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Web Development Best Practices: Set Your Website Up For Success With A Launch Plan

As web developers, we tend to get swept away in a wave of great ideas. We have the skills to implement these ideas, but often are lacking in one area: planning. Whether you run niche affiliate sites, AdSense blogs, or eCommerce stores, a well-implemented launch (or redesign) plan can mean the difference between a good website and a great one.

Why Prepare a Website Launch Plan?

Planning a website ahead of time means that when it comes time to actually build your site, you can do it in the most effective and efficient way possible. You will know each step, even before you get to it, and most of the choices inherent building a website (features, content, etc) will have already been decided.

Using any website planning process is better than using none at all, but there is a “best” way. Before I tell you about my website launch plan, let’s take a look at my favorite planning tool.

Using PowerPoint Slides To Present A Website Plan

In my own experience, it helps to lay out a website plan in a presentation format. Whether it’s for an audience of one or for pitching your website to partners, a launch presentation is a great way to visualize not only the objectives of the site, but what it could look like as a finished product.

To set up a PowerPoint website plan, you can go to SlideModel.com and select from their presentation templates to get a head start. You could also design your own slides, but we all know that in online business, the more you can outsource to pros the better.

You can check out my personal favorite here but the most important thing is to choose a template that best supports your website’s vision. I prefer a more minimalist slide because of the nature of my sites, but if your business plan involves complicated sales funnels, you may need a slide template with more intricate formatting.

The reasons I choose SlideModel for my website launch plans are that they are very affordable and they allow all the editing and customization for which other companies charge a lot of money. Also, they have a subscription plan which is handy for those of us who build a lot of websites. Finally, their templates are fully compatible with major versions of Microsoft PowerPoint, as well as Keynote and Google Slides.

Once you’ve chosen your template, it’s time to start designing your website’s business and technical structure.

Preparing Your PowerPoint Launch Plan

An effective launch plan contains 4 key steps that will give your business the best chance of becoming successful:

  • Define Your Objectives - Any web business needs to have clearly defined objectives/goals. It may seem cliche’, but laying out your business’s goals clearly and intentionally gives them a better shot at becoming reality.

    Here are some examples of possible goals to set for your website:

    Objective: Drive traffic through the use of SEO-rich content that adds value to our users, utilizing Google AdSense and privately placed ads for revenue.

    Objective: Use PPC advertisements to drive traffic to our website and convert that traffic to sales of our “X Product”.

    Once your objectives are clearly defined, you can go about planning the methods with which you will achieve them.

  • Define the Needs of Your Target User - It’s great to define your own goals as website, but if those goals don’t match up with the needs of your target audience, your conversion rate will show it. Bring together your own business goals with the appropriate site features to meet the needs of your user base. For instance:

    If you run niche websites, maybe your new website needs a community aspect where your customers can talk about their shared interest. This makes a forum of some sort a possibly desirable feature.

    If your new website is an eCommerce store, the shopping process must be smooth. In your website launch plan, then, make sure to add features that make browsing and checkout easy.

    Once you’ve defined the needs of your audience, your launch plan can help tie those needs to your business model.

  • Document Actionable Steps to Achieve Your Business Goals - This is the most important part of the website planning process. Without actionable steps, all of your business models will be just that: models. Actionable steps may include:

    Designing a content campaign and creating said content.

    Designing email campaigns to reach out to your audience.

    Rewriting product descriptions.

    When documenting the steps necessary to achieve the desired benchmarks, make sure these are actionable tasks that move you closer to your goals (higher conversion, more traffic, etc) and not abstract ideas. Notice that in my examples, I wrote “rewriting product descriptions” not “optimize SEO.” The former is an actionable step to achieve the latter.

  • Define Your Own Success - Lastly, having a clear picture of what success looks like to you is paramount in a website launch or relaunch. These success benchmarks can always be updated once they are achieved, but having a finish line in mind can help sharpen focus on features and actionable tasks that achieve business goals.

    “1.5% conversion rate over 12 months” is a clearly defined success benchmark.

    “I want to make a lot of money this year” is not a benchmark at all.

    This has been a simple overview of a successful website planning process. In your own ventures, make sure to be as detailed as necessary about your mission, audience, and objectives.

    Build Your Next Site With Confidence

    If you take the time to pre-plan your next website, chances are the process will be a lot less painful than it would be without it. A PowerPoint presentation is a great way to lay out your ideas and decide on plans of action. If you need help getting started, don’t forget to check out SlideModel’s website design templates for fully customizable launch plan presentations.

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