Your website isn’t just a pretty face—it has very important work to do for you.
Like any asset, a skillfully designed site will preform its tasks like a seasoned professional. In this write up, we're going to walk you through essential considerations for your website development strategy.
Strategy is our favourite part of the dev process. Thoughtful planning whittles down variables and options into a clear and effective path. Less overwhelm. More efficacy. (Read: yassss)
If you are starting a new build right now, don’t get hung up on building the ‘perfect strategy’, because it’s not possible right out of the gate. You are working towards an MVP strategy, where simple+good+fast is better than complicated+tedious+slow.
Think of your MVP strategy like: a step in the right direction. Once launched, you get to play with elements, run tests and gather data to become more tactical and precise.
Ready to do this? Groovy, let's get at it. We can start by engineering solutions backwards from outcomes.
What are your website objectives? For starters, you will need your site to:
1. Attract the right type of person.
“Everyone” is not your market. Build out a very clear idea of who you want to work with, and think about what will resonate with that person? Tone of voice, colours, images, etc. The more detail the better. (If it helps, you can create a Pinterest board with images and characteristics of your ideal customer. Give them a name, hobbies, a career, a family and even a pet).
Do your research. Review your competition. Talk to potential customers. Talk to current customers. (Don't just rely on what your friends and partner tell you. everyone has an opinion. What you need are facts, not opinions. What are the attributes of the customer you are trying to attract?)
2. Create trust and establish credibility with your 'person'.
What does this ideal human need to see from you, in order to trust you, like you, and believe in you? Examples of your work? Your shiny happy face? A free trial?
What obstacles will be in the way of your ideal client and your product/service? Are you new to the industry? Does your industry get a bad rep? Is the price tag really high? Barriers need to be addressed.
3. Identify a culture fit and build a relationship.
Fit is SO critical to relationship success. Your copywriting, photography, pricing and styling is an excellent way to build a bond with your perfect match, and weed out the types of folks who aren’t your jam. You've made a list of the attributes you want, now make one for the ones you don’t want. You can engineer your site to attract and deter.
4. Offer genuine value.
When your site visitor shows up, make sure that they get something valuable from their interaction with your site. They should leave knowing more and feeling better than when they arrived.
5. Provide the right information, readily and intuitively.
Arguably one of the most important factors. In fact, let's really drive this home: this is arguably one of the—single—most important factors. UX design ensures that all this lovely strategy: actually converts.
How will your visitor be digesting your content and navigating around your site? You need to consider the flow of information before you wire frame the site. What information will they need first, second and third. The order of this process is based on how they will emotionally, psychologically and intellectually travel through your site. How will this experience vary based on user types? If they can’t find the button to your free trial then it doesn’t matter how valuable that trial is.
A good site should feel intuitive to navigate.
6. Encourage them to take action
The crescendo of your entire website experience should be the CTA (“Call To Action”). Dun dun duuuun. What do you want your visitor to do when they land on your site? Fill out a form, sign up for a trial, give you a call, buy your product, follow your social channels?
Your Planning Checklist.
Just like any craft, we've developed methods from 10+ years of experience that are infused into every project. When we build a new site (whether it's in Wix, Wordpress, Squarespace, etc.) it's built with brand strategy.
As you go through the strategy development process for your new build, make sure to reference our wee checklist to make sure you’ve considered all of the critical pieces before you start wire-framing and building, including:
SEO (search engine optimization), this is how you rank on Google Search Results, i.e. the better the SEO the more people will find your site
A website that has a uniform brand identity across every page, button, image, colour, text, etc.
UX design (user experience): hierarchy of information, CTA - call to action, interactive elements, the flow from landing on the website to purchase
Load times (if the site won’t load, people will leave. Leaving is bad for sales and SEO)
Cross device functionality (modifications for mobile devices vs. desktop)
Custom built graphics / infographics
Copy writing that is well written, informs users, and doesn't use cheesy buzz words
Quality/size of images, videos, GIFs
Pricing comparisons / tables
Integration of 3rd party plugins
Integration of a CRM (Customer relationship management) in the website backend
Cross browser testing
Integration of social platforms
Password protected pages