Whether you are starting a brand new website, considering a redesign, or have a shift in your overall business, it’s helpful to take a step back and create a website strategy to serve as a road map. Take the time to consider these seven essential questions that will shed light on how your website should be designed and how to position content. Just like building a house, you wouldn’t just start nailing boards together, right?
1. What are the main objectives you want to achieve?`
Do you want to just keep your current users happy and continue to offer a great rich site with fresh content that keeps them coming back? Or are you more interested in expanding your market – maybe a new segment of potential customers that you want to attract? Or a combination? Identifying this key objective will set the stage for the decisions you make about your website.
2. Who are the primary visitors, and who do you want to attract?
This is key information that needs to be at the heart of your decisions as to what your website experience is and how you position your content. Here’s an example. One of our clients took a survey of their advisors about their website and upon reviewing the results, identified that the advisors weren’t the ones using their website, the advisors’ staff was. And they are looking for much different information.
3. Where are they going for information?
Review Google Analytics. Know what content is most often viewed as well as the pathways users are taking to get there. Do you have important information that users are not finding? If so, consider re-positioning it on the site.
4. What makes you unique?
What do you differently than your competitors? Do you have a specific niche that sets you apart? That is what you emphasize.
5. What are the competitors doing?
It’s just good business practice to keep tabs on your competitors. Identify key messaging they may be using and be sure to set your company apart in a unique way.
6. What messages are you eager to communicate?
Recognize this can change frequently, but it’s really important to be clear in your message and also identify relevant calls to action. If you are very focused on a particular product or marketing concept, give it the most dominant place visually and be sure to assign a call to action to it – a button to contact you or learn more.
7. What is your plan to create new content and how will you manage it?
Will you manage your content yourself? Do you have staff to manage it for you? Perhaps you will need to outsource your content management? Identify how often and who will take the lead on this important aspect of your website.