Websites have become an essential part of almost every business. After all, we are living in a digital age.
However, building a website just for the sake of it won’t do you much good. Without a clear plan, there’s a good chance that your efforts will fall short, and your website won’t end up helping you in the long run. In order to get the best results possible, you’ll need to devise a website strategy.
So, what is a website strategy and how can you create one? Well, that’s what we are going to talk about today. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
What is a Website Strategy?
By definition, a website strategy is a long-term strategic business plan suggesting how to create and develop a company’s online presence in accordance with the business development strategy.
In other words, it’s basically a road map that will allow you to visualize where you are now, where you want to be and how you will get there. Think of your website as being the virtual extension of your business.
In order to make it work, you’ll need to plan everything ahead of time. From your goals to the design and even post-launch maintenance, devising a plan will help ensure that your project stays on track, your goals and vision for your website are met, and your business is on its way to greater conversions and increased sales.
How to create a Website Strategy
1. Determine Your Website’s Goals
Just like with any other business plan, you first have to figure out what you actually want to accomplish. In the case of building a website, ask yourself how your company will benefit from it.
Are you hoping your website will generate leads? Are you building the website to increase sales? Maybe you are planning to use it as more of a portfolio for your business, so potential customers will get to trust you more easily. Or you might use your website as a place where you could share your ideas, in hopes of gathering a following.
Finding out what you want your website to accomplish is a very important part of creating a website strategy since it will influence the course of the web design and development process.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
Yet another important aspect of developing a website strategy is knowing exactly who your audience is. After all, your website can be one of the most powerful marketing tools you have.
Your website is where visitors will go to find out more about your company and decide whether they want to work with you or not or purchase your products or services. Your website needs to convince them that you are the right choice.
To do this, you need to properly understand your audience. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. Why did he enter your website? What expectations does he have? What would he like to learn about you? What type of information do you think is most valuable to him?
Go a step further and define your ideal customer’s personality. What are likes and dislikes? Would a certain type of design resonate with him over others?
The goal of your website is to attract your ideal customer, and to ensure they spend ample time on your website to learn about your brand and browse your offerings. Everything from the font you choose to the colors and the layout of your website should revolve around your target audience.
3. Create the Structure Of Your Website
Now that you’ve established the goals of your website and understood the type of audience who is going to visit it, it’s time to sketch out a layout of how your site is going to look.
When creating the structure, keep in mind that what you want your website to accomplish needs to align with what your visitors would want from it.
For example, if you are looking to increase sales, then your site has to be designed in a way, so it has minimal distractions. Make sure your products are immediately visible to your visitors.
Design a clear navigation menu that will allow people to browse through your site effortlessly. That way, users will quickly be able to find the products they want, while you get to generate sales.
Create your website with your ideal customer in mind. Make sure it includes high-quality images, plenty of white space, CTAs and other features that will pique the users’ interest and keep them engaged, ultimately driving them towards conversion.
4. Keep All Devices in Mind
Now, when thinking about the structure of your website, remember to take all devices into consideration. A good-looking website on desktop might look terrible on mobile.
With over 50% of traffic being generated by mobile devices, that might get you in quite a bit of trouble. Your best bet is to opt for a responsive, mobile-friendly design approach.
5. Plan Maintenance Ahead of Time
Many businesses overlook this step. As technology evolves and as trends change, their websites start to look outdated, drastically decreasing the number of visitors they receive.
As a consequence, in order to make up for the things that they have missed out on, such as new features, plug-ins, design trends, etc. they need a website overhaul, which will most likely cost them a lot of time and in the end, a lot of money.
In order to avoid that from happening to you, you’ll need to create a maintenance schedule. Add in new features or updates as they become available, instead of waiting until your website becomes entirely outdated.
6. Test Constantly
After you have finally launched your website, your work is far from done. Besides the maintenance we’ve just mentioned, you’ll also need to continuously test different aspects of the site to see if there is any room for improvement.
For example, test different headlines and see which one is better at attracting the users’ attention. Change the placement of certain elements within the page, such as the CTA buttons and see if there are any improvements in performance.
Even something simple, such as moving a button from the left to the right side of the page can have a drastic effect. Speaking of CTAs, why not change their color from time to time? Maybe a red button will get you more clicks compared to a green one.
In order to do this effectively, consider doing A/B tests. Keep in mind to change only one thing at a time so you can know exactly what has altered your website’s performance.
In order to make sure your website is effective and will lead to more sales, you’ll need to plan everything ahead of time.
Keep in mind that first, you’ll need to figure out what you want your website to accomplish. After that, you’ll need to fully understand your audience. Determine their needs and wants and build your website around these aspects.
Also, think about the maintenance of your website and finally, don’t forget to constantly do tests to see where you could improve. Aim for a mobile-friendly design and don’t be afraid to play around with different elements and A/B test to ensure your website is the best it can be.
About Author: Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. He is focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.