… that will gain visibility with Google, generate quotes, enquiries and phone calls.
After a recent discussion with a potential client about the investment required to develop a new website I left the conversation feeling rather deflated. I couldn’t believe that in 2018 someone was looking for a cheap website – without any comprehension of the amount of work that’s involved.
Mulling over our chat I came to the conclusion that the person probably had no understanding about the development requirements of a modern website – and why would they? In fact why would any business considering a new website be any different? I don’t ever recall seeing a task list.
As web developers, we study continually and implement the ever-changing, best-practice techniques into each new project and continually adapt to Google’s rule changes as a matter of course.
Task list for developing a mobile-friendly website in 2018
NB: This is by no means an exhaustive list and I may have omitted items … but it should provide a clear picture of exactly what modern site design entails.
Before you begin
① Identify where your customers are (local, national, international etc).
② Select a web developer that comes highly recommended and who will provide a detailed proposal and quote.
③ Conduct keyword and competitor research
④ Choose a website platform – we recommend WordPress. (Incredibly, almost 1/3 of the Internet now runs on WordPress – approx. 100 million websites).
⑤ Create a site map of the content to be included
⑥ Write or source content about your business, products & services (min. 300 – ideally 1900 words per page).
⑦ Source good quality photographs (at least one per page).
⑧ Collate other media assets (videos, pdfs, podcasts etc).
⑨ Gather up testimonials & reviews.
⑩ Make a list of websites that you like (it’s helpful for your developer).
⑪ Provide correct contact details & opening hours
⑫ Provide corporate colours, company slogan and other marketing collateral.
⑬ Set up a robots.txt file to prevent Google indexing the website during development.
⑭ Resize, crop and optimise images (www.webrezizer.com will help if you don’t have Photoshop).
⑮ If your images are the correct size this will help you optimise them (www.tinypng.com).
⑯ Ensure images are given meaningful names (to help with your SEO) and named correctly – don’t use _ between words. (2017 Holden Commodore SV6 Black.jpg is a lot more useful to Google than IMG_3837.jpg)
⑰ Add meaningful Alt tags (alternative descriptions) to all website images.
⑱ An image sitemap and the use of caption tags also help Google to better understand your content.
⑲ Add hyperlinks to your content (both internal and external links) if relevant.
⑳ If videos are included ensure that they resize to fit different screen sizes (a container may be required).
㉑ If a large Google map is to be included it will require an API key to be generated, installed and verified.
㉒ Create a Google Analytics universal account.
㉓ Install Google Analytics tracking script or code.
㉔ Set up a quote and/or contact form with validation.
㉕ Style the form fields for better presentation.
㉖ Generate and install a Google reCaptca (anti-spam) API key.
㉗ Add the reCaptca code to the contact form.
㉘ Create a thank you page or insert a tracking script to measure submitted forms.
㉙ Submit form(s) to ensure client receives them.
㉚ Install Yoast SEO plugin.
㉛ Generate XML site map(s) for pages, posts, images etc.
㉜ Review sitemaps – remove unwanted items (eg. Admin pages or shopping cart and checkout if the site doesn’t have a shop).
㉝ Create and add a favicon (this is the business logo that appears in the browser tab).
㉞ Add social media icons that link to the relevant business accounts.
Google Search, Maps & Voice Assistant – Android mobiles
Google Search & Maps – Desktop PCs
Apple Maps & Siri Voice Search – Apple mobile devices & Macs
Microsoft Bing Search & Maps – Desktop PCs
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