If you didn’t start at Why your site sucks (part 1) Go Away now! This is a step by step guide and if you start here I guarantee you that your site is still going to suck.
However making it this far means that you’re going to get to finally start having some fun.
If you are blessed with the skill of graphic design than you should fire up your favorite image editor.
If you are like most of us though you need to hire a free lancer. It would be a shame to go through this entire process to fall short in the very end because you wanted to save a few bucks. You wouldn’t attempt to duplicate a Picasso and try and pass it off as an original so don’t sell your company short because you think you know what looks good. Trust me, you don’t.
It’s ok, if you don’t do graphic design. create the layout grid to make your designer’s life easier. If you do graphic design this is not something you should just be eyeballing. Studies have shown that the golden triangle is the most aesthetically pleasing.
Trust me, I am all for breaking the rules, but the best micheif maker knows the rules and works around the system. The grid is going to give an idea of where the elements on each page are going to be. It will identify where on the page the Global navigation, title, branding, advertisements (if any) and footers will be located.
Sketch and create mock-ups in an image editor. Create several variations and test out different grids. Constantly design until nothing more could possibly come out and filter results that work best for the goals of both your site and it’s target audience.
If you already have a website, this would be a great way to engage your by allowing them to vote and decide the fate of your site’s aesthetic. You better ask them because they are going to be using the site way more than you are.
Create a Design Document that stores all sketches and mock-ups that made the final cut.
Now if your web developer doesn’t know basic on page SEO you need to either wait to allow them to get up to speed, or hire a consultant to help guide them through the process.
If you do hire a consultant, you’ll want to also work on development strategies, social media optimization, Ppc and inbound linking strategies. These are all separate aspects of the marketing of your site but all work hand in hand together. These combined with video optimization, podcasting, and regular blogging will make your site a deadly force to be reckoned with.
I hope you enjoyed these articles and hopefully now you can start to see ways to make your site suck a little less.
Why your site sucks (part 1)
Why your site sucks (part 2)
Why your site sucks (part 3)
Why your site sucks (part 4)