Every great venture needs a plan, right? This is definitely the case in fishing. The plan can often make the difference between a skillet full of tasty fish for dinner or a stop at the local fishmonger's shop on the way home. You have to plan where you will fish. What time of day will yield top results, and even what bait to use on your fishing venture. While a ballyhoo may coax a strike from the wariest blue marlin it will not do you much good in the local farmer's pond where the lowly red wriggler (say that three times fast) is the prized bait. You simply must have a plan...
What in the world does all of this have to do with building a website?
Well, the two ventures, putting fish on the table and building a successful website both require planning. It all starts with the first decision which is what you will be fishing for; sustenance, or just a great day on the water. Will your website just be a bookmark site to provide information about your venture or will it be an eCommerce website where products will be offered for sale? Trust me... It would serve you well to sit down and ponder this question carefully before moving forward.
Next, you will need some structure to your plan. In fishing you would gather the woefully under-utilized fishing tackle from the back of the hall closet, stop by the bait shop for some tasty snacks, beverages, and bait, and finally arrive at your favorite fishing spot. In building a website this structure is referred to as a site plan. The first question Soholaunch's Website Wizard will ask you is “what pages will you need?” Many customers just lock-up over this question though the answer can be really easy. It just requires a little bit of brain wrangling. Take out a notepad and start with these points.
What information do you want to present to the world about your venture? Consider the interrogatives; What, Who, Why, and Where. These easily translate to the page titles of Home (What?), About Us (Who?), Mission Statement (Why?), and Location (Where?). Of course, none of this is of any value to your venture if you do not include a call to action (in fishing we call this a "Hook"). Your call to action could be as simple as a "Contact Us" page or as important as a "Buy Now!" Button. You would not go fishing without a hook and money spent on a website will never realize a return on investment if you are not providing the site visitor with some call to action.
I admit that I finally invested in one of those new-fangled GPS receivers a couple of years ago. No, I am not one of those folks that has to have the newest electronic widget and not so much because I was worried about being lost at sea. I bought it because I realized that if it were easier to navigate then I could probably cover more water and thus, in my fisherman's mentality, find more fish! What is my point? Make it ubër easy for your site visitors to navigate around your website. The Soholaunch Menu Navigation system is flexible and easy to understand but it will not cure bad page naming. Do not use run-on sentences as page names. It annoys me and I am a fairly easy going fellow. Use short, concise page names that will make it easy for your site visitors to navigate around your website. The more they move around... the more information they are exposed to concerning your venture.
Speaking of "moving around" when I decide on a spot to fish from, set down my cooler of refreshments (and snacks that have begun tasting like the bait...), and adjust my lawn chair for optimum, ummm... napping position it is a pretty safe bet that I won't be moving soon if at all. Heck, why move? Even if the fish are not biting. Your website visitors have the same attitude! Plan out your site so that a visitor can find any information presented in two to three clicks of the mouse. If it takes five clicks to find something on your website it is a sure bet that the visitor gave up after three clicks and went back to Google looking for the information. Simply put, make it easy to find stuff on your website.
Okay, so planning your new website can be just as simple as planning a day in piscatorial pursuit. Determine a purpose, create a site plan, and keep it simple. These small planning steps and a quality Website building software like Soholaunch can translate to a solid base for promoting your venture across the world wide web. If you find this post interesting, humorous, or even offensive please post a comment below. I am sure many readers can either echo these concepts or add valuable input based on their fishing or website building experience. Also, watch for my next post on The Art of Fishing when I discuss "Properly Storing Your Catch".