You already know your business needs a website. Maybe it is the digital face of your small business, or it could be an online store for eCommerce. Whatever it may be, a website can do a lot to benefit your business.
As much as a website can be beneficial, there is more to it than just getting the website live on the internet. You need to build a website with intention. A website will not be as beneficial if it does not align with the business. Furthermore, there are a lot of mistakes that could hold your website back.
This is where website strategy is important. With website strategy, you develop a plan to create a website that will do the most to help your business reach its goals. The following are some of the steps you can take to develop a successful website strategy.
Define Website Goals
You can’t have a website strategy without goals. You need to know the destination you are trying to reach. Consider the purpose you want the website to serve for your business. Maybe there is a primary purpose with a range of other functions that might be necessary. The goals could be anything from selling products or lead generation to educating consumers and raising brand awareness. Once you know the goals of the website, it will be easier to create a roadmap for reaching the goals.
Your business probably has a target visitor it is trying to attract to the website. It could be people who might be interested in a certain type of product. If you sell a service, it would be the types of people who may need that service. Once you know the types of visitors you are trying to attract. You will need to perform user research to learn about them. Are they in a specific age group? What are their interests? Do they have motivations that would lead them to your products? Learning about your users can help you build a website that will serve them better.
Define Your Brand
Branding is important on the internet. The name of your company and logo are a good start, but you can do more than that. Your website color palette can do a lot to make the site visually appealing. You might even want to work with a domain broker to get the perfect name for your website. Some websites might need to express brand values or develop a personality for the brand.
Outline Your Website
You should try to get an idea of what your website needs. You are obviously going to need a homepage, but what other pages will be required? Pages for products and services might be necessary. Having a blog can be a good way to attract more traffic to your website. You might want to consider resource pages that teach visitors about the company and the products it sells. Create a list of every page your business needs and create a map of how they will all connect.
Map Out Processes
Many websites will require visitors to follow processes to achieve different goals. Common examples include account creation and order checkout. These processes should be created with great care. You want them to serve the intended purpose, but you need to avoid anything too complicated. If the process is confusing or time-consuming, some visitors might give up before they finish. Map all these processes out from beginning to end to make sure they are streamlined. Review the processes and try to cut out any unnecessary steps.
A website strategy needs to prepare for search engine optimization (SEO). You will want people to find your website in search engines, and SEO is the best way to make sure that happens. Without SEO, your pages might not even show up for the relevant search terms. Research keywords and develop a content strategy for using them. You could also develop plans for both external and internal linking. If you want to get more complex, you could work with an SEO agency for a comprehensive strategy.
Build the Site
You also need to determine how you will build the site as a part of your strategy. Are you going to use a website building platform for a DIY site? Do you need to work with professionals to build a custom site? If you do hire professionals, make sure they understand and are willing to implement your website strategy. If you choose a website building platform, you need to make sure it has the features you need for your website.
Once you have an initial version of the website up, test everything. Make sure the site loads quickly and that different features perform well. Check all the content to see if it reads well and that there are no mistakes. Test the pages and features on a wide array of devices. You should also consider how it looks on different devices. A successful website will deliver a good experience on laptops, phones, and tablets.
The best websites make adjustments after the site goes live. You should keep an eye on your key metrics and consider ways to improve. Listen to your audience if they have suggestions. Part of having a successful website strategy is being able to adapt to issues that may come up after launch.