When you’re planning a new website or overhauling your existing site, getting the strategy in place up front is crucial. Why? For several business-critical reasons, including:
• Avoid wasting money in the UX, design and development phase
• Provide something that your customers and prospects actually want
• Deliver a product that is good for your business and delivers a return on investment.
This generally starts with gathering business needs through workshops, stakeholder interviews, competitor research and the development of strategic objectives for the project.
It is equally important to understand the user needs from the outset. In the early stages, this includes market research such as online surveys, focus groups, search term analysis and competitor analysis.
Persona development is especially important to help you deliver the right digital experience. Personas in the context of website strategy are essentially visitor intentions. Example personas might include an avid forum participant, or a thorough product researcher. By identifying the intentions of visitors to your website – personas – you can better deliver the right user experience.
Setting expectations against the available budget should definitely happen at the beginning. All too often sites are scoped with bells and whistles that far exceed the available budget, putting the project on the back foot from the outset. Aligning the strategy, stakeholder expectations, budget and projected ROI is challenging but essential.
This is just a fraction of the work that should precede any major website development. There are often major decisions to be made about platforms, hosting, migration and content management. Again these decisions should be made as early as possible to avoid hitting roadblocks further on.
Web Planning Limited has extensive experience at the centre of major website projects, from planning to launch and beyond. Contact us to discuss your needs.