Website strategy! Oh my God, those two words fill me with dread. They just sound like jargon: expensive and boring.
Rooms full of besuited old men, arguing for hours over whiteboard charts and red pens so they can charge you more. But ignoring website strategy costs businesses thousands in pointless redesigns and rebrands that do nothing to grow their business!
Deciding on your website strategy, before you design your website, is the key to creating a successful site
My name is Katherine Reynolds and I help entrepreneurs create and manage profitable websites. So they can grow their business without the overwhelm or impenetrable jargon.
In this blog, I’ll show you exactly what a website strategy is and could be for your business. I’ll give you four simple steps that will ensure that your website actually works for your business… before you go spending money on it. Be sure to read to the end where I’ll be sharing the top mistake that’s costing website owners thousands! It’s a doozy doo!
4 steps to planning your successful website
I’m a secret knitter! I love to sit down in front of Netflix with a sneaky glass of wine and a big bag of wool (and fudge)! However, I don’t sit down with no idea of what I’m making or only a vague idea of what the finished garment will look like. Yep, that would be silly wouldn’t it!
In the same way, you need to know exactly what you need your website to achieve before you start knitting it…I mean designing it obviously. Here are 4 simple steps to get you started:
1. Write down your business goals
If you start by writing down your business goals, then you’ll know where you want to take your website. For example, where do you want to take your business within the next six months? Or the next year, or even five years! Using my website as an example, I want to double sales of my Big Website Profit Machine course in March 2022 and again for the launch in October. That’s my big goal for my business over just the next year. It’s so exciting!
What’s your big goal for 2022? Pop it into the comments below, I love to hear about all your big business plans.
So whether you’re just getting started, or you’ve already begun to see some juicy results, this is the perfect time to be talking about it. Wherever you want your business to go, your website is going to help you to do this.
If it’s not then it’s just not worth having a website!
2. Decide your website goals
You might want to: increase your audience, get more eyes on your prize, build your list, convert to more sales, increase customer spend or increase brand awareness. You may want to do all of the things! That’s fine because your website won’t be a one-trick pony. Just write them all down, then sort them out in the order of importance to your business.
Right now for my website redesign, which I’m doing as we speak, I’ll be prioritizing:
- Expanding my reach
- List building
- Increasing returning traffic
- Gaining more loyal followers
- Converting them into buying customers
These goals are right for my business as it stands. I’m focusing on getting more business owners into my lovely little content ecosystem. There, I can nurture them until they’re ready to work with me by joining my big course or having one-to-one support.
Yours may well be very different. You might have lower ticket offers, mini-courses, physical products or in-person classes. Your goals will look very different to mine. So you can see how putting your website strategy before the design really informs you of what your website needs to do and what it is capable of.
3. Know your customer
Reminder: Your website is not just about you and your business. Your website is about taking your visitors on that lovely journey from A to B. Therefore, knowing who they are and what they’re looking for is essential for attracting them to your site.
I’m not a big fan of working at my ideal customer’s shoe size or marital status… unless of course, you sell shoes or marital advice!
I find it far more useful to focus on my customer’s comments, struggles, problems and worries. So I grab a good old notebook and pen and think about what they’re looking for:
- What do they want?
- What do they come to me to solve?
- What is getting them up at two in the morning desperately googling for answers?
Putting the focus of my message on the customer stops me from writing that bland and unengaging business content.
(you know, the brags about ‘how innovative my brand new widget is’ or ‘how the business is the leading widget company of the world’)
That’s just creating content to fill a website. It’s just creating pages for the sake of it and that’s not what a website should be doing. Your customer doesn’t care about that, they just care about finding a solution and getting a result. Knowing what my customer is looking for means I can talk directly to them. I can grab their attention and invite them on this journey further into my website. taking them from A: “I’m looking for something” to B: “Oh I need’ that”.
But hang on how will you know if your website strategy has worked? The secret of that is knowing what measurable results you’re looking for.
Plan your results
If we look back to my original business goals, I wanted to increase sales of my big website profit machine course. I plan to do this through my website by increasing my organic reach. This is a completely free way, through Google searches! So how will I know if it’s working? Simple – I’ll measure my website traffic from organic Google searches. That’s people finding me for the very first time by just typing in a question.
The Numbers: I’m aiming for an increase of 65% in web traffic over the next three months, that’s more eyes on me! I’m also going to be focusing on building my list. I’ll be aiming to increase my opt-in conversion rate, that’s people opting into any of my freebies, by 15 by April 2022. So that means my list will nearly double!
I know that playing with the figures gives some of us the heebie-jeebies but I promise you that focusing on just a few measurables like this will stop the overwhelm when you’re trying to get your website working for your business. You’ll be able to see where the holes are in your website, so you can sew them back up again! It puts you in control of your website and that’s exactly where most website owners come unstuck. This leads me too…
The biggest mistake most website owners make is…
Spending a ton of money on getting a big redesign of their website, without thinking what went wrong with the old one!
They aren’t in control of their website because they don’t understand why it isn’t working for them. It’s full of holes and they don’t even know where they are! So every couple of years they throw the whole thing out again and start again. Maybe their new site is a bit prettier, with more things that go ‘ping’. Maybe it pops more but it will have exactly the same holes in it as before.
It’s a big, big waste of money, time and effort!
However, now you know the steps you should be taking to understand your own website’s purpose, you won’t be throwing that money at the wall and hoping it looks nice enough not to embarrass you.
To help you get this done, I’ve created an easy website strategy cheat sheet. With it, you can commit those big plans to paper without having to spend anything at all. Just click the link and get planning your website before you start spending money on it!
Find me on Youtube here!