You wouldn't dream of building a house without a plan first. Even before you meet with your builders, you have an idea of what your requirements are. The same goes for your website.
Below is what a well-developed website strategy should look like:
Step 1: Establish Your Goals
The first thing you need to do before starting a web design project is to clearly establish your goals for the website. What are you trying to achieve with the new website or redesign? For example is it to reduce bounce rate, build your email list or increase conversions? As George Harrison said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
Step 2: Define Your Audience
Your audience will play the biggest role in your website, so you need to know everything about them. The basic demographics of age, gender and profession are a good start, but don’t stop there. What are their interests? How technically savvy are they? What are their needs for the website?
Step 3: Set Your Brand
It's important for your website to be cohesive with the rest of your brand image, so that you don't convey mixed messages to your audience. This means communicating with the designer what colour schemes and tone of voice are appropriate so that your website is on brand.
Step 4: Design For Your Users
You've already spent time defining your audience. These findings now needs to be implemented in the design. Make sure your design is user-centered. By creating user personas you can drive design decisions by taking common user needs and bringing them to the forefront of planning before design has actually started.
Step 5: Track Your Results
Once you’ve designed and deployed your website, it’s time to measure your success. As in the end, you want a website that not only looks great but also accomplishes your goals. This is where google analytics comes in. Make sure the goals you identified in Step 1 are tracked here.
The short and long-term success of your website is dependent on how you execute your website strategy, who contributes to it, what specifically comes out of it and most importantly — when it happens.