A simple and clear strategy is the foundation of a successful website. Unfortunately, creating an effective strategy is the most difficult part of building your site.
You need to do a bit of research and give the matter some deep thought. Perhaps that’s why so many business owners skip this crucial step.
But rest assured, the difference between success and failure often comes down to website strategy. It’s far better to have a solid strategy with mediocre execution, than a poor strategy that’s brilliantly executed.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Alan Lakein, author and time management expert
Strategy is about aligning your website with the needs of your target market. Developing a strategy forces you to consider what result you want and how you’ll get it. It guides the design and content of your website, without hampering creativity. And it ensures the site meets your most important business objectives.
So how do you develop a strategy? By answering the following five questions:
1. What’s the target audience for your website?
Websites should be tailored for the audiences they’re trying to reach. Who is your website for? Be specific. Trying to be all things to all people is a marketing mistake that’s made frequently online.
2. What’s your unique competitive advantage?
All your prospective customers are asking themselves, “Why should I choose you and not one of your competitors?” The answer to this question is your “unique competitive advantage” or UCA.
Your UCA is a clear and concise statement of what makes you a better alternative than all your competitors. It helps customers understand what makes you different, and how that difference benefits them.
Here’s a famous example of the power of a UCA: Domino’s dominated the home delivery pizza market by adopting the UCA of fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.
Your UCA is the nucleus around which you build your website content. So it’s worth putting in the time and effort to create one that’s right for your business and your customers.
3. What benefits do you offer?
Benefits are the building blocks of all successful marketing materials. Yet few businesses take the time to identify, articulate and document the benefits customers get from using their products and services.
By simply adding benefit-rich content to their websites, many companies could get a significant edge over their competition.
4. What is your most wanted response?
The term “most wanted response” or MWR was coined by e-commerce guru Ken McEvoy. It refers to the one action you most want website visitors to do. Examples of MWRs include order a product, subscribe to an e-newsletter, call to arrange a free consultation or download your special report.
Just ask yourself, “What is the ONE thing I want my website visitors to do?” You need to be very clear on this. Once you’ve set your MWR you design your entire site around encouraging visitors to take that one action that moves them a step closer to the sale.
5. What is the personality of your company?
Your website is often the first point of contact for your potential customers. It’s where you start building a relationship with them. So you should let the best personality traits of your company shine through.
Your strategy guides development
In the process of building a website many decisions must be made. Designers will present various options for the look and feel of the site. And you can choose from dozens of different tactics for bringing traffic to the site and converting it into customers.
Use your website strategy to guide you through these decisions. Because your website strategy shows how your site supports the objectives of your business. It’s the yardstick for judging all your website efforts.
This post is part 2 of the series: The 4 “Secret” Ingredients of a Profitable Website
Read part 3: Customer-Focused Content