For some people, their website strategy is simply that “they know they must have one”, but they’re not completely clear what they want the website to do.
Unfortunately, not defining your website strategy and objectives is the fast track to ending up with a disappointing website that doesn’t achieve much (except possibly draining your finances).
Creating a strategy for your website involves putting together a plan that will help you achieve a specific goal.
Depending upon the nature of your business your website will make up some or all of your business strategy. Many people think that if they build a website it will instantly benefit their business but in reality, to be effective, a website needs as much thought and strategy as the business itself.
Why is website strategy and planning important?
You might be able to visualise what your website will look like and you know someone who can help build your website.
Do you really need to spend time creating a plan?
The reality is that anyone can get a website up in a matter of days (or minutes!). But to get a website that adds value to your business, the answer is yes, you need a good website plan.
A website plan that details your strategy and objectives is the foundation for creating a website that gets the results you want. It will also help you avoid costly changes and alterations once design and development have started.
An important part of your website plan is deciding what the main objective, or purpose, of your website is.
Here are some popular website objectives.
Generating sales leads
Many businesses use their website as a way of establishing credibility and initiating communication with potential customers. In this case you would design your website to showcase your expertise and create easy ways for people to contact you to express their interest in your products or services.
Building a community
Community based websites connect people. Designed as a point of communication with and for their target audience, community websites allow users to contribute content and actively communicate; with each other and also with the owners of the website.
Reinforcing your brand, credibility and reputation
For organisations that have a strong external marketing program, a website is an additional source of information for their target audience that builds their credibility. In these cases some leads might be generated from the website but its primary aim is to reinforce offline messages. Often these website are the realm of companies with a strong brand and large marketing budget.
Many business owners or new entrepreneurs create a website to generate revenue and (large!) profits. There are many ways to generate revenue through the internet including: advertising, affiliate marketing, the sale of products or services, membership and sponsorship.
What objectives do you have for your website and do you have the know how in achieving them?