Have you decided recently that your business needs a new website? If so, that’s great! The job’s not done yet though. There’s a lot more to getting a beautiful new website made than simply paying an agency such as V3 and calling it a day. The thing is, even though you’ve hired us, we can’t move forward without you. That’s why in order to make this new site a successful one, you’ll have to help your team out as well. Here’s how to prepare the content for your new business website.
Step 1: Figure Out the Site Map
The site map is the backbone of any well-structured website, and you can go over this with the V3 team as well as your own staff. Figure out together which pages you frequently use the most versus those you don’t; you may be surprised at what you do and don’t view online together!
A site map (or page schema) will typically consist of at least these pages, the most important ones:
- Services (your most valuable ones)
- Store (if you’re an ecommerce company)
- FAQ (only if you get a lot of questions; great for new customers or clients)
- Blog (yes, no matter how you feel about blogging, you need one; read more on why)
Every site’s layout will differ depending on your brand and services, but these are the barebones basics of what your new website needs. At this point, we recommend you write down a list of all of the pages that exist on your website (or, if it’s a new one entirely, write down the pages you want people to visit the most; think of it like a brainstorming exercise and just jot down whatever comes to mind). From there, you can best determine what you don’t want (very important!). It’s good to know what your customer base is like, and from there you can experiment how they would search your site and identify any problems, such as navigation.
It’s also important to ensure that each page remains precise and specific. For example, if you have specific services that you want people to find you for, you are far better off having specific pages for each service than one page listing all your services together.
Once the site map has been finalized, it’s time to move on to step 2.
Step 2: Getting the Content
This can take only a few minutes depending on the size and scope of your website. Copy and paste only the text parts of your content and put them into separate documents; don’t format them the way the pages appear on the website (that creates all kinds of problems and we’ll just have to redo it anyways!).
More than written content though, you will need to provide the following content:
- Your business’s logo—usually this should be sent in the form of an image file (should be a high-def JPG, PNG, TIF, PDF, or EPS).
- All of your website’s images—similar formatting as the logo. You should have these saved somewhere that’s secure and not only accessible from of your website. If you want certain images to go on certain pages, make sure they’re titled correctly.
- Your brand’s style guide—this should consist of font and colour requirements or any other specific design requirements needed to create and perfect the look of your website. You can ask your brand designer for this information or have us create it for you if you don’t have one. Feel free to discuss alternative colour and font options beforehand if a redesign and brand rejuvenation is needed.
- Login credentials for your old website as well as your domain registrar—also keep this in a secure format to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands! Only share this information with your developer team.
- Video files—this is optional, it depends on your company and how you want to attract your customers going forward. Ignore this step if there are no videos to speak of. In most cases, we will recommend using Vimeo or YouTube to host the videos and we can embed them into the site where feasible. There are reasons for doing it both ways that we can discuss with you.
Step 3: Request New Writing Help
Sometimes the content on your website is in serious need of an update…and sometimes the content that will help boost your SEO and online presence didn’t exist in the first place! Hiring someone outside of your business is best because they’re objective enough to market for your brand but not so unfamiliar that they won’t mess up the brand message you are trying to send.
The decision of where to find extra writing help is up to you. However, hiring an agency such as V3 enables you to receive content assistance as part of your website development plan, plus it’s less expensive. The alternative is, naturally, to get someone on your own team to create the content, but this is not recommended because 1) they have enough on their plate already and 2) writing is probably not their strong suit.
You get what you pay for, and that especially rings true for web content; the less you pay, the less high quality content you get. So, hire extra writing help if you’re serious about the content on your website.
Your Website Can’t Start Without You!
Ensure that your web development team receives all of the items listed above and confirmation that everything has been provided. Without any of this, your team can’t move forward with building your new website at all! It sounds like a lot to think about, but really it’s all for the sake of helping your business online.
We’re here for you every step of the way. Give us a call if you have any questions or if you’d like to get your new website live and running smoothly.