Detailed Web Site Planning

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In the previous section of this chapter you learned how to develop your storyboard. Now you need to develop the specific content, text, and graphics for each page of your site.

The first draft of the text for each page should be developed by you. You know your target market better than anyone—you know what makes them buy, you know what they want, and you know the buzz words for your industry far better than your Web developer.

Once the first draft of the text is done, you want to have this text reviewed and edited by an online copywriter. Your online copywriter can be a person from your own organization, someone from a Web development organization, or an outsourced third party. Online copywriters often have a background in PR or advertising, and they know how to get the message across in as few words as possible. Online copywriters know how to grab your readers’ attention and get them to do what you want them to do. Internet users don’t want to read pages and pages of text—they want to get what they’re looking for quickly. Online copywriters know that the text should be short, to the point, and written so it can easily be scanned.

Always review what the online copywriter has done. You want to make sure that the substance of your text has stayed the same and only the form has been changed.

After you have reviewed and approved the online copywriter’s work, you want to have the content reviewed and edited by an Internet marketer. Again, the Internet marketer can be a person from your own organization, someone from a Web development organization, or an outsourced third party. Be sure that the Internet marketer you choose has expertise in search engine optimization, repeat-traffic generators, social media marketing, viral and permission marketing, as well as the latest trends in online marketing, such as mobile marketing and interactive mapping.

The Internet marketer will review and edit the text and graphics, making sure that the keywords are used in the  appropriate places for high search engine ranking. The keyword assigned to a particular page should be used  appropriately in the page title, the text throughout the page, the meta-tags for keyword and description, the headers, the Alt tags, and the comments tags. There is a real science to this, so be sure to choose your Internet marketer carefully.

The Internet marketer should also ensure that you have used the appropriate repeat-traffic generators, appropriate permission marketing techniques, and appropriate viral marketing techniques. Again, you need to review and approve the changes to make sure your message is still presented appropriately for your target market.

Once you are satisfied with the Internet marketer’s work, the next step is graphic design. The graphic designer will develop the “look and feel” for your site—the navigation bar, the background, and the separator bars. The graphic designer knows that your online and offline corporate identity should be consistent. Again, you will review and approve the graphic design. This is critically important as you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and your Web visitor is just a click away from your competition if they are not wowed in the first three to five seconds.

Once all this is done, and everything has been reviewed and approved, you are ready for the programming to start.