October 7, 2022
15 minutes

How We Build Marketing Websites for Our Clients

Your website is the marketing hub for your business. From our experience, an effective website offers substantial opportunities to increase awareness, build brand, promote your content, attract the right customers and increase sales.

But that’s not all. With a successful marketing website you:

  • Publish new content and media without development help
  • Deeply understand the performance and gather insights 
  • Improve your rankings on search engines 
  • Guide your visitors to the right content 
  • Increase your reputation and trust from potential customers

We believe just having a live website where you can show your contact details and list your services isn’t enough. To get the most out of your online presence, you should consider:

  • How can you build a deep understanding of your customers' world to create an experience they’ll enjoy?
  • How can you accurately express the true value of your product through immersive design?
  • What technology is out there? What will be most beneficial to your business? What can you scale on? And how can you implement it successfully?
  • How will you measure your website's success? Or, put another way, how will you know if building it has been worth the resources?
  • Lastly, what is your strategy to launch your website? 

It’s easy to waste time and resources going in the wrong direction or leveraging the wrong technologies. So, much like every project, creating a marketing website needs a plan. 

It goes without saying that no two marketing websites are the same, and all our clients' needs are unique. But to help guide you on your next project, our team has put together a quick guide outlining how we work with our clients to build successful marketing websites

1. Client Discovery

During client discovery we take the time to understand our clients expectations. This process helps us to define:

  • Timeline
  • Scope
  • Desired outcomes
  • Initial rough estimates
  • Budget

We use this time to get to know our clients and understand their business objectives: 

  • Who are their customers?
  • What is their value proposition?
  • What does success look like for them?
  • What are their KPIs / metrics for the new marketing website?

At a minimum, this process involves a product manager, a designer, and a developer. Whether or not you’re working with an internal team, an agency, or a digital product studio, it’s important that everyone is aligned and the project is defined.

2. Project Discovery

We kick off project discovery with client onboarding. If you’re working remotely or in a dedicated office space, setting-up weekly meetings and creating a dedicated channel for teams to communicate is always helpful. Creating shared spaces to document work such as Google Drive or Notion boards helps keep all of the elements of the project together. 

Project Discovery activities look a little something like this:

  • Existing User Personas & Journeys Analysis
  • Existing Website & Sitemap Analysis
  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • Competitor and Market Analysis
  • SEO Audit for Keyword Strategy
  • Key Pages & Messages Workshop
  • Analysis of Key References

These help us to form the foundation for the strategy, along with the following deliverables: 

(*NOTE: these should act as living documents to help inform crucial design and engineering decisions)

Discovery is at the heart of every project we take on. If your work is rooted in discovery you should feel pretty confident that you’re building something your customers will love to use. 

To learn more about how we conduct our product discovery process, check out our dedicated service page

3. Design

The deliverables from the discovery phase help to give us a better understanding of how to begin designing pages. There are additional activities we can use here to get a clear creative direction for the project. Mood boards, for example, can help us to establish the visual and aesthetic feel of a site. 

For projects where there is already an established design system in place, it might be a good idea to perform a design audit against the findings from the project discovery.

Low-fidelity wireframe mocks determine where content will live and how it will work together to tell a story. These are necessary before finalizing designs and moving on to more time consuming, resource hungry, high-fidelity mocks. 

Our designers use Figma to convert these wireframes into high-fidelity mocks. Figma’s prototyping features allow us to communicate key interactive pieces to developers and other team members, by demonstrating how we intend an interaction to behave. 

By using this feature, we can: 

  • Preview interactions and user flows
  • Share and iterate on ideas
  • Get feedback from collaborators
  • Test interactions with users
  • Present designs to stakeholders

During this stage, we also look at content creation, such as custom graphic assets and copy for the website.

Having high quality content and a structured content strategy is a fundamental piece to your website's success. According to Hubspot, an CSO Insights study found that 31.8% of organizations that had a content strategy achieved 27.1% higher win rates and 18.1% higher quota attainment than those without a content strategy. (Source:

4. Development

Our developers create flexible, modular sites. We break things down into block components, divide them into bi-weekly sprints of development, then work through beginning with highest priority blocks, such as your homepage and any other key pages. 

