A Goal-Oriented Approach To Web Strategy
Your website is the single greatest tool to help you establish subject matter expertise, present your solution to a marketplace problem and convert leads into customers. In fact, getting your website strategy right is the single most important thing you can do to improve the online presence for your business.
Other tools like social media, email marketing and digital ads can have a huge impact when used effectively. However, these tools are aimed at widening your reach, not calling customers to take action. Success on these channels is dependent on having a website that’s focused on building trust, educating customers on the value of your product or service, and presenting clear calls to action.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the redesign process.
With so much to consider, it might seem easier to just change out images and tweak brand colors, but that’s not actually going to help your business grow. Success starts with laying the proper groundwork and establishing goals that will guide you through the process.
The following questions will help you define goals and priorities for your website redesign. This exercise will provide a practical starting point and give you the confidence to discuss your project with clarity and understanding.
The 4 Questions To Ask
1. What are a few key takeaways from your current website?
Start by identifying a few things that worked well. It’s likely that your existing website was (or is still) effective at many things. It’s important to not lose sight of these positive qualities. They have been tested and proven to work – that’s valuable insight.
Take a look at your top performing pages. If you’re using an analytics product, review the most visited pages on your website. Make a note of any pages that are performing better than expected. Keep these in mind as you think through the different paths a user might take as they navigate your website.
Try to list any feedback you have received from customers or vendors. Look for points of consistency in this communication and use those to identify patterns that should be considered as you look to the future. If you don’t have existing feedback from customers, it may be worthwhile to conduct a user engagement survey via email.
2. Why are you doing this project now?
Identify the contributing factors for this project being a high priority. At some point in recent history, this project graduated from the “nice to have” category to the “need to have” category. Make a list of the reasons why this project is taking center stage.
It’s common for redesigns to center around key dates. These dates could be related to the launch of a new product or service, tradeshow or conference appearance, or an upcoming busy season. Regardless of the reason, it will be important to call these dates out when planning your project schedule.
3. What was frustrating, difficult or impossible to do with the current website?
List any features that will support your company’s growth that are not a part of your existing website. Think through the ways your business has grown since your last website redesign. Are there items that have been tabled for later consideration? Are there items that were not possible due to technical constraints (limited content management system or plugin features)?
Next, identify any elements that were frustrating. This could include frustration on the part of customers, vendors or even your own team. Be as detailed as possible, since the best solutions will come from fully understanding these issues.
What about CRMs or other third-party integrations? If you are managing customer information in multiple places, now would be a great time to think through how your website could automate some of that work and save you time.
4. What does success look like for this new website project?
Imagine yourself six months after launching the new website. You should be able to identify some ways in which the project is delivering results for your business. If it helps, write this like a mini case study on the project’s success. What notable changes can be observed?
Remember to think big! Don’t limit the potential of your website to serve you better. If you are going to invest the resources in a new website, why would you stop short of building the perfect solution?
Download The Worksheet
I have these questions available as a PDF worksheet, which you can download by clicking the button below. Sometimes writing these ideas out on physical paper helps you think more creatively (at least it does for me). It’s also a great way to include other members from your team and discuss notes collectively.