Web Strategy… Adding Intelligence to Web Design

iaflowchartWhere I work, we are embarking on a web realignment (redesign) project for our main web presence.  From the very beginning we’ve had the mindset that this approach had to be strategic in nature.  I remember back in the day when designing websites it was enough to be cool and eye-catching and was very creative in nature.  While the creative aspect is still very much needed, it is not enough.  Intelligence is our web efforts is needed, hence the need for a web strategy.

I came across an article on eMarketing Matador where they are brainstorming an Internet Strategy Checklist.  After reading some other articles that were off-shoots of this one, some very interesting points came through:

80% of websites have adequate traffic to achieve their goals, they just don’t handle it well

This is so true for us.  We have a large amount of traffic to our website, but that translates into low conversion rates online.  One of the focuses of our project will be to improve the conversion rates.

Without a website that can handle traffic, there is no sense of giving it any

Online marketing and search engine optimization techniques are extremely important, especially in this global economy.  But spending money and time on these tactics before the site is ready to respond to the increase visitation is a waste.  We are looking at this piece very carefully and have it part of the project, but it will be done in conjunction with our redesign and not applied to the current site.

9 /10 People Search Out Of Frustration, Not Interest

This statistic is usually the case for websites that have their information architecture, labeling and content designed how the institution wants it, not how the target audience expects it.  eMarketing Matador goes on and says that keywords used in a website search engine are more likely content items that can’t be found, not popular topics.  This point I found interested, and will keep this in mind developing our new IA.

This really only scratches the surface and only speaks to some specific points of a strategy.  Developing a web strategy is not a difficult task  You need to have a clear understanding of your goals, target audience and how they want to use your site and find it, etc.

When realigning our website, we will be putting heavy emphasis on what our external audiences are looking for and how they are looking for it and what they need to accomplish on our site.  This will be the foundation of the new website.

How have you developed your institution’s web strategy?  Was it difficult to get senior leadership buy-in?  Please share your thoughts about web strategy in the higher education environment.

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  • http://www.eMarketingMatador.com Keith

    Hello Mike,
    I’m flattered to be referenced in such a good post (I’m the author of the eMaketingMatador.com Blog). One thing I feel I have to stress in any website initiative is having a good Continuous Improvement process. A great redesign will get you far, but it’s sort of like the travelling across Canada where it will get you across the Rockies and you can coast a while, but somewhere around Thunderbay you are going to be challenged and you still have 1/2 the country left. Only after lots of optimization will you be able to party in Halifax to some good fiddle music.

    Keith

  • http://www.icusa.net/ Naples web design

    “80% of websites have adequate traffic to achieve their goals, they just don’t handle it well” This is really true and most of the website owners knows this stuff. I have also experience that and my solution to that with my own experience is that I must really communicate with the people who have that focus with my site because without any communication to each and every one who visits your site, the conversion rate will be really that slow even the traffic is high. You can achieve that with the use of social media marketing because you can update easily all of those people who will love your site. Just add them as your friend or into your fan page then market.

  • http://www.sellingonlinemadesimple.com.au perth web design

    A lot of these can happen in or out of web designing because after implementing your website, marketing and SEO can greatly increase your exposure and can help increase your page rank.

  • http://www.philwebservices.com/ domain registration

    Before anything else, a designer should develop a web strategy so that he will not loose sight of the goals and the mission he has to accomplish. I learned a lot here. Great stuff. Thank you for posting this.

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    Thanks for our comments. I have a post coming soon that talks about the process that I’ve adopted in developing website for our college internal clients.

  • http://www.creativenature.com.au Perth Web design

    Here give a nice post.Internet marketing and search engine optimization is very important, especially in this global economy. However, these tactics before spending time and money, the site is prepared to deal with increased visitation is a waste.

  • Dipak ist

    Is it not possible that a designer should develop a web strategy so that he will not loose sight of the goals and the mission he has to accomplish?

    For more:”http://www.isolutionstechnology.com.au/”

  • Dipak ist

    How have you developed your institution’s web strategy?

    For more:http://www.isolutionstechnolog