Website Planning | UX Journey
Why website building requires a strategy
The first ever website was published in 1991 and today there are over 1 billion websites on the world wide web! There are more than 56 000 google searches every second of the day and many websites remain unseen. Corporate employees, passionate bloggers or business owners who build or maintain a website usually have one objective – to generate revenue through their website and that requires a strategy and a plan! The aim is to enhance the consumers purchasing process in all stages of the customer journey and to provide a great user experience on top of that!
There are 7 key areas that should be properly thought through prior to building a website:
Your website is a digital directory
This is obviously no news, your website helps to identify your business by name and location. It offers contact details and of course a description of products and services must be available to the consumer. This is the easy part!
Your website is a digital marketing tool
Whether you are sharing news articles, product information or the latest specials, always customize the information to your target audience by making sure it is relevant. Your website could also be an ideal tool to conduct some market research via customer surveys or A/B testing. Remember to allow users to share your content on social media and provide an easy way for the consumer to contact you!
Your website is a digital sales tool
What is the first place you visit when you are looking to buy something? 8 out of 10 people browse the internet before visiting the store. If you have something to sell, merchandise your products and don’t forget to publish a price wherever possible. Offer supporting tools, such as easy contact initiation from anywhere on the site, comparison functionality, shopping carts, my favourite list, finance calculators or a finance application functionality – if it helps the customer in the buying process, it will help will add value to your business too!
Your website is a digital data source
Your website can become an incredibly powerful source of data so you should spend some thought on this topic in advance. Your website not only allows you to interact and engage with the largest prospect audience possible but also with your current and past customers. Every contact provides you with consumer information – make sure you collect the right information and integrate it in your CRM programme! This is the only way to properly segment your prospects, plan contact management and marketing automated activities in a relevant and meaningful way for the customer!
Related post: 4 Must-Haves to make your CRM efforts worth your while
Your website is the glue between different retail channels
Consumers use omni-channels to buy what they want – a website can be the common ground or the glue that connects these channels! A telesales agent or sales person on the floor should be able to use the website as a tool to explain products and services to the consumer. A customer might prefer to shop digitally or seek human interaction before concluding a purchase, either via a telesales consultant or by contacting the closest mortar and brick retail store.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is crucial from the very start! Site architecture, content and html code are just a few search engine success factors. My favourite example are keywords, as they are often overlooked when generating the content for a new website, which can result in a lot of editing work post go live of your site – so remember to research keywords relating to your business as early as possible to incorporate them in a sensible way.
User Journey and Experience
Its not enough to just provide access to a lot of information along with some funky online tools – it’s the HOW that matters. Does the website allow for easy user navigation, is it obvious to the consumer how to get from step A to B and are there clear calls to action where it makes logical sense to the consumer? Is your site responsive and how does the experience differ on various devices? It is also important to do regular check-ups or so called UX audits of your website, as any and all changes or added functionalities over the course of time will impact on the user’s experience.
In a nutshell, if a website is intended to generate revenue and deliver a positive return on investment it requires a strategy and a plan – just like any other division or department within a business. A website is so much more than just a digital business card – it’s the digital extension of your business!