One of the top business resolutions each year is to finally use the internet to streamline the workload. The internet has evolved and is able to accelerate any office responsibilities. With Web 2.0, anything is possible.

At Fox Web Creations, we know doing a redesign can be a daunting task. We help customers through them every day. We know some steps you can take to take the stress out of the process. Ask yourself these questions when going through the first stages so you’ll have a head start when you’re ready to move forward.

Step 1. Determine Website Objectives: What are your future web marketing initiatives? How will you measure the success, what strategies are you using currently, and what strategies will you need to use in order to measure your success? Define your high-level objectives, targets, initiatives, and measures for this program.

Ideal Outcomes: Have users come to the site, have users/clients be able to see the services and quality of work you do, and convert web users into future clients, supporters, or investors.

Step 2. Gather Functional Requirements by Department: Work with each department to determine their requirements that can be handed off to a software engineer for technical implementation. This document will act as your list of deliverables.

Ideal Outcomes: Sales Departments are easily the first thing you think of, but the website functionality can also help the administrative side. A form for applications or an employment page for human resources (job postings, benefits administration, timecards, etc) is another area of your site that can be beneficial, even if staff members are the only individuals to see this part of your site. Almost any department can benefit from integrating with the website.

Step 3. Prioritize Website Requirements: Have a meeting with the website team and work through your list of deliverables. Find out which deliverables are most essential and which are auxiliary.

Ideal Outcomes: After the main priorities are established, it is best to prioritize additional needs. Is a priority a flashy animation that will enhance the site and keep clients on your page or will an additional few pages for internal tracking of shipments be more useful. Web designers and research can help you with determining what priorities are. Determine with your team what is most necessary for success of your objectives and reach a clear consensus.

Step 4. Analyze Infrastructure Requirements: Website infrastructure is composed of People, Processes, and Technology. Determine if you have any gaps in your existing infrastructure.

Ideal Outcomes: Do you already have a time card system? Maybe you want to integrate it to work online. Do you track sales by commission? How will you track those sales from the internet? Is there anything missing here? If so you’ll want to update your requirements in step 2. Talking with web designers can help you streamline your current process and make sure it fits within your company’s internal process.

Step 5. Perform a Web Program Gap Analysis (WPGA): Evaluate your functional & infrastructure requirements. Determine the feasibility of closing each gap and make adjustments to your required documents accordingly.

Ideal Outcomes: This is where our experience really helps. Evaluating cost and benefit is the biggest step to customer satisfaction. We have a good idea of what makes a good web presence; you have a good idea of what makes your business run best. When we put these together the result is a successful website.

Step 6. Promote the Updated Website: After your site is developed, you need users to visit it. Use your collateral, materials, and promotions to tell your current and past clients about the new site. Also think about the best way to get new clients.

Ideal Outcomes: Now that you have established a website that will best service your company, you want people to visit your site and purchase your product. You can use lists of past, current, and potential clients to inform them of your new site and products. Additionally, one of the most effective ways to get users to your site is with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Being on the first page of your local Google search will capture the people who are looking for your services. There are many ways to use SEO. Ask us about this at the beginning of your project if you’re interested. It is much more effective when integrated into the design. Watch for next month’s newsletter for tips on SEO and how Fox Web Creations can optimize your site for more targeted search engine views.