Your website is often the first touchpoint for your prospective members or donors. When designed right, it’s a high impact tool that looks great and impacts revenue growth. When built strategically, your website can evolve as your needs evolve, making it a flexible tool for achieving outcomes.
Without strategic planning, your website will misfire in creating the right first impression for your audience, and they will likely not take the next steps in their customer journey with you. Yet often, website development tends to focus most on functionality and aesthetics. But building a high-performance website doesn’t end at designing the structure or the look. Website strategy has to encompass much more in order to truly impact goals. It has to deliver beyond functionality and aesthetics.
Specifically, websites must have a foundation of four core elements to become a high impact tool that impacts revenue growth:
- Strategic Planning
- Compelling Content
- Performance-driven Technology
- Traffic-generating Marketing Channels
Strategy is how you create your roadmap to results; it connects the dots between where you are and where you want to be. Your strategy establishes the foundations against which your organization can create, monitor and measure success, and ensures that everyone is working for the same outcome. It helps you define where, who, and what to go after. An effective strategy in alignment with your business objectives must be in place before any set of tactics or tools even make sense. Without a strategy, you’re essentially crossing your fingers and hoping your efforts work.
A strategic planning process helps answer:
- Who You Are
- What You’re Up Against + How To Win
- Who You’re Talking To
- How You Should Talk To Them
- What Are You Really Trying To Say
- How to Reach Them Where They Are
Compelling content is content that moves your site visitor to think, feel, believe, and ultimately align so strongly with your brand that they are compelled to take action. To achieve that outcome, you cannot simply list out your products or services and assume that makes you interesting. Compelling content is a beautiful confluence of creativity, design, writing, and technology all built on a solid understanding of your target audience and knowing what motivates them to move.
Compelling Content Should:
- Tell your unique story in an interesting way
- Communicate to a specific audience
- Motivate your audience to take an action
- Be tailored to the medium of consumption
Simply put, it’s technology that is focused on driving results. There is a difference between just building a website that looks good, and one that actually drives users to the desired action your business needs for them to do. Your site must function in ways that make it easy to do business with you. That means everything from search engine optimization to seamless software integration to device specific user experiences that look and work great on all screen sizes. It’s a lot of complex stuff that when done right, most people don’t even know is happening under their screen-tapping little fingers. When done wrong, it trips them up and stalls out their conversion process.
Frequently Used Technologies:
- Secure Payment Gateways
- E-commerce Platforms
- Online Registration Systems
- Social Media Integrations
- Marketing Automation Platforms
- Member/Donor Management Integrations
- Software Integrations
- Advanced SEO Tools
- Google Analytics Suite
Traffic-generating Marketing Channels
It’s not enough to have compelling content and performance-driven technology. To attract, inform, engage and convert your audience requires multiple impressions across as many channels as possible. This is achieved by strategically aligning your website with a strong, multi-channel marketing plan that drives the right audience to your website, and motivates them to take action.
Typical Marketing Channels:
- Paid Social Media
- Paid Search
- Email Marketing
- Direct Mail
- Digital Display
Without the right balance of content, technology, and traffic generation channels strategically aligned to meet business objectives, you’re likely to produce a website that falls short of your expectations and fails to drive conversions. When done right, it can impact all types of conversion goals – whether you’re looking to increase online quote requests, see a spike in website activity and engagement, drive more people to your event, or jump-start online sales. Without conversions, you’re not making money and none of this matters.
Common Conversion Points:
- Form submission
- Whitepaper download
- Reviews or ratings
- Social Media Share
As you think about updating your current site, or building a new one, make sure you’re taking a strategic, integrated approach. Invest in an expert-led strategy process to ensure that the content, technology, and marketing channels are integrated in perfect harmony to achieve the desired outcomes. Take the time to think through everything you need the site to do – not just how you want it to look. A successful website is one strategically positioned and primed to impact revenue and growth.