After that we can populate the site with the content we created. If our clients have a legacy site with content they’d like to keep, we can migrate that over too. To manage all this new content, we leverage both traditional and headless Content Management Systems depending on what works best for our clients, providing full training where necessary.

The wrong CMS could mean big problems later down the line, so having an idea of the future roadmap, scope, goals, and expectations for your website can’t be understated here. 

Lastly, we always build websites with best SEO practices. This includes:

  • Custom URLs and redirects
  • Updated XML sitemaps
  • On-page SEO options 
  • Optimized for faster load times

5. QA & Testing

Following initial development it’s time for Quality Assurance. This involves our developers, product managers, designers, and QA specialists doing three rounds of testing:

  1. Visual QA: matching the development to the designs
  2. Functional QA: testing for bugs and edge cases
  3. Browser testing: ensuring the site works across all browsers and devices

Then we perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT) where we provide the client a Pastel link of the website on the staging environment. This allows for collaborative alterations. Clients, team members, and users can go to the staging website and add comments on any of the pages for both desktop and mobile views. Our product manager then gathers all of these comments and turns them into tasks for the development team.

When there are no more comments and everyone is satisfied the website is functioning properly, we prepare to deploy the site! 

6. Launch

When we’re ready to deploy a new website, there are a few elements we need to prepare before launch:

  • Manage WordPress hosting solutions such as Kinsta or WP Engine to push things to production from the existing staging environment
  • Update records (if we are changing hosts)
  • Install or update the existing Google Tag Managers
  • Ensure all the relevant pixels and JS snippets are properly installed and firing correctly from tools like Google Analytics, CRM systems, A/B tracking software, etc. 

Before launch we also do a complete site audit assessment to ensure all SEO relevant redirects are properly actioned on to ensure no 401 pages exist, as well as check the following:

  • Duplicate content issues
  • Missing metadata
  • Unoptimized metadata
  • Internal links working
  • Site speed before and after
  • Site security
  • Mobile­-friendliness 

In terms of on-page SEO, with the help of the client we check:

  • Information hierarchy
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Heading tags
  • Body copy - bold, underlines, italics, font size, etc.
  • Image optimization
  • Structured data

7. Post-Launch

Once the site has deployed, we don’t stop there! Our teams are dedicated to building successful websites for our clients, and learning as much as we can from each project. We spend around two weeks monitoring the site to catch any bugs and assist our clients with any questions they might have.

Post launch we can also track the performance of the website and offer an action plan on any further developments we think would make sense for the future scope.

We also ensure that any teams using the website are trained and feel confident in their abilities to update content and make changes. 

Things to watch out for:

Not all website builds will pan out the way you expected. You’re trying to build a sophisticated digital solution to enhance your business, and to do that you have to manage a lot of moving parts without losing sight of the end goal. 

You could be working with a team you’re not familiar with, or simply just be taking on a project you haven’t tried before - If you’re looking to tackle a website build/redesign to boost your business, here are some key things to look out for:

  • When using an agency or studio, make sure you have clear insights into how your time and budgets are being used. You don’t want any nasty surprises with billing, and you don’t want to waste time. A detailed tracker, SOW, and PRD can all be useful for mitigating this risk. 
  • Your project needs a dedicated Project Manager to keep everything aligned and focused. This role is fundamental in management, resource allocation, and communication.
  • All team members' capacity for work should be clear from the offset. Once the project is defined and roles have been allocated, you should have clarity over who is available, when, and for how long.
  • An agile working environment allows for intelligent iteration along the way. If you’re not validating decisions at reasonable intervals, you’re putting your time and resources at risk.
  • Avoid scope creep! Do what you can to avoid running away with big ideas. That includes you, and any other team members you have working on your project. Capture all future scope in your PRD or other documentation so that it can become a part of your roadmap, making sure you outline all the dependencies, assumptions, project constraints, etc. This will help you to prioritize key decisions.

If you’re looking to take on a new website build or redesign, and you’re still not sure where to start, head over to our Marketing Websites Services page for more details on how we can help. Or click here to contact us.

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