Web strategy – why you need it first

There’s a common trend amongst businesses that, as soon as they feel the need to build their first website, or even a replacement website for an old one, they scuttle on down to a web designers office and hand over their hard earned dough.

What’s wrong with this?

Well, the most common problem that emerges from this is that these businesses tend to blow thousands of dollars on websites that are visually stunning, but don’t convert into sales. Too many businesses then put this down to the “internet being a fickle thing” or “our industry is not set up to support web sales.”

The actual reason why these websites fail is because they have not been strategically designed.

Web designers are not web strategists or strategic business consultants, and while they are great with the flashy components of your site, they are not business strategists.

Issues such as usability, navigation, search engine performance, and most importantly, conversion to sales, are not a web designers forte. This is where a web strategist steps in.

A web strategist, such as Reload Media, takes you through all of these elements and more BEFORE you see a web designer, ensuring that by the time you walk into a web designers office, you know exactly what needs to be done and the entire process is both time and cost efficient.

So what exactly does a web strategy company like Reload Consulting do?

To begin with, they determine from you what “Aims” you have for your business in terms of online sales. From there, they work with your business to develop a “Strategic Web Plan” which can be taken directly to a web designer, ensuring you don’t waste your dough on a website that doesn’t earn a crust of sales. These web strategy companies use industry knowledge gained from years of experience to assist you with all elements of planning your website.

You might be thinking that this all seems like a lot of work, after all, it is just a website. But think back to how much time you spent developing your business plan, and how much time you spent searching for retail or office space, the sign out the front, and the marketing campaign.

Your website is essentially just like another retail space, only it operates in its own medium that requires new strategies and marketing ideas. And just like your physical store, if customers cannot find their way to or around the shop, get help when needed or be able to make the purchase decision, then the investment to open that new space is wasted.

Craig Somerville is a Director at Reload Media, having worked extensively on the digital and online strategies of leading companies within Australia and around the world. With a background in marketing and economics, Craig's unique experience offers great insight into how the world of search and online marketing is changing in today's rapid marketplace. He is also a Google AdWords Qualified Professional and regularly consults on all aspects of digital marketing including search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and social media.