we must review how we are complying with the budget and set times.

Stage 5 – Publication, maintenance and optimization.

This is the phase for publishing the website, planning maintenance, reviewing project documentation, and testing on the publishing server.

The objective is to publish the developed website, do more tests on the final server, document the project to facilitate its maintenance.

In addition, we must prepare the maintenance according to the content marketing strategy , complete the project style guide, review all the important programming documentation and review the fulfillment of the project in terms of time, costs, resources, etc.

The web is something alive, necessary in the commercial strategy of our day to day, therefore this last stage of development must lay the foundations for continuous optimization and improvement work based on positioning analysis, traffic evaluation and behavior of users on the web.

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