Prepared for presenting to a would-be new developer while revamping a website.
– Oct 27, 2011 by T. P. Gopinath
Need to build from the present YourSite.com site:
Maintain the present site, rectify its errors, add new features, slowly transition to a new version of the present site either on the present platform or on a new platform which functions and presents better than the present site. We have more than 500 pages indexed by Google from the existing site. Scrapping the site altogether will cause us to drop on the search engines heavily and to build that kind of search engine presence in the future could take a lot of time and effort with a new site as the URLs and the structure would change. That will be a big setback for a startup like us. Also, it is a fact that much money and effort has gone into the present work you see on the web as YourSite.com.
That’s why we are insisting on building from what we already have.
Hence we want to rectify the present site, add features, and gradually move to a new platform without affecting the search engine ranking that we have achieved so far. We want to bank on the current content and get help in doing better SEO and SEM and create a better functioning site.
YourSite is a start-up company. Rather than investing a large sum on one shot which might create a new site, we would like to leverage on our present investment and search engine ranks and develop further steadily and rapidly so that we make daily progress with regards to the site, its features, technology, and content additions. As we grow, we will invest more and more in our site so that we benefit from it through search engine marketing.
It will be an ongoing project for an indefinite period of time rather than something fully finished and ready in a month or two. In the same vein, our association with the chosen developer will be a long and treasured one. We are not only looking for a developer, we are at the same time is looking for a web advisor and long term association.
Goals and objectives:
Ours is a technology business. You will need to understand our business, our market targets and help us market it through the web. Inputs and active work by the developer should culminate at meeting the objectives of doing a better business through web. Ultimately our goal is to supplement our ground force for marketing with web marketing. Goal is to develop substantial amount of leads through web along with selling directly from the web once ecom section is fully ready.
Our objectives are better defined in this document as we set out to achieve our goals on the web.
We are asking for several improvements below. We understand we can’t get there tomorrow with any developer. However our site should be a work-in-progress for an indefinite period so that we correct errors, make improvements, keep adding content, and make it better on a daily basis. This is what we need your help for. We are not worried about the platform or technology you use but we want a perfect feature rich search engine friendly site.
To be able to sell products through the site in India. To develop a viable site that is acceptable and customer friendly.
An example to understand our goals in this area can be seen at the URL below.
YourSite netstore to be brought to the FrontPage for focus on ecommerce.
Netstore which is the ecommerce site of YourSite is now not exposed properly on the FrontPage. It needs to come out better and present it selves on the homepage.
Technology vs functioning of the site:
We are not concerned with the technology in use. Our concern is the functioning of the site, perfection of the content, user friendliness, modern look of the site etc. To achieve these objectives, whatever platform the developer chooses is acceptable to us.
SEO / SEM Objectives
We do not want to market our site through paid ads. We want to market it through organic search results (SERP). Towards this goal, developer should actively modify the site so that we have the best ranks on major search engines for the keywords we chose to develop the pages. We want our site to be entirely search engine friendly and we want all the help from the developer to achieve this objective.
We understand we have to work together with the developer to achieve this objective.
How the current content was developed.
Part of the current content that you can access through the menu options on the site is uniquely written and created. Ideas on how to generate fresh and unique new content should be advised and involvement in such process is sought from would-be developer because it is essential to SEO and SEM.
Most of the YourSite netstore content is copied from respective vendor sites. Impact on SEO due to such duplicate content needs to be analysed and action taken.
Currently according to the Google we have no external links as you can see by entering the command link:YourSite.com on Google. However, link building is an important part of any SEO. How to build stable external links must be delved into.
We have a presence in twitter, facebook, and linkedin. How to capitalize this presence and how to expand to such new sites needs to be considered.
Content & Graphics related objectives:
A CMS is the standard today which makes content addition a breeze. But we would like tot know if there are better alternatives. We think that development using tools such as Dreamweaver or MS expression web makes the site more flexible in adding features and bringing out latest functions, best menus, and other features. Advise is sought in this area.
We are fine with a CMS. However we do not want to be limited in our abilities to enhance the features of our site due to limitations with the CMS. We do not want to be told that a feature we want on the site can not be possible due to the fact the CMS can not accommodate it.
After all, content is what we have on our site. The definition of content can be articles, posts, tools, videos, audio or links. The key to website success is quality content. Quality content is something that your visitors will enjoy reading, watching or listening to and will refer their friends, colleagues, family members and others to it. By building quality content on the site we get not only search engine traffic, but trust, reputation, greater conversions and incoming natural link.
We understand that the content quality is mainly our responsibility. However we need help and input at every stage in this area from the new developer.
We do not want our site to be graphic site as most professional sites focus on written text rather than rich graphics. However with technologies such as flash, we want our site to host enough high quality graphics to impress our professional visitors. Currently the image and videos on the site has mediocre quality. It needs improvement.
Site Functions / features Objectives:
Live chat to be integrated
This is one area where customer support is heading. We would like implement this as early as possible.
With Chrome, Firfox gaining ground, we want the developer to ensure that site is tested in various browsers and that the site is completely compatible across various browsers.
Forum to be enabled
A site forum that will help us market the site needs to be added. An effort has been already made. If it can be used, we can use it otherwise a new development would be required.
Blog to be better integrated
Currently we have a blog hosted through blogger. That’s is http://blog.YourSite.com. Ideally it should be imported into and integrated with the YourSite.com with the look and feel of YourSite.com
Smart phones are getting smarter by the day. Very soon a sizable population of the web visitors would be arriving from these devices. Our site should get a feature enhancement so that it fully and efficiently support viewing in mobile phones. Technology incorporation for meeting this objective must be brought to the platform as soon as possible.
We would like to get in-depth with understanding our visitors, their geographic area etc. we need to activate an exhaustive system for site statistics. Google analytics may be the best option for this. We want the intelligence that comes out of statistics to be used so that we can input it back to the site and incorporate necessary changes and improvements in organizing content.
Search to be rectified and enabled
Our site search feature is not developed. Search is central to any good website. We need search to function smoothly and effectively and serve our visitors well.
All under construction pages to be removed
We do not want any pages that are under construction tag in the site. All such pages need to be removed.
Inquiry form to be made better looking
Our inquiry pages and other forms are very ordinary looking and fraught with poor quality. These needs to be rectified and all forms on the site need to be modernized.
All URL naming issues to be rectified. URL names to reflect page title/description
URLs on the site should reflect the page content / keywords. As part of the SEM, this is necessary. Any development activity should take care of this requirement.
URL such as the one below should change to reflect the right page title. However, ideally it should be done in such a way that the page is not dropped from the search engine index.
Site needs professional language so all gaps in this area should be closed so that written text is perfect.
Site Performance objectives:
We want our site to load fast; real fast! With the kind of internet bandwidth these days, it should not be a big issue. However, we do no want the database, page size etc to impact it. Advise and involvement would be needed on this front. We understand it is also the webhost performance. However, we want anything that can be done by the developer to be done.
Other developer responsibilities:
Apart from these, we would like constant recommendations for improvements on the site from the developer to be brought out. However radical your idea is whatever criticism you have for our efforts and the site functionalities, it should be brought out sooner than later in a constant effort.