1. Define your Goals & Objectives
What will be the purpose of your online business? Before starting a Web project, it is important to step back and take a broad view of your project’s goals and objectives. An effective Website can help you achieve a number of business goals. Some examples include: marketing and attracting new customers, enhancing customer service, selling online, improving sales force and distributor productivity, etc.
It is extremely important that you align your Project’s objectives with your overall business and marketing objectives to ensure you are on the path for success.
2. Identify your Target Audience
It’s time to focus on the most important thing that will make or break your Website: your target audience. Only by meeting their individual needs will your Website be successful in spurring them into action: requesting information, placing an order, signing up for a newsletter, or just bookmarking your site for future reference.
Take a moment to brainstorm about your target audiences. Who are they? What goals do you have for them? What information or features will each audience group need? By targeting specific audience groups, you will be able to meet their individual needs.
3. Analyze the Competition
The Web has been called the great equalizer in that it has leveled the playing field by providing companies, even small companies, and the opportunity to compete with their largest competitor. An effectively designed Website can make a small company look large. Also, a poorly designed Website can make even a large successful company look small and insignificant.
It is important that your Website stand out among your competitors. Your site needs to make a great first impression and follow up with valuable information and features to successfully convert visitors into customers. How can you ensure that you stand out? Start by reviewing the Websites of your competitors.
Who are your top competitors? Please spend some time reviewing your competitors Websites. You can learn much from your competitors’ online successes and failures.
4. Review your Existing Website
May be your existing Website does not fully meet your needs.
While your Website may need significant improvements, there may be aspects of your current Website that are working and that should be included in your new improve online business.
5. Consider Specific Site Content & Features
Make sure that you provide your target audiences with the content and features they desire. Please keep your target audience in mind. Your new Website is for them, not for you. All content and features should focus on the needs of your customers and prospects. Your new Website should make it easy for customers to do business with you.
6. Define your Success Measures
Now it is time for one of the most important steps of the planning process – defining your success criteria.
How will you know if your Website is a success? By defining specific measurable results you would like your Website to achieve. Some examples of success measures include number of leads generated, online sales goals, number of newsletter subscribers, search engine ranking, increase in Website visitors, customer service efficiency improvements, etc.
Every great journey begins with a first step. By understanding this Website Strategy Planning Guide, you have now taken the vital first step toward achieving your goals.