Website clinic: Five ways to ensure success with your next web project

Tackling a new web project can be an intimidating prospect. But, like all things, even complex projects can be made more manageable when broken down into clear, logical phases.

Sam FletcherBy Sam Fletcher, marketing director at Twentyone Agency.

Here, we outline five steps that will take your web project from concept to completion, helping to maximise its success.

1. Know your goals The key to a successful web project is setting clear objectives from the start.

Perhaps your website attracts plenty of traffic but fails to hook visitors, resulting in a high bounce rate. Maybe prospects browse but fail to buy. Or perhaps your site has dropped off the search results, pushing you away from prospects.

Identify specific challenges and goals, and use these to inform your decisions throughout the project.

2. Do your research What do your prospects search for online? What would they like to see on your website? Which of their needs are not currently being met by your business or your competitors?

Spend time researching your web project, focusing on data that’s relevant to your target market, and devising ways to apply it. Market research, focus groups and online analytics tools are all good places to start.

3. Setting up the bare bones After research comes wireframing. This stage involves creating a model of how your various website components will function and interact with one another, linking the underlying structure – or ‘information architecture’ – to the user-facing surface design.

Get your wireframing right and you’ll save yourself time, money and headaches. Skip it, and you risk ending up with a clunky website that’s likely to need patching-up later on.

4. Testing, testing With the bare bones of your site in place it can be tempting to launch straight into your build. But hold fire and remember those objectives you set out to achieve.

Trial new web concepts on focus groups; give the website’s functionality a thorough test-drive, and get your prospects to do the same. Listen carefully to feedback and iron out any wrinkles now rather than later.

5. High performance = maximum reach When embarking on a web project, enlist an organisation with in-depth web development knowledge. From SEO to responsive design, your carefully planned website should offer users a spot-on experience whether they’re sitting at a computer or browsing on a mobile or tablet.

Getting the technical build right first time maximises your chances of catching prospects’ attention on Google, keeping their interest as they navigate the site, and funnelling them towards those all-important points of contact or sale. Your website is an invaluable inbound marketing tool, playing an instrumental role in whether prospects stay or go. These five simple steps will ensure your website performs the way both you and your customers need it to.