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Why you Should Have a Strategy for your Website
When planning your website the first thing you should do is create strategy, but why should you have one?
In simple terms a website (or any other marketing project) without a strategy is like going on holiday without knowing where you are going.
A strategy or plan help us achieve what we want the website to do. Ultimately for businesses it’s to gain leads, sales and clients. So many companies have a website that does not deliver for a number of reasons. From no ones looking, no one is contacting us or simply we have no idea why we have a website other than, everyone else has one.
You do need a website in the modern world, it’s now many peoples first port of call when looking for a product or service. The website is the hub of all your online marketing, and if done correctly will earn you revenue, send you leads and create awareness.
But where do you start? I have listed 6 points to get you started.
Planning your Website Goals
Why do you need a website? If the answer is “because everyone says you need one” or “because your competitors have one” think again. Your website needs a purpose, is it to gain 20 new leads in the next 6 months, push product sales or create awareness.
Without a goal you will find it difficult to market your business online. By knowing what you want to achieve you can put things in place to reach your goal.
Who are your customers, who is going to use your service or buy your products? How do you want them to perceive you? ‘Everyone’ is not your customer, don’t try and reach every Tom, Dick and Harry. You will be throwing mud at the walls and nothing will stick.
Having a consistent message.
Your brand is not your logo, it’s your voice, your ethics how are you going to get hits across to your customers.
How can you stand out from your competitors, why do people need to use you instead of your competition?
What steps are you going to make to get your website project started?
Your Website Goals
Before you brief a web designer write any copy or choose any pictures your goals will put all your decisions into place.
Using S.M.A.R.T goals is good way of breaking your goals down. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time based.
Create a clear achievable goal planning your website with a specific outcome.
- What is it you want to accomplish and why is it important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located
- Which resources or limits are involved?
An example of a specific goal would be
I want to increase UK traffic to my website to 500 unique views per month and capture 100 email leads to market my services to by month six.
You will need to track your goals progress; this also helps you to stay motivated. What evidence will prove you are making progress and your goals are heading in the right direction.
Setting times to check the progress along the way will give you the option to tweak your efforts to reach your goal
A measurable example would be:
Using google analytics I will measure week on week how my website is performing.
Your goals will need to be achievable. You will need to know what you need to do to achieve the goal. This may be challenging but make sure it is not unrealistic.
Is the goal important to your company? Does the website goal align with the goals of any off-line marketing activities?
Specify a timeline you aim to achieve your goal by. Be realistic. As Robert Herjavec said “ A goal without a deadline is just a dream”.
Remember your website is not created for you, it’s to drive engagement with your customers. Just because you like the images and text does not mean your clients will. Yes, your website should reflect your personality but make it relevant to your visitors.
I see so many companies and individuals talking about themselves instead of helping customers solve problems. We are not 1980’s double glazing hard sell salesmen. Customers are savvy and like to be helped not sold to.
Know your audience
If you don’t know your audience, you wont know what they need. I create websites so I need to give potential clients a solution to a problem. I don’t want to build websites for clients who are in the ‘I just need a website’, they will be wasting their money and never use my services again. They also will never recommend me.
When planning your website ask questions and find the problems they need to solve and give them a solution.
You need to work out who you clients are:
- How can they benefit from your product?
What are the age groups?
- What social platforms do they use?
When planning your website you can also delve much deeper and create a persona – this gives you a good indication of who you are talking to, their pain points and voice.
When you have worked this out you can base the look, feel and voice in order to connect with them.
I am a web designer, graphic design and digital marketeer helping SME’s, Micro businesses and new business start ups with their on-line marketing.
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