When it comes to effective digital marketing your website is your most important resource. It’s your digital storefront, customer service representative, and sales engine all rolled into one. To harness its full potential, you must start with the right strategy.
Far too often, the allure of a visually appealing website overshadows the critical element of strategy. In this digital age, the success of your website hinges on far more than aesthetics. It’s about aligning your website strategy with your customer, business, and marketing strategies to achieve sustainable growth.
1. Start with the Right Digital Marketing Strategy
Getting the right digital marketing strategy in place will then mean you’re able to build the right website, which means it produces the right customer journey for your target audience, which means it gives you the right outcomes long term, which is what we’re after. It’s so important to have the right strategy in place.
2. Customer Strategy
Define Your Target Audience
The first step in building a great website strategy involves getting crystal clear on who you are selling what to. To tap into your target market, you need to get to know them…intimately.
It’s all about defining your ‘who’, that is your target audience (and it’s not female 18-65 by the way). It needs to be way more specific than that and should consist of at least 3-4 different segments of ideal customers that have all of your different needs and wants. These segments obviously won’t account for all of your customers, but you want to define them as best you can.
Define Your Customer Personas
Collating the data on your customers is really important as it will help you define your customer persona. Your customer personas are fictitious profiles of your ideal customer, segmented into target audiences that we want the marketing strategy to focus on.
It brings together all of the information you’ve captured about who they are, where they are, what they like and dislike, and how they are likely to find out about your product or service.
Customer personas help you and other people in your organisation understand them better and are a great reference tool to ensure that any marketing you’re undertaking is targeted specifically to each of your appropriate audiences.
Define Your Value Proposition
One of the hardest parts of a digital marketing strategy is defining your value proposition; what value you as an organisation are providing your target audiences? Another way to think of this is: what are you being hired to do for them?
A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered.
3. Business Strategy
You can’t get the right strategy without having the right business strategy in place, they’re all vitally aligned with each other. This means you need to get the business strategy right, which then drives the customer strategy, which will then drive your marketing strategy, which will then drive your website strategy. Obviously, these are core things to get right.
4. Website Objectives
So, what are the objectives for the website?
- Drive Revenue Growth – There’s the obvious, you want leads and revenue to come from it. If it’s an eCommerce site, it’s revenue. If you’re a lead generation type business, you want some leads coming through, but what are the other objectives?
- Cut Costs – For many businesses, the website offers the ability to cut costs in a business. It allows for things like online ordering, automated customer service, and answering questions online so you can reduce customer service staff. Today’s technology means you can cut a lot of costs out of the business by having the right digital marketing strategy in place.
- Automate – What’s the automation process that you can incorporate to really drive efficiencies in the business?
- Improve Customer Experiences – What are the improved customer experiences that you want to include?
- Other Stakeholders – What are the other stakeholders you need to take into account? Recruitment might be one, investors might be another and suppliers another. What are all those objectives?
Based on our objectives above, we need to scope out the detailed functionality that we need to build into the website to ensure these objectives are met. So, what is the search function or the eCommerce function, the SEO functions, the ordering functions, the resource functions, or the blog functions?
Make sure you’re crystal clear on what those functional aspects of the website are. How important is it for you to be able to update it internally, versus using a web developer? And obviously the more you can do internally the cheaper it’s going to be cost-wise over time.
6. Your Target Audience vs SEO
One of the big challenges we see with web builds these days is people try and build it for Google, not for their target audience. Everything you do, you do for your target audience when building a website.
You have to make sure you’re providing a great user journey starting from the homepage. You need to have areas dedicated to each target audience throughout the site. You need references made to them and who they are. We want social proof that speaks directly to each target audience.
All those things are really important. You don’t ever build it for Google and SEO. You want to overlay a few technical things as you go, but certainly, the website build is all about your target audience and how you’re going to impress their socks off.
Amazing Results come from a great Website Strategy
A successfulwebsite strategy encompasses more than aesthetics and SEO. It’s about aligning your target audience, business offerings and objectives, and marketing strategies to build a website that drives results. In this competitive digital landscape, getting your website strategy right from the start is essential for long-term success. Start with the right strategy, and your website will produce outstanding outcomes for your business, making it a powerful tool for growth.