Developing Your Web Strategy
A web design agency, in the current market, should offer more than just design. Design is only a single element – the color, fonts, shape of the content areas, the overall look and feel – and it’s just the tip of the iceberg on a successful site. Production is what takes these static designs and makes it come alive, creating navigation buttons that work, adding the links, putting in the video player, making the gallery functional for the user, and more. Programming is where you hear terms like server-side scripting, PHP, HTML slicing, and others that might be unfamiliar to an untrained ear. Programming also makes your forms function: Information entered by users gets stored properly in your database; confirmation and thank-you emails can be triggered and automatically sent to customers; employee and customer log-ins work correctly and take users to the right place – you know, the fun stuff. But before all this can happen, a well-planned strategy must be put in place.
Much discovery goes into planning an SMB website. What does your company do? What is your top priority for the website – and the second, and third? Most importantly, who are you trying to reach? Who is your audience? What are they looking for and how do you get that to them, in the quickest and easiest way? Web users want information and they want it now. They do not want long, sprawling diatribes about the founder or a phone number that they have to comb through the site to find – especially a phone number that appears as a graphic and therefore can’t be clicked through on a smartphone. An agency’s information architect or web strategist (sometimes more bloated terms such as “user experience strategist” are used) takes this into account and tries to create a blueprint or wireframe in web development.
A good strategy phase for your website should include some or all of the following:
Part 3 of this series will focus on the science of web design.
Write for us
Experienced writers, marketing professionals, SMB owners: Want to share a story from the trenches?Learn More