The most important thing you can do to create a successful website is to sit down and plan it before you build it. As you plan your website you’ll want to keep these nine essential elements in mind. They include:

Landing page – This page is likely the first page your visitors will see. It will contain basic keywords to drive the search engines to your website. It also needs to set the mood for your website. What do you want visitors to do when they arrive at your landing page? This page needs to support that objective. For example, if you want people to move deeper into your website then your content and call to action will support that.

About me/us – This page will tell your story. Instead of publishing a resume or a list of accomplishments, personalize the page. Share your story; tell why you are the best person to do business with.

Simple navigation – Keyword research will help you organize your website so it’s easy for your visitors to find what they need. When in doubt, keep it simple.

Content - Content is what will drive traffic to your website. It’s what people search for online. What type of content will you provide? How will you provide it? How will you organize it on your website and make it available?

Search – Consider offering a search function on your website. This way visitors can enter their search term and immediately find what they’re looking for.

Contact information - Will you include a separate page with your contact information? Will you include a form? Consider also putting your contact information in the footer of your web pages. This way it’ll be indexed by the search engines.

Opt in form – Will you build an email list? It’s a great way to sell products/services. Ideally, the form will be positioned above the fold. This means your visitor won’t have to scroll the page to see the form.

Eye catching design – The design on your page should support your brand image. It should also be simple and not distract from your goals or purpose.

Community building efforts – Consider integrating social networking buttons, comments, and other efforts to build a community at your website. When people feel involved or able to contribute they tend to revisit a website. Good for you, good for business!

Ready to plan? Hopefully this information has your creative juices flowing.

When you work with us, you receive business surveys to complete and we conduct interviews with key stakeholders. This step not helps to determine the essential elements for your website.