Developing A Comprehensive Website Strategy
Strategy can be defined as a plan of action designed to achieve long-term goals. Without a strategy for anything we do in life, it's like walking and groping around in the dark. Without a strategy, we lack a sense of direction. We lack a sense of purpose that directs our daily activities.
A comprehensive website strategy is important for your website because your website can be considered central to everything you do for your business or organization as I discussed in the blog post, Making A Website Central To Operations. A comprehensive website strategy is in fact critical because it sets the pace for the other complementary strategies for your business or organization.
A website can be a central point for executing these various strategies. These strategies should all be designed to ensure the success of your business or organization and should consequently be part of your website strategy.
In order to master the critical areas in your business or organization, ranging from customer management to personnel management, your website strategy should be comprehensive by incorporating the following strategies.
1. Content Strategy
They say content is king and there is a lot of truth in that. Content is what brings people to your website and keeps them coming back. Generating great and fresh content should be a priority for your website if your website is to get new and regular visitors.
You therefore need to put in place a content strategy for your website. How are you going to generate interesting content? How are you going to keep it fresh? These are questions you need to answer when developing a content strategy for your website.
Your content strategy should specify the means by which you will generate content and more importantly you should develop a regular schedule for delivering that content consistently. If you are producing videos, have a calendar planner for how often you are producing them and stick to it. Maybe you are publishing a blog or a newsletter. Whatever the type of content, the key is consistency.
2. Social Strategy
Social media has gained prominence over the years and is still doing so at an increasing pace. With social media, you can engage with clients and potential clients on a one-to-one basis allowing for greater and valuable interaction. It is an indispensable opportunity for your brand to interact.
Your social strategy needs to outline how your business or organization will present and conduct itself on social media platforms. It should seek for ways to transfer some of that interaction to your website and back to social media as the need arises, playing on the strength of both platforms.
Whilst there are numerous social media platforms out there, not all of them may be suitable for your brand. You also need to make the decision about which social media platforms your business or organization is going to be active on in your website strategy. It is better to be active on fewer social media platforms but be effective rather than spreading your resources thin.
3. Marketing Strategy
Regardless of the nature of your business or organization, you will require some form of marketing activity. Without marketing, you do not get new leads and your bottom line will eventually suffer.
Building your website strategy should address such questions as how are you going to market your business or organization? Are you going to use organic methods like SEO, Email Marketing or social media strategy? Or are you going to use paid advertising methods like Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising. When your website is designed, it should incorporate the strategy you develop for marketing.
4. Customer Strategy
Customers are the essential resource. They drive the bottom line and keep your business or organization moving. It is therefore only appropriate that your website strategy should have them in mind.
Your website strategy should develop work-flows that facilitate the best customer interactions on your website. This can range from providing efficient means for customers to find the products or services they need to locating online help and support resources on the website or even simply providing them with easy to use feedback mechanisms.
5. Human Resources Strategy
Aside from customers, personnel within your business or organization are also a critical component. Without personnel performing at their best, your business or organization can not adequately conduct daily operations. This fact is often neglected when people are developing their websites.
Like I mentioned in the blog post, Making A Website Central To Operations, a website should be an integral part of the activities going on within your business and organization. A website strategy should therefore address how human resources are to be integrated within the website processes.
6. Security Strategy
If you keep your ear to the ground, you would have no doubt heard of numerous security breaches on major websites in recent times. What you do not hear about are the concurrent thousands more security attacks on even smaller websites. Security threats are ongoing and deadly. They can cost your business more than website downtime, in real economic terms.
Your website strategy should identify what security measures to implement to ensure that your website is protected from attacks. This includes installing security software as well as following good practices to reduce vulnerabilities.
The website strategy should also have a contingency plan for what happens when things do go wrong since nothing is fool proof. You should have a security protocol that includes regular backups from which to restore your website in the eventuality of a fatal attack.
Tying It All Together
If you closely look at the strategies discussed, it should be clear that a website is the glue that brings everything together. Each of these strategies can be executed in isolation but this is counter-productive. It is a different story however when they are carried out in concert. Having a comprehensive website strategy that focusses on each of these strategies, with the website as the central focus, brings clarity and direction to your operational activities and is likely to produce better results.