Some clients are taken aback when I ask them if they really need a website. Most always, the answer is yes. When I ask why they need a website, the answers are typically the same. I need to increase brand awareness. Or, I need to sell products online. Or, I need a way to communicate with customers. Sometimes, the response is I need a way for online users to find our business. But when I ask how their website supports their business strategy, silence reigns supreme. Learn
Create Business Goals
When thinking about your business website, give some thought to your business goals. Do you want to increase sales? Grow your email list? Build your brand? Your website must align with your business goals. If it doesn’t, you will be disappointed with the performance of your website. Yes, it may look good, be mobile friendly, be cross browser compatible but if it doesn’t bring in results, why bother?
Use a Business Plan
When asked about a business plan, most business owners either pull out an out-of-date document or simply don’t have one. A business plan is important because it outlines a set of results the company wants to achieve. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A business plan should have measurable results (i.e. increase sales by $1M). It permits a business to allocate resources to achieve results. But, in the business plans I review, the business website is not included in the plan.
Include your website
Think of your website as a catalyst to helping you achieve the business goals outlined in your business plan. Returning to the previous business goals, a website is an excellent platform to sell products and services. It collects email addresses from visitors which you turn into customers.It helps build your brand by displaying information about your business.
Don’t forget marketing
Marketing is the most often neglected part of a business strategy as it concerns web site design. Business owners do not include their website when creating a marketing plan. When asked how they plan to drive traffic to their website, the answer typically is there is no plan. They think that having a website is enough to increase sales, build a brand, or build an email list. Having a marketing plan that complements a website helps fulfill business goals.
We find that when business owners have measurable business goals in their business plan and they align their marketing plan with their website, they see a vast improvement in reaching their goals. Business owners that do not take a strategic approach when designing their website become disappointed in the performance of their website. Business strategy drives business website design and gives you a competitive edge over businesses that do not use business strategy.
Want to include business strategy in your website design?