Since a website’s lifespan can be lengthened by making frequent updates to site design and content as well as by making continuous improvements on user experience, there is no exact amount of time that should pass before creating a new website. A new website should be built when a company wants to update their online identity or once a website is out of date and updates cannot offer enough improvements.
A website can be considered “out of date” when…
Once you have decided to have a new website built, then comes the decision to build it in-house or enlist an online marketing expert to develop a website marketing plan.
With so many platforms, tools, and themes available to assist with building a B2B website, in-house website building can seem the best option but it can be difficult to properly develop a website creation strategy and meet B2B website best practices without online marketing expertise.
Before deciding to build your new website on your own, consider these essential steps to developing a B2B website that generates leads and sales:
Developing a thorough website strategy is an essential part of a website marketing plan in order to build a website that launches on time and on budget. Starting with the website creation may seem quicker, but it can lead to missed steps and missed opportunities that take longer to fix, push back the website launch, and negatively impact the user experience.
From choosing the hosting and website platforms to deciding how long to allocate to adding content to the new website, it is vital to create a development timeline that lists all steps needed to build the new website. The timeline may change throughout the website build, but acknowledging and understanding the steps required for the process will prepare you for the time and effort needed to create a high-quality website that fits your needs and more than meets user expectations.
Two key elements when developing your website structure and layout strategy are the sitemap and wireframes.
A sitemap is used to organize website pages into a logical hierarchy. Sitemap creation is an important step in a website marketing plan because preparing a sitemap:
For example, the above image is the overarching sitemap for the SVM site.
Wireframes are black and white visual guides created to depict the layout of website pages so website developers can arrange elements to be visually appealing and improve user experience. Developing a wireframe establishes a clear website development strategy so that website pages match your brand’s theme and so there is a consistent visual layout throughout. When creating a wireframe, keep in mind to:
When developing the website, both sitemaps and wireframes are meant to act as website blueprints so that the website building is organized and efficient. It is essential to be able to adapt if changes need to be made to the website structure and layout strategy.
Once the website layout and structure are strategized, the website can start being built out. The goal of a new website is not to duplicate the previous website with some minor changes, but to use the knowledge gained from the previous website to improve user experience and offer improved website functionalities to meet B2B website best practices.
For example, if users rarely visited certain pages on the previous website, improve the navigation so that information and resources can be easily found by website visitors. If the previous website did not render well on mobile devices, ensure the new website is built to be viewed on all screen sizes. To make sure your B2B website is easy to view and read on all devices, check out our 3 Tips to Make Sure Your B2B Website is Mobile and User-friendly blog post.
Adding content to the new website can be the most time-consuming part of building the new website. Since websites vary in the number of webpages that they have and webpages can differ greatly in the amount of content per page, it can be difficult to pinpoint how long replicating and improving content will take so be sure to add buffer time within your timeline.
Content marketing expertise offers a range of benefits in this aspect of website building. The goal of adding content to the new website is to ensure the content is optimized with the optimal website location, relevant keywords, relevant information, and user value.
Once the new website is ready to go live, the website needs to be tested for functionality, visuals, and user experience to make sure that all pages and settings function as intended before the launch. Then, after the launch, the site should be tested again to make sure everything is working smoothly in the live environment.
For the website launch as well as website updates as they occur, it can be difficult to troubleshoot and fix website issues without in-depth knowledge of website platforms and functionalities. Having an online marketing strategist and/or website developer to assist and offer insight during situations like these can streamline website updates and corrections.
To learn more about building a B2B website and creating a website marketing plan, check out our Essential Guide to Planning a B2B Website.
For personalized tips on how to improve your current B2B website and online lead generation, schedule a free website analysis.
SVM’s website analysis is a comprehensive, personalized free report that details potential issues and opportunities with your website, problems that are hurting your search engine optimization and other online marketing ideas. You’ll discover the hidden problems that are creating a poor online experience for your customers and prospects.
You will receive a custom 30-page analysis and diagnostic detailing your strengths, weaknesses, and specific recommendations on how to improve, as well as a 30-minute consulting session to review these recommendations in detail.