A strategically designed website is the perfect avenue for connecting with your audience and reaching your unique business goals. Alas, there’s no such thing as a web design fairy who can magically complete the five-step process overnight. A preliminary outline for a truly effective website can take a couple of weeks to nail down—and that’s just the outline!
To give you a rough idea of what the web design process entails, we’ve broken it down step by step and laid it out in an easy-to-follow infographic. It’s the same process we use as a digital agency when we’re working with our clients.
But you didn’t think we were just going to give you a bunch of new information and not offer any guidance, did you? You need to learn to walk before you can run, and Raka is here to hold your hand through it all.
Think of the Discover stage as the adolescence of your website, which occurs during the first four to six weeks. Remember adolescence? Let us remind you: You’re just starting to figure out your identity, recognizing what sets you apart from everyone else and what qualities make you appealing. The Discover stage of your digital marketing is similar in that it’s the perfect time for you to step back and ask yourself questions like “What makes us different from other companies in our industry?” and “Why do customers choose us over our competitors?”
A proactive way to get the ball rolling in the Discover phase is to document and develop your brand’s voice and how it translates into your messaging. You’re also going to end up interacting with some numbers at some point, which was always chagrining in our discover phases. Try gathering some website benchmark data and completing an analysis of your main competitors for reference.
Lastly, if you don’t already have buyer personas, you need to create some in order to better understand your prospects. If you want to really be ahead of the game, take a second look at your current buyer personas and refine them to make sure they’re up-to-date and accurate.
If Discover is adolescence, then the Plan stage is like your later college years—you’re a total know-it-all who is about to get seriously rocked by the reality of growing up, but that’s okay because you have to plan regardless. College is all about setting goals for yourself, and so is the Plan stage.
In college, planning is often called “having aspirations,” but in this process, planning means setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound goals (SMART goals). It’s also necessary to identify important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like website traffic and sources, conversion rates, lead generation, keyword rankings, and revenue.
What comes after college? Early adulthood. That’s what the Create stage is—when you actually start making something of yourself! Just like your first job gets you set up with some stability and a routine to build off of, we’ll get your website set up with a site architecture, wireframes, and design.
From there, we’ll pass it over to development. You can think of the development phase like your website is working its way up in the rungs of a company ladder until, BAM!, it’s launch time—you’re a full-fledged member of the workforce with a promotion, corner office, and business cards. Fancy business cards!
The Measure stage is when you have to take a step back and re-evaluate, as you might when you’ve reached middle age. Take a look at your results like you would your success. Ask yourself: How happy are you with the progress that you’ve made?
Using tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, Moz, SEMRush, and HotJar, we can track your website’s progress by looking at key metrics. Our long-term partners receive customized reporting on a regular basis to determine what’s working and what’s not, and help your website adapt accordingly.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the mature adulthood of your website’s lifetime. The Evolve stage is that time in your life when you’re well established and you kind of feel like you finally know what you’re doing (or you’re really good at acting like you do), but you still have to stay up-to-date with the constant evolution of the world around you or else you’ll become irrelevant. There’s always a younger shark, you know.
We can help your website adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape by incorporating new technology and keeping up with new trends in UX, web design, SEO, automation, and AI. At Raka, we consider this to be the most important service we provide to our clients.
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Now that we’ve guided you through the life cycle of creating a website, you understand why the process doesn’t just happen overnight. As for that helpful little web design fairy—they may not exist, but some digital agencies do get pretty dang close. In our humble opinion.