Content / Design / How to Guides / Marketing / SEO / Strategy / Web Development

Create Scope Documents in 5 Easy Steps

February 15, 2022 , 6 minutes
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We’ve gathered Cemoh’s very own lead strategists to share their tips in this no-nonsense guide for marketers of all experience levels. We’ll go over the purpose of a website and the traits of a great website to begin producing a scope document.

Above all, writing a website scope document allows you to learn a lot about your client’s needs and strengths as a brand. Whether starting from scratch or redesigning an existing site, producing a scope document is a key first step in digital marketing strategy.

Scope overviews should briefly document what the website is trying to achieve, and how they can go about achieving it. One or two pages are sufficient. The document should be produced in conjunction with the client. Make sure to keep guesswork to a minimum and ask lots of questions upfront to produce a strong foundation for your strategy.

Step 1: Website Objective & Constraints

Good websites are a reflection a brand’s purpose, identity and relationship to their customers. Much of the work conducted by advertisers and research marketers is aimed at one simple request: visit this website. Sounds easy, right?

Marketing plans can quickly become complicated when time and budget restraints are taken into consideration — confirm and take note of both with the client — use these constraints to guide your scope document.

Most commercial websites have a sole objective: grow the business. Content like written copy, images and design guide the visitor into becoming a customer, providing enough information for a customer to reach an agreement with your client.

A commercial website encourages customers to take actions (you may have noticed the ‘Hire a Cemoh’ button at the top right), it may also foster a community or gather donations. Consider the site’s purpose to be the third constraint.

Websites guide visitors into becoming leads while also providing an endpoint for customers to make contact or purchase. Ideally, informational pages contain a visible link or button that guides interested customers into contacting your client.

Begin your scope with a paragraph discussing the target markets and the core CTAs for the site. Also, consider writing down the information customers may require from the site regarding your client. What information do you need to collect from them in return? The website objective is an extension of what your client business offers customers.

Step 2: User-friendliness

Consider the first page visitors will see on the website. The homepage states the service you’re offering in clear terms through both design and text. They may also start from landing pages accessed via online advertisements, but the same principle applies. Accessibility must be taken into consideration at every stage of strategy. Successful implementation begins with detailed briefs for your creative team.

Plan to assist customers in finding essential information while keeping the opportunity to conduct business present at all times. The website design and hierarchy are just as important as copy in encouraging customers to take action and contacting the business. Create a basic list of essential web pages.

Your website evaluation must begin with an assessment of the website from the perspective of the consumer. Easy-to-navigate websites keep essential pieces of information and CTAs visible to customers. Informative, written content should point interested customers toward taking action. Provide a list of three or more competitor websites to show the client and gauge their preferences. Also, consider detailing how the web design can be made accessible and intuitive as possible to serve the website’s objective.

Step 3: Content

SEO may be required for the site’s homepage to rank highly in search engine results. Important information must be written in a particular way based on popular keywords in order to increase the website’s visibility on Google. It’s important to decide whether SEO is needed early on, because it can take anywhere from 4 days to 6 months for Google to index websites.

93% of all online brand interactions start with a search engine. So, it’s important for the content to read clearly, and convey value propositions to customers. All pages should have a minimum of 300 words, and ideally 600 words. They also need to have proper structured headers (H1, H2, etc).

Successful websites have customised photography and graphic design, which drive up the cost. A high level of visual appeal works wonders, and images can be reused or modified later to create advertisements.

It’s important to discuss with the client: what types of content does the website require and how often? Cemoh consultants, web developers, graphic designers and copywriters implement content to keep websites relevant and engaged with audiences. Consider how active development of the website through blog posts and newsletters may work within your budget and growth plan.

Step 4: Development and Backend

While hands-on web development may not be a priority at this stage, it’s important to consider the platform on which your website will be built. WordPress sites come with an inbuilt blog and plenty of content management tools, whereas Shopify makes it easy for your client to operate their own online store.

Devise a list of features for the website, ordered from high to low priority. Do you need a store, blog or contact form? Refer to the pages you wrote during step two. It’s also worth planning for site hosting, web development and backend support because they may inflate your costs.

To avoid feature creep it’s important to develop a thorough understanding of both the client and their customers. Any and all forms of ongoing support for the site should be included in the document.

Step 5: Deliverables & Cost

Create a two-column table in your scope document detailing the list of deliverables and their respective due dates. Deliverables may include contract finalisations, wireframe designs, coding, programming, content, testing and site deployment and sign-offs.You do not have to have the due dates finalised at this points, but a rough estimate will help in the long run.

To display cost estimates, create a three-column table for Estimated Cost, Frequency and Description. Your scope document should now contain information regarding the amount of webpages you’ll need and team members to create them.

Keep in mind, this whole scope document is due to change as you consult your team and the client throughout the project.

We hope you learned some useful tips from the guide! Be sure to stay tuned for more. Click here to hire a Cemoh marketing expert to work alongside your business.