Don't Design Without a Plan: Why You Need a Website Strategy
These days, websites are essential tools for business owners. With a website, you can capture your target audience no matter where in the world it might be. You can also generate leads, drive sales, and grow your top and bottom lines more efficiently.
But a great website is much more than a set of web pages you develop online. If you want to ensure success with your existing or new website, you should first enforce a perfect web development strategy.
Developing a website without a strategy is like building a house without a blueprint. You’ll likely get it done. But is it going to be everything you’d hoped for in the beginning? Most likely not.
Below, we expand on website design strategies in more detail, discussing what they are, why you need one, and what makes an exceptional web strategy. We also provide tips on how to implement a site strategy after developing it.
What Is a Website Strategy?
A website strategy is a detailed plan that acts as a roadmap as you build your website. It tells you what your website should accomplish, how it should accomplish its mission, which design it should use, and far more.
Website strategies act somewhat like a checklist. They’re your guide to ensuring you incorporate specific Search Engine Optimization (SEO) metrics, design elements, sales funnels, calls-to-action, and more to ensure that when you launch your newly-developed website, it effectively draws traffic and converts that traffic into sales.
A website strategy also defines your target audience and how you plan to address that audience with valuable content. Ultimately, website strategies are your blueprint for success online.
Why Do You Need a Website Strategy?
Have you ever built a piece of “some assembly required” furniture? Could you imagine doing it without instructions? Building a website is similar.
The same as you must use specific screws for assembling different pieces of furniture, you need to implement specific elements to each of your website pages to be successful. Your strategy for website development helps ensure you don’t miss any of these figurative screws and end up with a website that’s as effective as a lop-sided chair.
Ultimately, as human beings, we need guidance, even when accomplishing tasks we’ve developed ourselves. A website strategy provides that guidance.
Elements of a Successful Website Strategy
Most successful website strategies will contain the same or similar standard elements. They should lead to a clearly defined target audience, have a quality website design, enforce clear calls to action, have high mobile responsiveness, implement the brand's personality and essential information, and maintain excellent SEO.
Nevertheless, you can expand your web design strategy with your preferred features. After all, your website should be unique and stand out from others on the market.
Here's how to get started with developing a web strategy through the essential website strategy elements:
Identify Your Target Audience
One of the first things you should do as you develop your website strategy is to identify your target audience. After all, you don’t want to put time and money into targeting people that would never purchase your product or service.
Take time to consider who needs your product or service and what your ideal customer looks like. Now, think about what value proposition you can offer to that customer. The more you learn about your target audience, the more you’ll be able to attract it by incorporating the things they care about into your web design and content creation.
Implement Outstanding Site Design
Don’t you hate loading a website with an old, retro look and feel? Those business websites are typically challenging to navigate and leave too much to be desired from an aesthetic perspective. That’s why a good design is so important.
If you want your business to thrive online, you should craft a user-friendly site visitors can easily navigate to find what they need. Think about the colors, fonts, buttons, and other essential site features. Ensure they have a user-centric design and don't forget that simplicity and usability are your best friends.
Have a Clear Call to Action
As I’ve already mentioned, people often need guidance in the things we do. Your future customers are no different. If you don’t guide them to perform a specific action, chances are, they’re not going to do it.
Therefore, ensure your new pages have clear call-to-action content and buttons. These calls to action don’t have to be solicitations to buy your product. They can be links to read more about a specific topic, requests for users to subscribe to a mailing list or buttons that entice users to share your content.
The key is to engage users with your business proposition. From then on, you can more easily excite users about your products and services and inspire purchases.
Make the Site Responsive on Mobile Devices
Today’s online users are active ones. Gone are the days of sitting behind a desktop computer in an office chair when you want to shop or find information online. With smartphones, the digital world is at your fingertips.
Therefore, it’s essential that your existing or new site appears and reads well not only on computers but mobile devices. Make sure your design is responsive and adjusts to all screen sizes regardless of the type of device your customers use.
Professional web design strategists and developers can help you with this step.
Include Company Information
Nobody wants to work with a company they don’t trust. Take time to develop your story and brand image as you build your strategic website design. You should explain in depth what you do, why you do it, and how your company has an impact on its industry as well as its community.
Create Content With SEO in Mind
Having a website on the 10th page of Google is like having a Ferrari in your garage with no gas. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the car is, it’s not going anywhere. In the same manner, SEO is like petrol for your website.
If you want to drive traffic and attract more leads, you should incorporate effective SEO measures into your website strategy. Keep in mind that you should include both onsite and offsite SEO methods in your web strategy.
Set Realistic Goals
Finally, having clear business goals is crucial to success. But as you probably have these already, consider what your website goals are. Do you want to increase leads, improve sales, increase brand awareness, enhance customer satisfaction, or all of the above?
Set realistic website goals, but also be brave in your project plan because your goals will encourage you to do more.
Tips for Implementing a Website Strategy
Now that you know what elements you need to implement to create your website strategy, it’s time to consider some advanced ways to boost that implementation. Follow the tips below to implement your web strategy successfully.
Design Your Content Strategy
Planning is part of building your website strategy, but there’s more to it. Your website strategy will tell you where and how to use content, what colors to employ, and what call-to-actions are essential.
However, in the implementation phase, planning goes far further. This is when you should create a plan around each piece of content essential to your website. Think of this phase as piecing together your website strategy from a visual and semantic perspective.
Outline Your Story
We talked about your branding strategy a bit above. However, in this stage, it’s time to write your story and figure out how to outline it on your website.
For example, do you plan on highlighting your story on the “Home Page” or using it as the meat of the “About Us” page? Moreover, as you write your story, consider what you learned as you identified your target audience. What parts of your branding story will be most important to them, and how can you portray those parts in a way that will set in?
Build Your Website
Now, you can start creating your new website. The good news is that you’ve developed a solid core strategy, and building your website should be as easy as following the roadmap you’ve put in place.
Once you choose your building option (we recommend Webflow or Squarespace), you can start creating and implementing all the above-highlighted elements of a good website strategy.
Offer Clear Next Steps
As you build your new or existing site, think about what will happen when a consumer lands on each page you create. In particular, think of what the user will do once they consume the content on that page.
Your goal is to ensure that every page offers a clear call to action to tell your users what they should do next. That could be a call to purchase a product or service, but it can also be anything else you prefer.
Plan & Write Content Regularly
Content is king in the digital world. The more content you have, the better your chances of showing up in search engines when your target audience takes to Google or Bing to answer questions. So, it’s a good idea to set up a content plan once you get your website up and running.
This plan can be as simple as publishing an article on your blog every Wednesday or having a complex publication calendar. What matters most here is that you develop a content strategy to meet your customers' needs.
Teaming up with an inbound marketing agency to regularly produce content for your blog means that you can start to build a steady stream of leads coming in from Google searches.
Work With a Website Strategist
Building a great website can be quite a bit of work. The good news is that all that work doesn’t have to fall on your shoulders. When you partner with a web expert like Belt Creative, you can make the most of your website strategy without too much effort or resources.
Belt Creative is a design and inbound marketing agency that gathers a team of passionate designers and digital marketers around a clear goal — to help you grow online. We take over the task of developing a perfect website for your business that will drive traffic and engage users with top success. All you have to do is tell us your goals and dreams, and we'll take it from there.
Contact us today to learn more and bring your web strategy to the next level.