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Website Brain Storming

Website Brainstorming - Inspirational Web Designs by Teresa

Time for a little headache saving website brain storming!

When it comes to creating a new website, many people believe they have it all figured out.  Five pages is all you need and you are up and running, right?  Not really because there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to web design.  This is where the need for website brain storming comes in.

When I am about to create a new site, I sit down for a little brain storming, and ask myself these key questions. 

What are the main pages needed for this website? 

This could very well be the standard – Home, About Me, Blog, Contact and Services, but what if there are services and coaching available?  Should they be on separate pages? Together?  And what about the newsletter sign up?  Sure it will most likely be some where on the front page, but maybe it needs it’s own page too for social media sharing.  And what if you are offer a freebie right away?  Won’t you need a lead page to entice people to opt in for your freebie?

Determining the pages you need all comes down to knowing what YOU wish to communicate through the pages of your website. Brainstorming is going to give you the clarity you need.

What is the purpose for each page?

Every page on your website should have a purpose, only one purpose, that drives business to you.  If you aren’t super clear on the purpose of your pages, your potential clients won’t be clear either.  Taking a little time determining the purpose for each page, can help you best determine if additional pages will be needed.

For example, your home page is giving your website visitors a small taste of who you are what you do and how you can make their corner of the world a better place. The key word here is “small taste.” Each of the additional pages within your website is where you are going to go deeper in sharing more about you. Trying to share your story of “why” along with your service offerings will only create clutter making it harder for your website visitors to find what they are looking for. So keep the focus of each page laser clear.

Are there any supporting pages needed? 

Nothing will drive people away from your website quicker than a page packed from corner to corner with information.  We love clear concise messages, and we love simplicity.  So while you want to focus on the main purpose of the page, there may also be supporting information needed, and it may just need to be on another page.

For example, let’s say you are offering coaching services, and would like your clients to pay up front.  Having a separate payment allows your clients to focus on your coaching package on one page and the payment on a new page.  This also clearly defines the purpose of each page.

Am I going to blog? 

I know the “rule” out there is that everyone should be blogging.  Just as I realize not everyone is comfortable doing so.  So I strongly encourage you to ask yourself, “Am I going to be blogging?”  If you feel it is necessary, then now is the time to come up with your first ten topics.  Yes! I did say ten!

Here is my why… by having ten ready to go blog posts you will be able to launch your brand new site with two blogs in place, while also having a two month weekly schedule of blogs, which will keep your website fresh with new content and also bring your ideal clients back each week.

After two months feel free to take a little break, but don’t take too long of a break as fresh content will keep them coming back.

“But what if I don’t have ten topics?” 

I realize that ten topics can be overwhelming, and perhaps you really don’t want to be tied to a weekly blog.  That’s okay, this is your business and you get to determine the rules of engagement.

So if you have a few articles, or plan to post less frequently, consider calling your blog something else. A few suggestions I have seen include “free advice,” “quick tips,” or “free training.”  In one website I created, I called the blog, “3 minute inspiration,” because that is exactly what it delivered.

The thing to remember is that by calling your “blog” a blog, you are setting an unspoken expectation of new content coming out on a regular basis.  An expectation you may not be up for meeting.

Create a web design map for clarity.

Once you have detailed out the pages you believe you need, diagram these out to give yourself a visual map to refer back to as you are creating your website.  You will most likely make a few detours and change things a bit as you begin building, and that’s okay. You can always update your map if you need to.

Gliffy.com is a great online diagramming tool that I often use, which is free (up to 4-5 diagrams) and very user friendly.

Once you are done with your diagram you are ready to dig into the fun of creating!

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