Whether you are starting a new business or have been up and running for a while, a website is one of the most important marketing tools you have. A great website can help bring in new leads, increase sales and gain more exposure for your business, while on the flipside, a less than fabulous one can let your business down.
Although it might be tempting to leap straight into building a new website, or revamping your existing one, creating an effective Website Strategy that supports your Marketing Strategy before you get started can end up saving you time and money in the future. Here are five things you should think about before you begin your Website Strategy:
Who are my customers, and what are their needs?
You can have the most up-to-date visually stunning website in the world, but if it doesn’t appeal to the people who actually buy your product or service, chances are it won’t work. A bit of time spent identifying who your customers are, and what is likely to appeal to them, can help you target the content and the usability of your site accordingly.
Does my planned design integrate with the rest of my business branding?
Consistency is an essential part of developing a strong and unique brand identity, which is in turn an essential part of marketing any business. Your branding should carry across all the visual elements of your business, from your letterhead to your packaging, and particularly your website.
What do I need my site to do?
Obviously you want your site to list your contact details, so potential customers can find you, and you want to tell people what your business does, but what else do you want it to do? Are customers going to purchase directly from your site? Is your site going to offer large amounts of information and content? Do you want it to integrate seamlessly with your social media pages? The functionality of your site will depend largely on what its purpose is.
What keywords will I target, and how am I going to approach my search engine optimisation?
No website will be effective if nobody can find it. Identifying which keywords to target before you start creating your site means that you can optimise the site itself and your content from the start, rather than having to try to go back and change it once it is complete.
How will I measure my website’s success?
Regular monitoring of your site means that you can tell what keywords visitors are searching on, which links are best, which pages are working, and which aren’t and identify necessary changes. Google Analytics and a number of other monitoring platforms can make this easy for you, so make sure you find the best one for your needs before you build your site.
Getting the basics right with Website Strategy before you design or redesign your site can make the process a lot easier, and can help make sure that the website you end up works with your Marketing Strategy to get the best possible results for your business.