Planning a Winning Website

You have just developed a great idea for a website and online business. There is not much competition for your website, and you have a deep understanding of how to target your audience. However, without a winning website, your great idea can be easily lost to the wayside. Just as the fundamental concept of your idea is critical, so is the development and design of a website that will maximize the potential of your website idea. With that said, it is now time to develop a winning website to propel the success of your online business through the following considerations:

When it comes to planning a winning website, it is important to carefully evaluate what you intend to accomplish. Are you selling a product or service? Do you wish to drive large amounts of traffic to participate in a forum or social network? Are you providing information and wish to sell affiliate marketing or advertising space for revenues?
It is critical to consider the fundamental goal of your website in order to craft a winning strategy around it. All of the design and business strategy elements stem from your fundamental understanding of the purpose and goal of the website.

DEVELOP YOUR BRANDING As it is critical in any business, creating a branding strategy is very important for your website. The branding extends from your domain name to the colors and content style of your website. Do you want to brand your website as innovative, reliable, entertaining, or authoritative? If you are creating a financial website, you would consider selecting authoritative and reliable, but if you are creating a social network, then entertaining and innovative may be the right branding strategies. It is critical to develop a branding strategy that aligns well with your purpose before creating the pages of your website.

CREATE A DETAILED STRATEGY PLAN FOR USERS AND SEO This is an important stage in outlining the visual plan of your website, and there are many factors that need to be considered in this stage:

  • Title of your website: The title of your website is very important for both search engine rankings and website traffic. When you include keywords into the title of your website, your rankings in the search engines increase. In addition, it is important to create an interesting, engaging title that will compel search engine users to click on your link from the results page.

  • Pages: Your website could have a robust or simple number of pages, depending on the purpose of your website. For a website that sells a service, the pages generally include Home, About Us, Product Packages, Benefits of Our Product, Client Testimonials, FAQ, and Contact Us. Of course, the website pages will vary tremendously depending on the type of website you own.

  • Layout style (number of columns): The layout style has a large influence on the visual flow your website, and it determines how much information is on one page. Some websites may have one large column, while others many split it up into several columns. Again, this depends upon the purpose of your website; if you are selling a product, you may only utilize one column, but if you are creating a news website, then you may opt to use several columns for the layout style.

  • Color scheme: Creating the mood of your website, in conjunction with your branding strategy, is easily set through the color scheme. If you have a Halloween website, then you would choose a color scheme of orange and black. If your website is a financial business portal, then you may opt to select a navy blue and white or gray and black scheme. This reflects back upon your branding strategy, as color is one of the most important psychological factors in setting the tone of your branding on the website.

  • Navigation toolbar style: The toolbar can exist in a variety of ways to help your users navigate your website. Traditionally, many websites have the horizontal navigation toolbar on the top of the page, while others have the navigation vertically on the left side of the page. Regardless of which style you choose, it is important to remember that the human mind, due to the training we receive as a child in school, begins reading anything from the top left hand corner. Therefore, whether you choose a vertical or horizontal navigation toolbar, it is important to ensure that it starts at the top left hand corner of the website page.

  • Content style: Creating compelling, keyword-dense content is important for your search engine rankings, as well as for converting your visitors. However, you should keep the keyword density to approximately 3 – 6% of your website, as this is the optimal level for the search engine algorithms. Search engine bots enjoy fresh, relevant content, and it may serve you well to update your website frequently with new content. In addition, the style of your content will also send a signal of branding across to your visitors, and it is important to keep the strategy in mind in developing your text.

  • Links: Consider adding relevant affiliate links to your website, as the search engines base their rankings upon how many one way and two way back links your website has. You may want to consider submitting your website to directories, as well as creating relevant articles to submit to article directories. There are many steps you can take to search engine optimize your website, and creating back links is one of the most important ones.

IMPLEMENT! When you have developed a strong branding strategy and in-depth website plan, it is time to such as programming it yourself, purchasing a template, using design software, hiring a designer, or utilizing a publication program such as WordPress. Once your winning website is implemented, it is time to drive traffic to your website!

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