A recent post from the Nonprofit Marketing Guide describes how, like writing a book, creating a new website is not a daunting task when you carry it out in small pieces.
Here are some tips for creating a new website:
1. Stop thinking about the entire, huge thing and all its possible pages. Think instead about one page, and where it fits into one section. Then go forward from there.
2. As you’re focusing on a list of small pages/sections at a time, post somewhere very visibly what are the three core questions the website should answer. Websites exist to answer questions.
3. If you can, make someone accountable as the manager for the website project and/or someone who keeps tabs on the progress and gives reports weekly.
4. Keep your site map simple. Show main tabs and subpages below those. Keep several copies of it for your team to view frequently. Don’t let this piece get lost under a pile of documents.
5. Keywords are critical. They’re essential. They’re completely necessary. Take the time in the beginning to research and identify 30 or so keyword phrases that will allow you to optimize your search engine rankings. It’s well worth the time.
6. When you have web update meetings, keep the team on the topic at hand – is it content? Is it design? Is it navigation? Stay on the present task to avoid the feeling that this thing may never get done and may be passed down to your grandchildren to complete. (Pass down the fruitcake, instead. It has an astounding shelf-life.)
When creating a new website, also remember that a website is only one piece of the content marketing strategy that will achieve your goals. It’s very important, but a website is not the end-all be-all of your marketing efforts. So let yourself relax and enjoy the creation process.