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Startup Marketing: Building a Simpler Website

June 7, 2011

Crowded Ocean’s rip-off of Blaise Pascal’s famous quote:

“If I’d had more time, I would have built a simpler website.”

There’s nothing more memorable than a simple, clarified message framed on an uncluttered, productive page.  And yet too many websites turn out to be dense, text-heavy, confusing or overloaded with images.  Why?  “Project creep.”

While you might not be familiar with the term, you’re probably familiar with the phenomenon—as well-intentioned efforts to produce an elegant, clean website give way to multiple participants wanting to make sure that their message gets across.

We believe if you take the time to have a solid plan, you’ll end up building a better website that also costs less.  For a handy example of a better website, check out the new website we built for our client EndPlay.

A strong website depends upon a crystallized message (among other things).  To achieve your goal of a simple, powerful message in a website that is clear, focused, uncluttered and productive for your target prospect, we recommend planning early and following these steps:

  1. Clearly describe your goals by focusing on the needs of your audiences, the actions you want them to take and the takeaways you want to deliver to each.
  2. Be deliberate about what content you will give away and what content you will put behind a lead capture form.
  3. Ensure that there are multiple short paths to and from every page and every piece of content.
  4. Before you start, combine your site map and your content plans into a single picture.  Socialize your consolidated plan with key stakeholders.
  5. Allow time for your plans to gel and for feedback on your plan to come back to you to be incorporated.
  6. Before you task your content creators, be sure you have an SEO plan.

Take the time to build a solid plan and your plan will be your best weapon against project creep.

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