Developing a website from scratch or refreshing your current website is one of the biggest challenges that we can undergo as marketers! There are lots of things to consider from a strategic perspective before you even get started.
With experience of generating lots of websites from large to small, here are our learnings on some of the top strategic things we consider when starting a new site.
Six strategic tips on website development
1. Who are you targeting?
Your new or refreshed website will likely need to talk to a number of different audiences. Can you segment your audience into certain types of people?
We often find that it’s helpful to generate several customer personas and we place ourselves in the customers shoes and answer questions such as the customer’s age, location, job role, interests etc. This helps us to really understand what information will appeal to target customers and how they might want to navigate the website. But don’t limit yourself to just thinking about customers. Often, we want to appeal to other stakeholders too, such as employees, investors or partner companies.
2. What are your objectives?
What is the goal of your new site? Is it for new lead generation, for example to generate X amount of credible leads compared to your existing website? Do you want to better represent your company brand against the competition? Are there specific things that your clients are interested in that you should focus on? If you have an existing website, what analytics info do you have that you can learn from and benchmark against?
3. How will the website integrate with other marketing and sales activities?
Thinking about your marketing plan and activities overall, how can you best utilise your website? We find that it works very well to have dedicated pages for specific topics/sectors with a range of content on that page such as blog posts, video, infographics and case studies to demonstrate your specific expertise according to your audience’s interests and needs.
4. What does website ROI and success look like?
How will you measure success? Have you got a reporting format set-up to check key stats on an ongoing basis? What content are people interested in? Who’s visiting your website? What is the bounce rate? Where is the traffic coming from? How do you rank on key search words against the competition?
5. How much content should I generate for a high website ranking?
We get asked this question all of the time! In short, the more content you have on your website the better. But quality content with relevant key words, that is of genuine interest to your target audience, will generate more traffic and will better help your search engine ranking. Google is intelligent and can figure out not just the volume of content and frequency of updates but also the quality of the content! It all depends on the industry you are in too and how hot your competition is on SEO to determine the effort you need to put in to rank highly.
6. Should I be using Google Ads?
Google Ads will certainly help you to appear at the top of search lists, especially if you are in a highly competitive industry. That’s of course providing you know what your target market is searching for, that you have the budget to compete with competitors using Google Ads and that you measure the ROI. We’ve worked with many (especially B2B) clients however, that have ranked highly organically from website SEO and high-quality content. The beauty here is not only a high search ranking, but you also have a live, fresh site that has compelling content for your audience. We always assess what’s currently working/what’s not and new areas to exploit to find the best match for paid vs. organic vs. a bit of both!
These tips are just a starting point on some of the main things we consider. We hope you found this blog useful and feel free to get in contact to discuss your strategic approach. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.