Tuesday, 11 May 2010

3 Strategic thoughts to create an effective website

What is the first step when deciding to create a website for a business? "To get a web designer" is the answer I have gotten from 99% of persons I asked during the past month. Right, but what to say when the digital artist asks for a brief in order to figure out where to begin from? "OK something that looks nice and provides all the information about my business", but about how the site will contribute to the business, nothing. How to measure its success (or lack of)? Naaahh... And for sure no one thinks about which would the most suitable platform to build it, ok, ok maybe that's already too technical. What about a way to know if the website is a truly effective marketing tool for your business? Or maybe: Is your future website tridimensional?

To guide a strategic thinking I thought on 3 main dimensions one has to consider before creating a business website, if one of these fails the whole project may do too:

  1. Business - How the website will contribute to business' success? Will it support other marketing actions (both off or online)? Which are your Key Performance Indicators, a.k.a. based on what metrics are you going to say you succeeded? Is it just an online catalog of your offer? Or do you want people to interact with you? (you better)
  2. Technical - Which is the platform your site will be built on? Don't be afraid of technical geekery, just tell your web designer your objectives (you have them, right?) and how people you want to use your site, sure she will come up with the appropriate solution.
  3. Visual - Finally now you can think about site's look & feel, including your corporate visual elements. Just remember not everything that looks good on printed catalogs will be the same online, think you will be creating content to be seen over a screen, sometimes smaller than a normal A4 sheet.

effective website design

Now the thing doesn't look as simple as you thought? It is indeed. If you just think about what you really need (not what you want) and which business objectives are you pursuing. Think slow and think it before you even contact any supplier.

More insights? From this presentation maybe you can get a broader vision on how to plan your Digital Marketing Strategy

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