Since almost everybody in the civilized world operates a computer and is most likely using Google to search for anything and everything, it is essential that companies properly plan out their digital strategy around this. Step one we meet with our clients to document the main reason they want a website. Whatever the reason, selling products or services, the digital strategy needs to have this guide its purpose. If it’s getting the phone ringing for more orders, selling gadgets online or filling out application forms for loans, we need to know what to streamline the website for. We work with our clients very closely to structure that digital strategy so it’s cost efficient and highly effective.
Information Architecture simply put is the organization of information (data). Sounds pretty easy to comprehend however it really isn’t. There are a lot of people out there that build their careers around being an Information Architect as it is highly complex.
What we do with this step in the process of gathering as much information about our client, who they are, what they sell, where they’re located and so on so that we have a full picture of the business. From there we build out a navigation structure with the company’s information careful distributed to the appropriate page. Once we do that we ship it back to our client to ensure that we are heading down the right path.
With this digital strategy in hand and our navigation structure complete, we are now able to start putting some fun design concepts together for our clients to see. Normally we ask our clients to provide 3-4 websites that they really like and more specifically what they like about each. That coupled with the color scheme, industry they are in and the focus from the digital strategy, we put together a design mockup to see if our vision matches the client’s expectations. In all honestly this sometimes takes the longest as we are going back and forth until we get it just right. We know that this will be the face to the public for our client so it is ultra important we knock this one out of the park for them.
Now that the design has been figured out, it’s time to get our programming hats on and crunch some code. With the design mockup to support the look & feel of the front end, we start building out the navigation menu functionality, header, footer, page templates, forms, style sheets (CSS), E-Commerce plug-in and any other required functionality for the website. This process takes some time as we are not only building it to spec design but more importantly we are building it to be fully optimized for search engines to easily crawl. This may sound difficult, but the truth is it actually is. There are over 200 factors that Google uses to rank websites, it is our role to make sure that each one of our clients is following best practices for search engine optimization. From the server that the website sits on to the content that was carefully sculpted, there isn’t anything on the site that the major search don’t factor in.
The last time we had spoken with the client was during the design and mock-up phase however since then we will have completed the website to spec. It is at this point that we work closely with the client to test the site from top to bottom. There are a lot of links and functionality that goes into the website and it is essential that we ensure the experience the end user has is seamless. Our long-term goal is to generate as much traffic as possible to our client’s websites but it is equally important that a good percentage of those end users convert into sales. We go through their website clicking on every link from every page as well as fill out all forms multiple times to make sure that they are working properly. We also have our clients go through the site so they can sign off on the entire look & feel as well as the color schemes and content.
It’s launch day! Once we complete all those small changes during the Quality Assurance phase, we are ready to deploy this masterpiece out to the public for consumption. It is also during this process that our Search Engine Optimization begins. Now that the new mobile responsive website is fully operational, we begin optimizing the off-page backlinks to get Google to like our latest client.
We have found that going through this process with every one of our clients it has made us more consistent in our delivery. We are able to build a high-level sales system for each client while earning their trust month after month as they see themselves climb in the Google rankings for the keywords they desire to be at the top with.