It's common to put the cart before the horse.
To quantify the end goal without developing a plan to help you get there. And even though it's not the perfect way to operate, at least when you know where you want to go, you have a chance to get there. But when you combine strategic insights with that end goal, the opportunity for success multiplies.
So, why is this logic and proven method of operation often missing from websites? Many lack a defined strategy and some lack a clear reason for being developed in the first place.
If your website lacks definition, then you are missing out on revenue generating opportunities.
Web Strategy Benefits
Web Strategy Benefit #1 - Connect To Your Overall Business Goals
Your web strategy should connect to your overall business goals making it an extension of everything you do. For some organizations a website is their business but in most cases, it perpetuates and supports other objectives. For example, some organizations with expensive offerings or complex sales cycles use their website to elevate brand awareness and position the company as a thought leader. A company that manufactures or distributes products may prioritize lead generation or ecommerce sales. Other organizations may have needs that extend into other areas, utilizing their website as a way to attract and recruit employees.
Regardless of the goals, once your strategy is defined, it's much easier to develop a site that accomplishes them.
Web Strategy Benefit #2 - It Guides Your Web Development
Web and content development needs are quite different depending upon your strategy. If it is designed to elevate your brand through thought leadership, then a crucial part of that effort will be generating white papers, e-books, videos and other media that users can access. For a lead generation focused site, descriptive web pages, effective contact forms and resources to educate prospects on the benefits of your capabilities are crucial.
If your site is only intended to convey basic company, product and services information, it still requires an investment. Updating or adding capabilities pages, refreshing images and updating company information are ongoing necessary steps. And don't forget about design, nearly 50% of buyers consider website the most important criterion in determining company credibility.
Understanding those needs in advance allows you to aligns with customer preferences and plan accordingly.
Web Strategy Benefit #3 - It Quantifies Your Investment
If you have been through a web development process before, you know that the audience research, page optimization, content development and all the technical aspects of a website, takes time. However, others may not realize the complexity and discount the necessary investment.
Thoroughly detailing the steps necessary to build your site, consistent with your web strategy, allows you to develop an understanding of the time, resources (both internal and external) and budget necessary to accomplish those goals.
15 years ago, as companies determined whether the internet was an effective channel, they developed websites with the "build it and we hope they will come" mindset. Today, you know your audience will come, but without a defined web strategy, they won't frequent your site.
Learn how to develop a user experience that engages your audience.