Tamir Berkman works at FRANk media

I usually don’t start with thinking about building a website. I will
first recommend taking a look at your existing online profile, what
your competitors are doing, the industry and, of course, your target
audience. The five reasons below were used to educate a client on why
they didn’t need to re-do their website without following a digital
strategy exercise. A digital strategy will help you understand the
threats and opportunities for your brand and to think about creating a
web experience instead of a website.

So, why should I think about online strategy?

  1. Because … your website is a marketing tool. Your website
    has a purpose – to retain people’s attention and sell them on
    something. But there is no point building a website without thinking
    how people will hear about it. The truth is that a website is like a
    store. You still need to advertise the fact that you have one. So the
    best way to start building a website is planning. Not only where the
    buttons go or which information will be displayed. We want to find out
    how we can differentiate ourselves from our competitors, give our
    customers what they need and keep them coming back. Think about it this
    way: a website without a strategy is like a building without an

  2. Because … a website is not enough anymore. OK, so you
    have a website. In most cases googling yourself will show you that
    website followed by competitors or other links that are not yours! Why
    not try and have more touch points on the first page of google? Giving
    people more opportunities to check you out and make sure you’re
    catering for first time visitors as well as people who already know
    you. There are many things you can do online and your strategy should
    have a mix of them.

  3. Because … your audience is not the same. Today’s
    audience is savvy, time poor and used to advertising. Oh yeah, and for
    most of them the internet is the number one choice of media. But the
    internet is huge and if attention is the new currency we need to make
    sure people will pay attention to our offering. Another flash website
    won’t cut it. How about regularly updated content or some sort of
    community or a game? These are things we need to think about before the
    website is built.

  4. Because … time and money are things you don’t want to
    rush with. There is no point building a website for $30,000 only to
    find out it’s not achieving your goals. The first thing you need to do
    is to come up with a plan that will save you money and get you to where
    you want to be. Maybe the best thing to do is to invest in a different
    online presence. Have an internal blog or offer some real benefits for
    your users.

  5. Because … a website isn’t done when it’s done. Building
    a website is only the beginning. How will you market it? Who will talk
    about it? Who will contribute to it? How will people engage with it?
    How easy it is to change? Will it be out of date in two months? There
    is no point building a website until you can answer these questions.

I really hope this client will ask the right questions before saying
yes to their new website. If they’ll decide to do it, I bet you nothing
will change. Oh, except the layout.