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Life Science Web Design – 3 Tips For Planning Your New Website Project

Save time on your next website project by planning ahead.

...or top tips for a successful website project

Planning effectively is an often overlooked part of a website project. A failure to plan properly or logically can make the difference between a successfully delivered project or a website project that drifts without focus and runs into issues early on. These tips are designed to provide you with some key areas to get you started, with insight for life science and biotech and highly niche science areas.

We work on a lot of website projects. Our specialism is websites for Life Science and Biotech sectors. This provides us with a great deal of insight around the right type of planning needed at the early stages – before you commission your website or you start your website design and build.  The better planned the project the faster the delivery of the end product, a website that delivers results for life science businesses.

The purpose of life science websites can be varied and can include some of the following:

  • drive direct sales
  • drive quality leads for the sales team
  • build authority
  • present innovation
  • a resource hub
  • encourage partnerships
  • inform and educate
  • leverage investment
  • create a community
  • entice the best graduates and industry talent

Our experience has helped us create a clear process for planning a website project. There are many factors that need to blend together for a successful and on-budget website project. To go into all of those here would be too deep. In this article, I want to show you three tips that you can action now when planning your website project. Whether it is a full redevelopment of your website or fine-tuning what you already have to deliver better results.

Thes three tips will save you time and money on your project and give you a clear focus for a powerful website that delivers the results you need.

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Tip #1 - Your website isn't for you

Understanding your audiences

Whether you're a life science, health tech or a more specific division of the life sciences field your website isn't for you. It's for your customers. This can be very difficult to achieve. Many website redevelopment projects that we work on are to carefully metamorphose the focus of the content and experience slightly away from "this is what we do" to this is how we help you.

It is your main marketing tool, the hub or your promotional activity, available to your customers 24/7365, across the globe. It is not just a brochure of your services, products or technology. Yes, websites are technical but they should be created for marketing and not the role of the IT department. Yes, IT should be involved together with a strong focus on communication and business sales and marketing goals.

Life Science Audience Research

Your website is your face to the world when you can't be there in person. It has to work quickly to inform and position you as the place provides the solution to the visitor.

Companies within your sector typically have more than one audience profile they need to reach. If your website isn't speaking to each of them then you are not meeting everyone's needs.

We've worked on several projects recently where we switched the high-level pages to focus on what the visitors need right now, rather than what the company profile. This has made a signification improvement to their enquiries, increasing quality leads and sales.

At the planning stage, we identified each of their target audiences, mapped out their profile in detail and created a journey on the website to take them to the information they needed and to take the action that the business wanted them to. We reversed the focus of the website to be about the visitor and not about the company.

The benefits

There are great benefits to clearly mapping out, illustrating or digging deep into your different audiences. Defining what are their biggest problems (in relation to how you help them), how do they buy, how do they prefer to communicate.

You will be able to:

  • Clear information for each audience
  • Create content that speaks to them directly
  • Quickly show them how you solve their specific problem/need
  • Provide them with a buying process that is tailored to them
  • Provide them with a communication process that they like and want to use

Tip #2 - What is currently working and what isn't

A content audit

Whether you have a small website with a few pages or a comprehensive website with hundreds of pages running a content audit will save you a lot of time and effort as your website project progresses.

Many websites we work on have evolved over a long period of time. Perhaps many years of added content, or previous redesigns where the visual aspect has been changed but not the content or structure. This can mean the website has become difficult to navigate, with content scattered. With different styles or quality of content. Or really good, highly visited content that is hidden several layers down and deserves to be front and centre.

A content audit is a process of assessing and analysing the current content you have on your website. In some cases, it can include content or assets that you have in your business that aren't currently on your website. This provides you with an inventory of what you have that you can review.

Gather an inventory of copy, articles, product descriptions, landing pages, video, PDF, audio, white papers, brochures, downloads, product trials, forms and also gather a list of your URL's. Use a sitemap generator tool to provide you with an accurate view of what is being indexed.

Have with you your business goals and the breakdown of your audience profiles.

With your business goals and audience information to hand, you can assess the content that best fits with goals and audience.

You can start to list what you need to keep, what needs improvement and what can be discarded. Take into account the analytics data for the content. For example, if a page is highly visited and has strong interactions then it may need to be kept as it is if a page is highly visited but has a high bounce rate something is misaligned. If a page has weak or thin content and is never visited it is time to remove it or improve it.

Why are Life Science businesses talking about our Website Project Accelerator Sessions?

Because people that use it are getting results.
The world of websites, digital strategy and SEO is fast-moving and complex.

We can help you find focus and clarity. We can schedule a mutually convenient Website and Lead Generation or SEO strategy session to accelerate your project.

The benefits

With a content audit you can:

  • Keep the best content
  • Renew content that isn't performing to it's best
  • Update the structure of your website so content can be easily found
  • Add relevant content upgrades (downloads or trials) or renewed Calls-to-action
  • Find gaps in your content that need to be filled
  • Create better internal linking structures (great for SEO and user journeys)
  • Plan for 301 redirects

Content audits can be big projects, but they don't have to be difficult or time-consuming. With a clear plan of action, they can be produced quickly and help towards creating an exceptionally great website.

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Tip #3 - Measurable goals

Know what works

Setting out clear, measurable goals for your website project will create a baseline on which to measure success. Planning at the start what and how you are going to measure these results will help you know if you have reached your goals or what needs revising.

Conversion rates on websites and individual pages can differ each having its own likely goal. Some pages being more valuable than others that are necessary but have a lesser goal for the business. There should be no shortage of elements to measure on a website, you just need to select those most relevant to what you define as success for your business.

What to measure

Every life science business is likely to have different goals and actions to measure. Different percentage improvements that you are aiming for. Here are a few examples:

  • amount of visitors
  • number of pages visited
  • number of brochure downloads
  • number of resources visited
  • requests for trial software or products
  • forms completed
  • time on site
  • products purchased (if it is eCommerce)
  • subscribers to your newsletter
  • new calls to the sales team
  • keyword rankings
  • traffic from organic aginst PPC or social
Science Web Design Marketing

How to measure

There is an ever-increasing range of tracking and analysis tools available to website owners that can provide detailed information about goals reached and value metrics. These can be a good solution, however, start with free to use such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Google Search Console. These will give you a free way to measure what is happening.

For accurate SEO insight, it is worth using one of the pro tools such as Moz or SEMRush to give you the long-term data in one place that can give you relevant and actionable insight.

The benefits

Measuring against pre-defined goals give you a way of understanding what is working and what is delivering the best value. Looking at your conversions on a microscopic level will give you stronger results.

Content audits can be big projects, but they don't have to be difficult or time-consuming. With a clear plan of action, they can be produced quickly and help towards creating an exceptionally great website.

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The Takeaway.

We plan in great detail for all of our website projects. This saves your clients time and provides the most robust results. Although it looks like a large amount of work this is something that you can easily do as a team. Make sure you look at every aspect of your marketing, both on your website and your off-line marketing activity where greater crossover could take place. Reusing as many of your most useful assets.

We are here to help you plan your website project. No matter if we produce your website or if your current team produce the new website. Having a solid plan in place at the start will provide you with a powerful online presence.

Need help planning your website project - email me and we can chat.


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