infinite42 Website System – Blueprint

In The infinite42 Website System for Small Business

The blueprint is a simple model of your website that’s used for trying out ideas and sharing them, before you launch into the main engineering work on your site. This is a very useful tool because it allows you to quickly test out ideas and design elements, such as colors, layout, fonts and content (both the words and pictures). You can put this all together quickly and it’s even quicker if you need to make any changes.

Your blueprint is also a powerful tool if you need to share your website idea with someone else, such as a client, husband or friend. It allows you to imagine yourself within the site so you can experience the website before it goes live.

You can create your blueprint any way you like. Simple sketches are a good start but you can also use tools such as PowerPoint so you can try out things for real, such as colors, content and hyperlinks.

As part of the blueprint you’ll also need to define the niche for your website. Your niche is a narrow, ultra-focused market of people who you want to provide your product or services to. This is also exactly the same group of people who you want to visit your website.

I’m not talking here about niche keywords for SEO – we’ll look at that later. Your niche market is described by the demographics of your customers. You can get as specific as you want, but you should certainly consider factors such as age, sex, income level, geographical location, interests and where they hang out online. By choosing a laser-targeted niche like this you are making a conscious decision to throw all of your efforts (and that includes your website) towards this group of people.

You should also define the product or service that you are providing to your narrow niche of customers. It may seem obvious to you what you sell, but have you designed your website so it clearly states what this is? Put this another way – if it’s not obvious on your website, it may be that you haven’t quite figured this out yet.

Leading straight on from your niche and product or service you should now also have a clear idea of the goals for your website. Do you want to sell your product? Direct from the website? How about educating or entertaining your readers? Do you want visitors to fill out a contact form or subscribe to your newsletter? Each of these is a different type of goal and will influence two major things: how you design your website and how you measure the results that it delivers. We’ll cover measurement a bit later on.

Navigation should be considered during the blueprint stage too. By this I mean the internal structure of your website, as defined by the links that connect all the pages together. The navigation sets how pages are grouped together by topic and also how visitors progress within your site and on to your goal. By thinking this through at the blueprint stage you end up with a cleaner, more efficient website that’s easier for your readers and more successful for search engines.

During the blueprint stage it’s important to spend some time on keyword and brand research, since these will influence major factors such as the content that you want to write and also your choice of URL

The final part of your blueprint is a definition of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your website. This list of statistics is your instant measurement system for evaluating how your website is working. The list should be short and will include the website goals that you’ve set already, plus other key factors that you need to monitor to be successful. By monitoring and reviewing your KPIs regularly you can keep track of progress, identify areas for improvement and also organize your plan of work on your website.