Are you a healthcare professional looking to recruit new patients? Establish yourself as a thought leader? Or promote your new book? A website might be just what the doctor ordered. However, having any old website isn’t enough. To be successful, a website must be well planned and executed. Here’s how to do it.
Plan, plan, plan
Ummm, did I mention the importance of planning? An exceptional website begins with an exceptional strategy. So the first step of building your website should be planning out the content you want it to include.
Create a content tree.
One of our favourite planning strategies is creating a content tree—a master web of what you want to write about organized by topic or theme. This helpful tool allows you to visualize the content on your website and how it all fits together.
To build your content tree, you might start with four or five main topics you want to focus on. From there, each topic can branch out into more specific sub-topics. It’s up to you how granular you get with this step, but the more you plan, the easier it will be to write and organize your content later.
Connect the dots.
After nailing down the topics you want to write about, it’s important to ensure they flow together. Using your content tree, take some time to analyze how your topics connect. Some subjects can stand on their own as an entire article, while smaller topics might fit best as a subsection of a bigger article. Organizing your content this way will help you define the boundaries between where each webpage begins and ends and how they all fit together.
Keep it balanced.
Like anything in life, the key to great content is balance. For example, your website will feel disjointed if some articles are 300 words and others are 3,000 words. This is why it’s so important to figure out which topics are stand-alone’s and which ones are part of a bigger picture. The goal? A website that feels intentional and balanced.
Choose your formats.
Once you’ve decided on and organized your content topics, it’s time to figure out what format you’ll use for each. Web pages are static, permanent pages containing evergreen content that can be referenced anytime. Meanwhile, blog posts cover lighter or more time-sensitive topics.
Looking back at your content tree will help you decide which topics should be web pages and which ones might be better suited for a blog post. At first, your focus should be on getting your main web pages up and running. While a blog can be useful, web pages serve as the main content pillars of your website.
Plan out your blog.
A blog can encourage existing clients to visit your website regularly and motivate new clients to browse your content. A word of caution, though: an inconsistent blog will make you look unprofessional. Plan out your blog content in advance to make sure your blog doesn’t end up unattended in the limbo land of cyberspace. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you have at least three blog posts ready to publish before starting your blog.
Trust me on this one: planning out your content now will save you countless hours of revisions later.
Recruit the right help
To make a killer website, it helps to have a rockstar team behind you. Who you choose to bring on to your team will depend on your specific needs, and the options are endless. Here are some potential hires that can help take your website to the next level and take some of the stress off your shoulders.
Hire a personal writer.
Writing your website content can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone. If writing isn’t your strong suit, or if you simply don’t have enough time in your busy schedule to write, consider hiring a personal writer. A personal writer can be the ace up your sleeve behind the scenes, working with you to create content that will make your website as successful as possible. Finding a writer that’s the right fit for your business can take the writing process from stressful to seamless.
Enlist the help of an SEO expert.
Once you’ve put all the work into perfecting your content, you want people to be able to find it easily. SEO (search engine optimization) is the secret sauce to driving traffic to any website. The problem is that it can be tricky for someone with no experience to use SEO strategies successfully. To help with this, many website owners have decided to hire an SEO expert.
What exactly does an SEO expert do? Simply put, they test, inspect, and make changes to your website to optimize it for search engines. These changes make your website rank higher in search results on major search engines like Google. Hiring an SEO expert is a worthwhile investment to optimize your website and drive more traffic to your content.
Work with a web designer.
Building a website takes a lot of work, and a web designer might be the perfect person to help take some of the load off your shoulders. A web designer will use design programs to perfect the visual elements of your website. They help ensure that everything on your website has a distinctive look, making it intuitive and easy for users to navigate. For example, web designers pay attention to details like ensuring that your website’s desktop and mobile experience are coherent. Having a website that is easy to use will make for a better visitor experience and encourage people to browse your site for longer periods of time.