Welcome back to part 5 of our popular, A Video Marketing Guide To A Better Website, blog series from your friends here at Rip Media Group. So, we’ve discussed learning the Lexicon of website creation, the Prep and Discovery. Now it’s time to get to the next phase: Design and Structure.
To help your web team understand your vision for the site, use the information gathered in Discovery to develop a Creative Brief that includes the following:
- Buyer persona details.
- Objectives and desired visitor actions.
- Site Roadmap – Features and functionality at launch, as well as ongoing iterations.
- Desire to include an “XML Sitemap.”
- Website design likes and dislikes, with screenshots of examples you’d like to emulate. Make sure there are preferences for the homepage, interior/ product pages and Call-to-Action buttons. Your web team will create designs for your homepage as well as the interior pages. Structurally, these are going to be different. Make sure to provide the web team with design instructions for both types of pages.
- Color palette.
- Company logo (in a vector file format).
- Image/graphic preference. When instructing the web team on the type of imagery you’d like on the site, be as specific as possible. For example, do you like graphic elements? Or is stock photography your preferred option?
- Desired visitor perception details.
- Navigation preferences.
- Homepage content sections (i.e. blog feed, rotating flash graphic, key content blocks, call-to-action buttons).
- Graphic sitemap.
After you have built out a thorough Creative Brief, complete the following:
- Submit the Creative Brief to your website design team. At this point they will start designing the look of your new site.
- Review the web team’s initial design concepts.
- Submit feedback to web team. Be as direct and specific as possible when submitting design feedback to your web team. Do not worry about hurting feelings. If you’re happy, they’re happy. However, allow them to explain their reasoning for certain design choices, as they may be based on best practices.
- Review subsequent concepts until the website design is finalized.
- Sign off on the design concepts, giving the web team permission to start developing the staging site. A staging site is a hidden space online where your new site will live until it launches and it functions just like the live site will.
- Remind your web team to add: all search engine webmaster verification codes to the homepage and Google Analytics (plus any other analytics tracking code) to every page on the website. Also, the PPC conversion tracking code to the ‘Thank You’ page that visitors are redirected to after they’ve completed one of your Calls-to-Action, like filling out a webform.
And that’s it! Now you have the Design and Structure part of our guide under your belt. It’s time to move on to the next blog where we discuss Content and Optimization. Remember – your story starts here!