Part 5b: Plan Details
Do you see how everything is inter-related? This is the main reason I allow my students to go back and revise their site, their vision, their goals, their plans. As we think through all these things a second time, a third time, or even a tenth time, we keep spiraling back to the same questions, but each time we may answer them a different way.
Step 4: Plan your pages.
You will use your Website Plan document to plan your pages.
A) What pages will you need? Here are some possibilities:
2. About (you)
5. Testimonials or endorsements
6. Vision and Mission
8. Other? (When you visit other sites, you’ll see pages that you think are amazing. Is there something you can incorporate into your own site?)
Each page has its own distinct purpose or objective. Let’s review the basics of what each page should do.
The Home Page, which is normally the Landing Page is where people first come when they arrive at your website. Visitors need to see clearly that they’re in the right place so this is not the place to be so creative that people don’t understand why they came.
There are some terms you should understand when it comes to your website, and all of these terms are relevant to your site:
Metrics are the measurement of statistics that are relevant to your site. Google Analytics is a program that allows you to track what happens on your site. Using Wix, it’s practically automatic—just a click or two sets it up. Then with Google Analytics, you will be able to track important measurements such as Time on Site. How long do visitors actually stay on your web page? Is it 15 seconds? That wouldn’t be very good, would it? Five minutes? That would be much better?
Another metric is Bounce Rate. What percent of your visitors arrive at your site, realize they’re in the wrong place or not interested, and leave right away. They are bouncing off your site to go somewhere else. A high bounce rate is not good! A low bounce rate is your goal.
Why is this metric so important? Well, let’s say you end up doing some Facebook ads to get visitors to your site. You spend $0.50 per click on the ad and you drive 100 visitors to your site. That cost you $50. If your conversion rate for a sale is 1%, you will have 1 buyer.
Now if you are selling something for $50 but it cost you $25 to produce and deliver, then your profit on that sale is $25. But the ads cost you $50, so you actually lose $25 per sale. Therefore, you would need to see a 2% conversion rate to break even, and more than 2% to make a profit.
However, if you’re not tracking your conversion rate, then you can advertise all day long and you may just be throwing good money out the window.
Overall, you want your landing page and your entire site to be so engaging that people want to be on your site and want to tell their friends about it. You want to lower your bounce rate, increase the average Time on Site, increase the Number of Pages Visited, and increase your Conversion Rate.
All of these metrics need to be measured, tracked, and improved upon over time. But if you’re not keeping track, you won’t know what to improve.
So then the million dollar question becomes, “How can you make your website so engaging that people want to come to your site, or they do what you want them to do once they arrive?” This is not an easy question to answer and it takes some people years to solve this problem. Other people never solve it.
What is the best way to engage your visitor in today’s age? I believe it is with a video. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and this is even truer with a good video.
Note that a good video could cost you thousands of dollars. However, you can also create very engaging, high quality videos with a flip cam or a simpler HD camcorder. Much of “engagement” comes with your ability to be creative or you have a message to tell that people want to hear?
Seth goes on to say:
A brand used to be something else. It used to be a logo or a design or a wrapper. Today, that’s a shadow of the brand, something that might mark the brand’s existence. But just as it takes more than a hat to be a cowboy, it takes more than a designer prattling on about texture to make a brand. If you’ve never heard of it, if you wouldn’t choose it, if you don’t recommend it, then there is no brand, at least not for you. (Ibid)
This leads us to the question, “What do you want to be known for?”
That leads us back to the question, “What are your ultimate objectives?”
A third important metric is Number of Pages Visited. Obviously, more pages visited shows that people are interested in what you have to offer.
If one of your objectives is to get people to fill in a form and sign up for something, or buy something, you’ll want to track the Conversion Rate of a visitor to a subscriber or a buyer.
Your home page will also need to show your brand. Internet guru Seth Godin defines brand as
“the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”