A well-researched and planned strategy is the single most important part of developing a website. Unfortunately, many companies undervalue this crucial step. Or worse, skip it completely.
This is unfortunate. Not having a strategy is like trying to put up the walls of a building before the foundation is set. Without a solid foundation, time and money are spent on tasks that have little chance to produce the desired results. Approaching a project this way promises false starts and several trips back to the drawing board.
Given that so much of your ability to communicate and attract your target audience falls on your website’s shoulders, it’s critically important you get it right. Ultimately, taking the time to research and develop a solid strategy from the onset can make the difference between the success and failure of a project.
There are many methods for developing a website strategy. Ours is adapted from the Growth-Driven Design methodology. Originally evangelized by Luke Summerfield in 2016, this process has rapidly become a standard among a growing number of top agencies.
Developing a website strategy can be broken down into 8 parts:
Part 1: Define your goals
Part 2: Understand your audience
Part 3: Uncover fundamental assumptions
Part 4: Research
Part 5: Develop a user journey map
Part 6: Brainstorm your wish list
Part 7: Develop the website sitemap
Part 8: Determine action items, budget & timeframe
This is where you start. Before thinking about colors, words, pages, or videos, you need to thoroughly build out your strategy. The output of your efforts during this strategy development will be the assurance that you can reach your goals once your site is launched.