Insights

Planning ahead for a new website

Are you looking to launch a new website or refresh your current site in the next 6-12 months? You may be surprised to read that you should really start planning now for your new website and book a meeting, or at the bare minimum a chat with your preferred digital agency. But surely it doesn’t take that long to plan and execute a successful launch or relaunch of a website? You’d be surprised… 

Below, we will run you through the crucial reasons why you should plan ahead for your new website build and the pitfalls you’ll avoid.  

Customer Analysis  

Can you name your perfect customers, do you know their age, sex, income or even favourite things to do? What about colours and their preferred social platforms? If the answer is yes, well done, you’re actually in a better position than 99% of the population when it comes to truly understanding the behaviour of their consumers.  

A great website isn’t about merely picking a beautiful design, adding some content and waiting for sales or customers to contact you; a great website is designed around its customers’ needs. Until you understand your customers, you can’t anticipate their needs. This information takes time to acquire and analyse, so it’s essential to engage with your digital agency as soon as you can.  

Website Analysis  

Do you know the reasons you want a new website? If you have a current site have you sat down and listed your likes and dislikes about it? Have you listed your main competitors and again pulled out your likes and dislikes about their websites? Much like customer analysis, the analysis of your current website and those of your competitors takes time and effort.  

Website Content  

Unless your website is bursting with fresh, unique and tip-top content lets face it, you’re going to need time to create the backbone of your new website. Yes yes, we all know the saying ‘content is king’ but when it comes to your website how much time have you ever dedicated to copywriting and content? The number of hours probably can be counted on one hand!  

Solid, authoritative content takes time to plan, write and check for errors; it doesn’t matter if you, your marketing department or an external copywriter creates it for you, it takes time to do it right. If you don’t plan ahead, you could end up using your current content for your new website, and that’s probably not the best thing to do.  

Google Rankings  

Ever launched a new website and seen your Google Rankings plummet faster than the sale of ice cream in winter? Sure you have, and there is probably a simple reason for this catastrophic blunder… time! Failing to give a design agency time to properly spec, build and craft a high-quality website often resorts in cut corners to meet client deadlines. 

The answer to this particular problem was simple, redirecting old pages to their new equivalents in a way that Google recommends. Amid an angry client whose number one focus is launching their new site in as soon as possible, these things are easily overlooked when receiving a barrage of emails stressing the importance of the website going live NOW.  

Angry Managers!  

Finally, we’re sure if you’re the manager or owner of your company you don’t want to get angry or frustrated, the same goes if you’re working on behalf of your company manager or owner. When a website is rushed and the right amount of time isn’t allocated to the project, tempers flare, and things tend to get heated.  

This is easily avoided by allowing time for your new project, which in turn means you can talk through issues and don’t feel the pressure of deadlines.  

Conclusion  

Hopefully, you now understand the advantages of engaging your chosen digital agency as soon as you know you’ll be changing your website. Whether that’s three months, six months or twelve months away, the longer you have to work with a digital agency, the better the results. Projects can always be turned around in a crunch situation with limited time. Still, a site given the correct amount of planning and time allocated to them will always win out when it comes to conversion, sales and search engine rankings. 

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Mat O'Connor
3 Min Read

Published: 20 October 2020

Mat is the founder here at Actuate. His role focuses on strategy, culture, looking after our clients and every now and then getting stuck in with coding.

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