Define the purpose of the site and your target audience
Your design, navigation, and content should be driven by a purpose that aligns with your audience and their goals.
What’s the purpose of your website? Is it to gain publicity for your business? To sell your inventory? To rally support behind a cause? It’s important to identify your website’s purpose, as well as your target audience. You should also define your goals. How many visitors do you expect per month? How many do you expect will sign up for your newsletter? How much in sales do you expect to make? Set measurable, specific goals for your website that are in line with your marketing goals. An analytics tool like Google Analytics will allow you to monitor your website’s performance over time.
Create a content strategy.
What kind of content will you be displaying on your website? Content is basically anything that gives your visitors information. It can include, but is not limited to:
Pictures (such as in a gallery)
Embedded social media feeds (such as your Twitter stream or Facebook page updates)
Your content strategy is the way that you plan to present your content over time. For instance, you may want to publish two blog posts a month, and put out a free quarterly report for your subscribers to download four times a year. Since content is such a vital aspect of a website, bring in help if you need it. Hire a writer who is experienced with writing for the web, and invest in some professional looking pictures of your storefront and employees.