Web - 7 min read

What is a web strategy, and how does it benefit my business?

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Posted  |  Written by David Ligtenberg

A web strategy is a comprehensive plan that contains the aims and objectives, target audience, geographic reach, marketing strategies, financial targets, etc. about your website. It looks into every aspect involved in the web design process to ensure your web presence works seamlessly to support other business activities.

You should have a web strategy so that you can set out clearly on paper your website goals and what outcomes you want to achieve through your new website. If you don’t, your website designer & developers are flying blind and you will likely only end up with a pretty website but not a performance focused website. 

In this article we will cover the below topics about web strategies for businesses: 

  1. Defining what a web strategy is and what it can do for your business
  2. The importance of developing a web strategy early on
  3. How to create a web strategy that works for you
  4. The benefits of having a well-executed web strategy
  5. FAQs about web strategies

Defining what a web strategy is and what it can do for your business 

A web strategy should always be the first step in getting a new website and or upgrading your site. A web strategy essentially sets the foundation for your website build and will guide the design and development of your new website.

The biggest benefit of a web strategy is you will end up with a website that will be closely tied to financial and marketing goals. And you will end up with a performance focused website rather than just a pretty website that just doesn’t deliver the outcomes you need for your business. 

A web strategy should be seen as an integral part of web design, rather than a separate aspect. It is important to make sure that your web strategy and web design work closely together so that your new website will support other business activities effectively. 

The importance of developing a web strategy early on in the web design process

Your web strategy needs to be established early on in the website design process as it will help web designers understand your web goals better and overall it will ensure your website is developed based on clear outcomes.

6 essential points your web strategy needs to answer:

  1. What are your aims and objectives?
  2. Who is the website for 'aka' your target audience?
  3. What geographic reach does it need?  - this will impact the type of content you need and the overall site architecture
  4. What marketing outcomes or goals should be considered? Your website should help support these.
  5. What is the brand identity tone and essence? eg: are you a BMW or Ford? Are you friendly, approachable or are you serious and deliver very specific outcomes.
  6. What are your sales or financial targets for the website? eg: x amount of leads, x amount of customers, x amount of products sold via the website, etc.

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How to create a web strategy that works for you

A web strategy should be compiled in a manner that is comprehensive and easy to understand. It shouldn't be full of jargon and technical terms, as it needs to make sense for your team including your web designer/s and other digital marketing partners who need it to create or are involved in your new website build and launch. 

The web strategy must contain:

  • Answers outlined above to the 6 essential points 
  • A website map, which is a web-based flowchart that shows how different web pages link together. It's important to have this mapped out from the outset so web designers can get a clear understanding of your web goals and web strategy.
  • Outline of the key services you need on the website - ideally a sentence on each. Think of these services as things people will search for. Ideally, you need to have a unique page for each service to help you perform better in search results. 
  • Essential marketing elements, such as SEO (search engine optimisation) goals, security features, web analytics tools, and web metrics to help you track data, CRM used and any requirement for it to be connected.
  • A wireframe is essential to include in your web strategy as it will clearly show the goals of your website. It shouldn’t look pretty it’s more about getting ideas down quickly and will act as blueprint for the design. 
  • Ideally, your website should clearly say what you do, what the benefit is to your target group and how do they take action? The grunt test is a helpful technique to help you come up with the correct messaging and is also a great way to help you set the correct positioning of your website.

Tips for staying on track with your web strategy

Once you have developed your web strategy, it is important to stick to it and keep it updated throughout the whole website design process so that overall outcomes are achieved. Make sure you check in regularly with web designers about how things are going and cross-check this against your wireframe and web strategy action plan. Always be thinking: if my users come to the site, will they see what they need and be able to take action easily.

The benefits of having a well-executed web strategy

The web strategy will ensure your web design is based on clear web goals and that web designers and developers can design and create a site that works according to your business goals.

If there's anything in your web strategy that doesn't add up, is not clear, or is not outlined your web designers & digital marketing partners won't know how to deliver the right outcome and it will likely cost you more money in the long run.

A web strategy is not hard to develop and once done it will provide many benefits such as:

  • It ensures your website goals are clear
  • Helps your web designers & digital marketing consultants understand who the website is for.
  • It outlines what you do and don’t like based on reference sites. This is a critical component that really helps communicate your visual outcomes. 
  • Helps your digital partners understand required web features to be included on the website. This will also help with accurate costing based on what is needed which is essentially tied to key financial outcome goals the website should deliver on (well ideally should be).
  • Can help web designers create a performance focused web design that you require rather than one that is just pretty.
  • Ensures web designers & digital marketers are creating web pages that are relevant to your business & target audience.

FAQs about web strategies

Q: How long should web strategy brief be?
A: It's not about the length, it's about ensuring web designers, web developers, and necessary web managers understand what is required for your business so you get accurate pricing and they know how to build a website that works best for your business online. With this in mind, a 1 - 2 page brief is ideal. 

Q: Do I need a detailed web strategy?
A: It depends on your web goals and web strategy so you must speak with web / digital marketing consultants to get key understandings of what the web strategy needs for the type and level of website design you need.

Q: How long should your final web strategy be?
A: As web strategies are essentially web goals, it is important it is clear and concise for digital marketing consultants, web designers, and developers to know what you want from the website but you don't need a 20-page document. Overall it may be this long but ensure you have a 1 or 2 page summary of key goals, actions and always have a wireframe before having your website designed.

Q: Who should write your web strategy?
A: It's best if a digital marketing strategist writes your web strategy with input from your team as it needs to be relevant to your business online.

Q: How long does web strategy take?
A: The web strategy itself is not time-consuming, it's the research that goes into your web strategy that takes time, so an hour or 2 to get together everyone in the business and talk about web goals and what they want from the website is typically sufficient. This will then be given back to your digital marketing strategist/web consultant to finalise the strategy, which might take up to 2 weeks to finalise. This will greatly depend on the complexity of your business and the goals of the website.

The web strategy wrap-up

A well-executed web strategy can provide several benefits for your business, such as increased traffic, better website project flow and outcomes, improved customer engagement, and higher conversion rates. By taking the time to develop a web strategy early on and ensuring that it is performance-focused, you can maximise these benefits and see an increase in revenue and business outcomes from your website. If you have any questions about creating or implementing a growth focused web strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to help!

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David Ligtenberg Post written by
David Ligtenberg View Author
This post has been tagged
Web, Web Design, Web Strategy

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