Before getting to the design of your website, you should consider why you want to redesign or launch a new website. If you haven't made the right plans then you might be unhappy with the end result. Here are some tips on what to consider:
Knowing why you want to redesign or launch a new website is essential. If you're a B2B company in Automotive then the main reason will be to grow your business and so you'll be looking to increase website visitors and leads that turn into customers and sales.
2. What do your ideal customers want?
Before going ahead with a redesigned or new website, have you taken the time to understand your ideal customers?
Taking the time to survey your best customers, prospects that didn't become customers, companies that you'd like to work with, and customers you've lost will give you a clear picture on what they want. You'll often learn the best way to sell to them and understand how your website fits into their buying decision.
3. What are your goals?
You will already have identified that you want your website to be an active part of your sales, marketing, and business growth and that website visitors, leads, and customers are priorities. Now it's time to set your goals and this is easily done if you've chosen the right website software that's also part of your crm, sales, and marketing.
Tip: It's likely you'll have some basic website stats such as from Google Analytics. You can combine that with the leads, customers, and sales you know you get each month. Then, you can end up with your main goals so it's easy to see how your website is performing, such as in this report:
4. Now do your own research
Now you can combine the information you learnt from your ideal customer research as well as the goals for the website to come up with the following:
Search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy
For your website to attract your ideal customers, it needs to be optimised and this relates to keywords and content topics. Just picking a bunch of keywords isn't enough. You need to know what topics you're going to talk about so you can become a thought leader in your space and for Google and other search engines to show your website when your ideal customers search for their questions, problems, and solutions.
Tip: Look back at your ideal customer research and see how your ideal customers describe the products and services that you sell. Try searching for the keywords in Google (use incognito mode in Chrome and turn off history, otherwise Google will give you results based on your search history). Try Google Trends to see related keywords and topics.
Here's an example of a good content topic tool to use when planning seo strategy:
This is the point you start to think about website design. However, in this day and age you shouldn't have to spend a large amount of money on a bespoke website design. If you use the right website software then you'll have access to a marketplace of website template packs. You can then pick a template pack that you think will work best to display your products and services with the knowledge that the branding and layout can be modified to suit you.
Remember: With the right software it will be easy to change, update, and amend your website. It's not about procrastinating over the design for months and months because this is the website you'll be stuck with for the next 5 years. It's about taking a agile approach where you can launch a website based on the facts and research that you already know then using the data to regularly tweak and improve your website so it's a successful part of your sales and marketing team.
Tip: Choose a template pack that includes a variety of page layouts as well as an email marketing template. Then you'll have everything you need to go to market.
5. Create your website architecture
Once you've completed your research, you're in the right place to create your website architecture (or sitemap). This is about knowing the flow from page to page and how your website visitors can move from one section to the next. At this stage you can consider:
- What pages and sections of your site will show on your home page?
- What are the main sections of your website?
- Will you offer pop ups and live chat so your website is interactive and to give you additional lead generation opportunities?
- Will you use Smart content so parts of your website update automatically for each website visitor (such as their country, type of company, or if they're a customer)?
- What about conversion paths that are typically a page or post with a Call to action that leads to a landing page?
- Where will landing pages sit to help you generate leads?
- After a landing page, your visitors will arrive at thank you pages, where can they go next?
- Will you use marketing automation to nurture new leads or will you route all new leads to a salesperson for them to pick up the phone?
6. Now create a timeline for your website design
90-days is a good timeline to work towards. Even if you work with an agency for your website design (mini plug here for The Tree Group website design) you will have to be involved in approvals such as the template pack, architecture, and content. Agreeing a sensible timeline will leave a contingency and will set you up for success.
Here's an example of the steps you should consider in your timeline:
There are plenty of other considerations to make sure you get the best automotive website design. If you'd like to learn more then start with this article on automotive website design and then book a free website design consultation.