Your website is your virtual storefront.
This is where potential customers learn about your products, services, and brand. And the time and effort you spend building it can quickly go to waste if you don't craft a strong website strategy first.
Keeping an audience engaged and turning them into loyal customers takes thorough forethought. To lay the groundwork for online success, you need to consider efforts like researching consumer trends, setting deliberate goals, and producing optimal content. Luckily, a strong strategic approach to website planning can set you up to win.
Learn how to develop a website that resonates with your visitors and helps you achieve the best possible results.
What's a website strategy?
A website strategy is a carefully thought-out plan that defines your goals and objectives and establishes tactics to achieve them. It’s essentially a roadmap that guides your site’s development and maintenance.
Before diving into a website launch checklist, this creation and maintenance strategy should consider essential questions like:
What are my site’s primary goals?
Who's my target audience?
What type of content resonates with this audience?
What's the best website type for my purposes?
How will I differentiate my site from competitors?
How will I track website success?
Without a comprehensive strategy, you're making blind guesses about what will work best with your visitors and what you need to accomplish your objectives. But a well-planned and supported strategy will inform every choice you make to optimize your site.
How a website strategy can benefit your business
Your website isn't just a virtual space on the internet — it's a dynamic tool necessary for elevating your business. Strategy development is critical to help your website:
Align with your business goals — a well-defined website strategy ensures your site is in sync with broader business objectives. If your goal is to generate leads, your plan will outline how visitors will move from browsing your site to filling out a contact form or subscribing to your newsletter.
Enhance user experience — your site needs to make it easy for visitors to find what they want. By considering user interface design, navigation, and content organization, a thoughtfully designed strategy ensures your site is user-friendly. When your page is a breeze to navigate, users stick around and explore more.
Gain search engine visibility — a strategic website incorporates search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to climb the Google ladder. SEO helps your site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing organic traffic and your brand’s visibility.
Drive conversions — through compelling calls-to-action (CTAs), persuasive content, and intuitive user paths, your website becomes a conversion machine. With a solid strategy, you can encourage visitors to click, converting them into customers or leads.
Stay ahead of trends — web technologies and platforms evolve rapidly, impacting user expectations for website design and functionality. For example, with mobile-first design trending high, your strategy may prioritize revising your site to optimize the mobile user experience. And you might use tools like landing page prompts to keep your site fresh and stay ahead of competitors.
How to build a strategy for your website in 9 steps
This comprehensive nine-step approach will help you manage different website components in your strategy doc.
1. Set your goals
Your website's development begins with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals (SMART). Examples of SMART goals include:
Increase online sales by 20% in the next year
Grow email subscriber list by 1,000 in the next six months
Boost website traffic by 30% within the next quarter
2. Find your story
A brand story engages an audience on a deeper level. A well-crafted narrative humanizes a business, transforming it from a faceless entity into something relatable and approachable.
To connect with your audience, craft a compelling narrative communicating your company’s values, mission, and unique selling proposition (USP). This helps customers feel invested in your brand, encouraging them to remain loyal and advocate for the company and its offerings.
3. Get to know your audience
You can only develop loyal customers if you know your ideal audience. Conduct audience research to understand your target demographic, digging deep to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. This information will help shape content that speaks directly to the audience's concerns and desires.
4. Choose content types
Content is the heart and soul of a website. No matter how aesthetically pleasing or seamless it is to navigate, your site revolves around what it communicates and how it delivers this message.
Determine the content types you'll provide to engage and inform your audience, such as:
Blog posts sharing valuable insights and industry trends
Product descriptions highlighting the goods and services you offer
Videos explaining concepts and showcasing products
Infographics presenting complex data and ideas in a visually appealing format
Podcasts sharing industry expertise
eBooks and whitepapers offering more in-depth resources
5. Plan and build your website
Now is when the insights gleaned from previous steps come together. Plot out a user-friendly website structure and layout considering the user journey, information architecture, and user interface (UI) design. Consider using resources like widgets and tools to elevate your layout, ensuring your page is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
6. Embrace the power of keywords
Keyword research is fundamental to your website's search engine visibility. Identify terms and phrases related to your industry, using tools like Google Keyword Planner to gain insights into what your audience is looking for. Then, sprinkle these keywords into your content.
7. Produce your content
Now, it's time to create valuable content tailored to your audience. Whether you're writing blog posts, producing videos, or crafting product descriptions, ensure your content is:
Relevant — it addresses your target audience’s needs and interests.
Valuable — it provides information, solutions, or entertainment.
Engaging — it captures and maintains your audience's attention.
Consistent — it follows a regular publishing schedule to keep your website fresh.
8. Differentiate your site to stand out
Make sure your brand’s unique value shines on your site. You could highlight your innovative products, exceptional customer service, and one-of-a-kind approach to solving a common problem.
Let's say you're building a software developer portfolio to showcase your skills and achievements. The website should showcase the best projects and qualifications to stand out from competitors.
9. Measure progress to track your goals
Track your website's performance to ensure your strategy is effective. Web analytics tools allow you to monitor key metrics like website traffic, conversion, and bounce rates. Regularly review these metrics to measure progress toward your goals. Identify what is and isn’t working, then adapt and optimize as needed.
Develop a winning website strategy with Notion
Your website should be more than just a pretty face on the internet — you want visitors to engage with your content and remember you. And Notion's tools and robust resource library can help you achieve just that.