When it comes to creating an effective website, it’s more than just imagery and content. As your organization invests in making a positive website experience — whether it’s a new website or a website redesign — defining specific goals for your website will pay off. Below are five key elements you need to take your organization’s website to the next level.
Every successful business relationship is based on a set of shared values and beliefs. Having defined purpose and values positions your organization on a quantifiable mission, allowing your team to incorporate key elements and brand consistency in your marketing messaging. As you craft your content based on your organization’s mission and values, be sure to clearly define your target personas and how they are going to engage with your website. When you tie in values and purpose to your personas and permeate this info across the website, the more delightful your website experience will be.
There are many mindset changes for marketing when it comes to narrowing your persona vs. sending out messaging to the masses. For your messaging and communications standard, be sure consistent terms language throughout your website and all touch points. For example, do you call customer service professional agents or reps? Pick one term, and apply it to all content on your website — and beyond. Apply your organization’s vocabulary throughout your culture, from answering the phone, to forwarding calls to how visitors are greeted when they enter your building.
Many organizations will promote their solutions, services, or even commodities, but truly effective ones transform their audiences. To set your organization apart, review your sales conversion funnels and how your services are being promoted and align that content with your purpose and values. In addition to content, posting transformational images, including those of triumph, success and growth, will boost your conversion rates and better connect the story you want to convey with your audience to your organization’s quantitative goals.
Now that you have better defined your vocabulary, it’s time to promote your business based on those terms. At Webolutions, we conduct Google keyword and business research based on your organization’s vocabulary. It’s one task to score for a term unrelated to your organization that will rank high on Google, but it’s another to score for terms that tie directly to your target persona. The digital data that will be uncovered based on research should be incorporated into your website and marketing strategy and brand strategy. And the more precise you position yourself in your digital marketing strategy, the better foundation you will have when it comes to website development.
If you have a digital marketing plan already in place and are working or considering working with a digital marketing agency, the marketing firm should review it. All marketing goals must be tied to what the business needs to achieve. A great way to review business goals is to create a dashboard or specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to your organization and schedule time to review them month-over-month, year of year. Many organizations drown in numbers and big data. However, if your organization is tracking the right data, the better you can align your organization to achieve its goals.
As you review these metrics, there may be some adjustments along the way. Perhaps one campaign didn’t perform as well expected. This is an opportunity to document your marketing strategy adjustments on your marketing plan. Some examples of these adjustments include adjusting your digital marketing data and multi-variant testing. In short, your digital marketing strategy and budget should account for testing and website design adjustments.
In this stage, it’s time to craft the blueprint and structure for your website. We haven’t started building the website yet – but we’ll get there. When crafting your engagement structure, be sure to think of each page on your website as a file, and it’s vital to capture how this information is being information architecture (IA). In your marketing plan, identify how your pages stack on your website, including sub-menus, directories, etc. If executive correctly, your IA will align with your SEO strategy. If you talk to a street-smart digital marketing firm, they will ensure your SEO strategy that ties into your organization’s vocabulary vs. terms that only score on popular search engine terms.
After reviewing these components, take a look at how your users would benefit from the user experience and content strategy. Your content strategy is also tied into your brand strategy, which is based on how your personas and audience will interact with your website. These brand elements are key to include not just on your website but in your content calendar and strategy planning.
If you’ve done the 4 previous effective steps right, you are now at a point to start building the website. So, let’s make a website!
You have your brand platform, keyword research and IA outline, and your digital marketing agency knows the decisions on how your audience will interact with your website and the messaging you want to convey. As your building pages, be sure to include a direct and indirect call to action. Why an indirect call to action? Perhaps your audience isn’t ready to dive deeper yet and wants to learn more. Adding indirect calls to action such as a white paper download, request a demo or case study, in exchange for an email address will keep them engaged. This gives your organization an opportunity to nurture your leads and better map their journey from your website to your Customer Relationship Management tool.
Another key system to consider when implementing website systems is identifying which website projects are a must have vs. later. During planning, there may be projects that are nice to have, e.g. motion picture or 3D rendering, but they may not fit the budget. Also keep in mind that your custom website design and development does have an expiration date – typically 3 to 5 years. Be sure your organization maps out which features you want to roll out within that time-frame and when to consider a revamped website in the years to come.
We covered a lot, but these were just a few steps in creating an effective website. Want to learn more? Understand what it truly takes to create an effective website by watching or re-watching our January 2020 webinar on What to Expect When Creating an Effective Website.
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