The idea of creating a website in 10 business day probably doesn’t sound too shocking. But doing it the right way — analyzing the original site, creating goals, doing a competitive analysis and SEO research, designing, coding — the full gamut? Now that’s much rarer.
In a previous blog post, I explain how much a website should cost. Today, I’ll break down the steps we took to build a new website for a client in just 10 days.
Day 1: The Kickoff Meeting
As a developer, contractor and investment partner, our client previously had two separate websites that outlined the main areas of the business. Now, the team wanted to consolidate them into one SEO-friendly site and reposition the primary services. Oh, and they needed it by the end of the month — just two weeks away!
We explained that the revision process can often drag out a website design and rebuild. So in order to get a website done that quickly, the client agreed to give us control over the design, content and SEO beyond the initial project requests and guidance. Together, we outlined and agreed upon the most essential pages, reviewed the goals and requirements and nailed down a strategy to complete it. Now, we had everything we needed to get started.
Days 2–8: Design
With the project plan and goals in hand, we began the design phase. Using design best practices, we started by creating a cleaner, simpler logo.
When redesigning the logo, we first considered color. Because people will be printing logos from black and white printers, you must make sure the hue you choose is still recognizable (and appropriate) when it’s just 1 color. The client liked the look of the original logo, so we preserved the main elements and gave it a color makeover.
Next, we started designing the mobile version. Mobile responsiveness should be your first step in executing a website design. Audiences must be able to easily read and navigate your website from any device. Otherwise, you’ll end up with high bounce rates for phones and tablets, which will hurt conversion rates and sales.
For this client, we mocked up a mobile version before designing for desktop. When designing for mobile, considering screen size is critical. With hundreds of screen size variations, mobile responsiveness won’t mean much if it only works for 5 percent of devices.
The mockups are also intended to show how visitors will navigate between the pages. To keep it mobile friendly, we chose a low number of menu items. This way, users see where they can go on the website, even on mobile.
After completing the mobile version, we moved onto a desktop mockup. With a beautiful, conversion-friendly design, we took the website straight to the coding phase.
Days 4-9: Coding the Website
We started the coding phase by creating a development site. Many site developers will use a template and simply switch out some images. However, swapping a few images is different than properly redoing a template. We chose not to use a premade template primarily because we wanted to make sure the site wasn’t bloated with hundreds of things the client didn’t need, which would slow down load time.
When using a theme in your website design, make sure to go over it with a developer to determine if it’s too heavy for your needs. The site we coded for our client is light and very mobile. We have a few animations that run but nothing that overloads the site. We created this website on WordPress (per the client’s request) and chose a simple lightbox (gallery) for the portfolio page, which works well on mobile and tablets as well.
Day 5: SEO
During coding, we began to research and outline our SEO plan — including primary and secondary keywords targets for each page. We conducted a competitive analysis and used tools like Moz and Google Keyword Tracker to find low-hanging keywords (relevant, intent-driven keyword phrases that a high volume of people search for but fewer websites target). In turn, we’ll be more likely to rank high for these terms, meaning more leads for our client.
Days 6-8: Content Creation
If users can’t find what they want in less than 10 seconds, there’s a high chance they’ll leave — even if you provide the service they need. That’s what makes intelligent content and design so critical to a successful website and homepage redesign.
But before users can click around your site, they need to find you! Aligning your content around your predefined SEO keywords will help fortify these efforts. The content must also resonate with your audience and quickly give them a reason to click or continue reading — not simply recycle the same keywords across the page.
For the homepage, we quickly identified who the client serves (to resonate with the right people), what separates the company from competitors (to show their value) and the services they provide (to give readers the information they need).
Each service page also focuses on the needs of potential customers to show that our client understands the pain points they face and has the skills and expertise to successfully complete their construction management project.
Days 9-10: Website Cleanup
The final phase was website cleanup. This included finding a hosting solution that best suits the client’s needs, testing the entire site from a visitor’s standpoint and revising the design and content based on our findings. Once the site was approved, we presented it to the client and pushed it live. In the end, the client loved the new site and has begun ranking for strategic keywords that will continue to drive more visitors.
Of course, creating an entire website from scratch involves more thought and design-making than we could possibly communicate in a blog post alone. Doing a website right involves hundreds of considerations that a single designer or developer can’t always account for. That’s why you must invest the time and money in a fully-stacked team that cannot only build a pretty website, but also one that speaks to your audience, has a strong SEO foundation in place and is optimized for mobile and conversions.
Need help with your website design and development project? As a full-service inbound marketing agency, our team can bring your vision to life in a way that attracts and converts the right people. Learn more about our website design and development services, or reach out to us today!