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The ‘how to’ on website planning

Posted25/10/2022

Have you been thinking about redesigning your website? Maybe you’ve recently had a brand refresh, your products or services have been updated, or perhaps your website is looking a little outdated – forgive our gasp and cringe if you’re still stuck in the 90s, even though the fashion world is revisiting this era and we’re so here for it!

Whatever the reason, a website redesign can be a long and tedious process. A good website can make or break your business’s curb side appeal, so it’s very important to start with a clear vision.

That little old saying ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ has never been more applicable. Whether you’re working with a professional or tackling the website yourself, the better you are at defining your vision, the smoother the process will be and the better the outcome.

 

The first steps to building a website

We recently built a website for Golf Cars Australia, who purchased the business two years ago and still had the original owner’s website.

Since the new owner had taken over the business, their look had changed and the website wasn’t portraying the high-end feel the owner was looking for, nor was it functioning well.

The Zaka team used the below checklist to plan out and design the site to ensure nothing was missed:

1. Define goals and successes
2. Determine your website voice and messaging
3. Plan your site’s functionality
4. Define your content

 

How to define your website redesign goals

The first and probably most obvious step when designing a functional website is to think about what you want people to do when visiting your website, whether that’s buying, consuming info or something else.

If you have a current website, it is important to establish what is and isn’t working to understand how to improve it.

Google analytics has some handy tools to see where viewers are clicking, the number of visits you’re receiving, and the time people are spending on the site.

Once you have a good understanding of your current website’s performance, you can look at your goals and what you can do to reach them.

With the Golf Cars site, we considered the most important reasons for a redesign and established the following goals:

• Bring more people into the showroom located in Helensvale
• Sell cars online and show people what is available
• Enable people to book a service online
• Communicate there’s a Hamilton Island Service Centre
• We want people to know we have rentals available
• Allow customers to feel welcome and make an enquiry
• Become known as a licensed stockiest for the Club Car brand

 

Determine your website voice and messaging

The importance of your brand’s voice, personality and messaging, is not an after-thought.

If you don’t have an understanding of these things, think about the following questions:

• What is the most important message of your website?
• What do you want people to see in you/your brand/your project?
• What is the vibe? Is it corporate or fun?

First time visitors should be able to immediately understand what you do and why they should stay on your site. Because if it’s no good, they will seek out a competitor!

Your website needs to capture your audience within the first few seconds to entice them to stay, which is achieved via clear and concise messaging and consistent branding.

Since taking over Golf Cars Australia, the new owners have been trying to reach a wider audience.

Zakazukha wanted to communicate the message that golf cars were more about enhancing a lifestyle rather than solely facilitating a hobby. We organised for a photoshoot to capture the golf cars in various situations and coupled this compelling imagery with bold headings and concise copy to appeal to a variety of people, rather than just serious golfers.

 

Plan your website’s functionality

Let’s be clear – if your website is shit, people will jump ship! You want a site that interacts with visitors and captures what you need from them.

With the Golf Cars website, we had various function requirements, the most notable being the vehicle sales page. Zakazukha streamlined the process, which was more time consuming for the sales team, and instead integrated the CRM system into the page, allowing customers access to an engaging but easy-to-navigate page.

 

Don’t forget the contact deets!

It’s simple – customers need to be able to contact you! We made several areas featuring  contact forms, as well as including contact details in the header and footer.

 

Define your content

The wireframe – it’s not something from a Keanu Reeves film set in a dystopic future, but a device that helps you map out your web pages. This will help you work what information sits where, what the menus will include and how the pages are linked to one another.

Our designer was able to use the content that had been collated and the wireframe/site maps to design the layout of the website from here – just like a roadmap (if you’re a millennial, you might have to Google that!).

To sum up, when well planned, the end result is a much better website that will tell your story, talk to your audience and capture their attention.