In the digital age, a strong web strategy is vital for a strong web presence. It also makes things easier if you want (and hopefully you do) more ways to engage with customers. Then there’s also wanting to drive growth, become more data-driven, and have an online presence.
This post explores essential elements for developing a more concise web strategy, including customer-centricity and user experience optimization. Then, from leveraging digital marketing channels and key steps toward creating a web strategy. The aim is to optimize your digital strategy by aligning your online presence with business goals and best practices.
Tips Before Planning a Web Strategy
Now, before we begin, keep in mind that best practices are different depending on your perspective. For example, best practices can differ if you’re a business analyst (BA) vs. a project manager (PM). If you are a Business Analyst and a member of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), your perspective will differ from that of a Project Manager. The same goes for a PM who is an active Project Management Institute (PMI) member vs. a BA who isn’t. Other items that could impact similar things are business cases, project needs, grant requirements, etc.
If you lack experience in any areas or need guidance, consider joining one of the above professional organizations. As you take training from them and learn, you’ll notice some similarities and stark differences. They also help you network with people with similar skills and professional experiences and who work in various industries, one of which you may be trying to get into vs. where you currently work.
What is a Web Strategy?
In my opinion, and based on my experience as a web strategy director, it’s a long-term project designed to improve an org’s web presence (planning), data insights, and more. At the same time, the program is well aligned with the organization’s overall business goals.
Lastly, the below items are not in rank order, as you may already have some of them covered.
Define Your Objectives and Target Audience
Start by clearly defining your web strategy’s objectives. Determine what you want to achieve with your online growth strategy. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive more website traffic, or generate better, more qualified leads? Then, pick one to start with (don’t focus on everything all at once) and build from there.
Of course, through this process, you’ll need to identify a target audience and understand their needs, preferences, and behaviors. This understanding will help guide your website strategy decisions to tailor your online presence and meet the target audience’s expectations.
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Create a User-Centric Website
Your website is the cornerstone of your brand’s web strategy and digital “face.” Create a user-centric website that is visually appealing, intuitively guides visitors to where they need to go, and ensures it’s optimized for different devices. Also, be sure your website development strategy provides relevant content, showcases products or services, and includes clear calls to action to encourage visitor engagement. Implement user experience (UX) best practices, such as fast page load times and ADA-accessible design (*UserWay is one of my favorite tools!), to enhance the user’s journey and drive conversions.
Implement Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Optimizing your website strategy for search engines is essential to increase visibility and attract organic traffic. Know the keywords you want to target (Google Trends is one of my favorite free tools!) and incorporate them naturally into your website content, titles, and meta descriptions.
Another thing you could do is optimize your website’s technical aspects, such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and crawlability, to improve search engine rankings and regularly monitor and analyze your website’s SEO performance to make data-driven optimizations.
Leverage Content Marketing
Content marketing is a powerful tool in your web development strategy. Create and distribute valuable and relevant content, such as blog posts, articles, videos, or infographics, to attract and engage your target audience. Develop a content calendar and plan your content around your target audience’s interests and pain points. Extend your reach and drive traffic by promoting content on social media, implementing a small email campaign, and collaborating with affiliates to fill service gaps.
Utilize Social Media Channels
Social media platforms provide opportunities to connect with your audience, help you with branding presence, and drive website traffic. Also, ensure you use the right social media channels for your business and the content you’ll share. Believe it or not, only some social media platforms are created equally as they each target their preferred audience! After that, develop a content strategy that encourages audience interaction and reflects your brand’s personality.
Then, remember to determine a way to monitor how your content performs regularly. If one format does better than the rest, nix the worst-performing content and reformat.
Implement Conversion Optimization Strategies
Conversion optimization (some call it conversion rate optimization) is key to maximizing the effectiveness of your web strategy. Analyze user behavior on your website and optimize funnels. Test website elements (conduct A/B testing and the like) to find the best options for increasing conversions. Continuously iterate and refine your conversion optimization strategies based on user feedback and data insights.
The Takeaway: A Strong Web Strategy Drives Better Outcomes
As we can see, developing a successful web strategy requires careful online engagement planning, understanding a target audience, and leveraging digital marketing. Furthermore, by defining clear objectives, you can create a better website, implement SEO more efficiently, improve content marketing strategies, and more.
Again, by improving upon your conversions while also having a more robust web presence, you can drive growth further. Of course, regularly monitoring and analyzing your content and website data can further help spot new trends. Overall, a strong web strategy can enhance a business’s online presence and drive desired outcomes in the digital age.