Content reigns supreme on the modern web, but we often forget to think about the structures that make this content understandable for users. In the article, we take a look at the vitally important field of Information Architecture, covering both its basis in the cognitive sciences and the principles that guide the successful information architect.
A web strategy is a long-term plan to achieve the objectives of your business while developing its online presence. It defines a clear path from conceptualisation to the optimisation of the finished product, to ensure your website and online presence accurately correlate to your businesses goals and objectives.
A web strategy will differ from business to business depending on the:
Even though a web strategy is unique to its own business, there are some common techniques and structures that are applied to all web strategies to streamline the process and create a roadmap and communication medium between a web strategist and their client.
Like any well-developed strategy, it begins with lots of research! This involves getting a robust and complete understanding of the company and the industry it’s competing in. An in-depth analysis of the competitive landscape will provide valuable insight from both a design perspective and for strategic evaluation.
It’s important to get a well-rounded view of the business’s current position and future goals by diversifying your research; speak with stakeholders, gain metrics of the current website and do some research on their competitors. This will give you a better understanding of the direction the business wants to go in and what can be achieved through a web strategy.
Once you have a clear and concise understanding of your clients business and objectives, it’s time to focus on their customers. This process will be the foundation of the direction your web strategy will take. By defining the target audience, locating areas in the industry in which your client can compete, and identifying areas in which your client can gain an advantage over their competitors, will provide the basis for the main objectives of your web strategy.
The audit phase is the first deliverable, consisting of a culmination of the research and gathered analytical data, presented in a way that defines the clear goals and objectives of your web strategy. The purpose of this phase is to communicate the findings of the research phase to both your team, client and stakeholders, to ensure the web strategy phase begins with all relevant parties with the same overview of the objectives and intentions of this process. It defines a clear direction that the company wants to go in, what goals they ants to achieve and how best to achieve them.
This phase is the realisation of the previous phases to create technical solutions to achieve the previously identified objectives. This phase should have a clear structure and timeline, to chronologically complete aspects of the web strategy, but also to effectively communicate with your client.
It’s important to note that each part of the web strategy has a common audience, each step should have this common objective in mind when approaching the technical solutions and implementations. Here at the main considerations during the strategy phase:
A brand identity is visual elements of a businesses brand such as logo, colours and fonts that distinguish a business in consumers minds. These elements aim to create a connection between your business and its products, websites, content, etc. The best example of this is Apple with the use of “i”. Any product with the prefix of the letter “i” immediately relates to the apple brand; iPhone, iPod, iTunes, etc.
Your brand identity is a key component in how you’re business achieves visibility online. Your brand identity should be a part of all aspects of your online presence and be a consistent factor for your websites design, visual content and product design. You can learn more about how we approach brand identity in this section.
Using analytical tools provides a business and its stakeholders with valuable insight into how people engage with their online presence. Collecting analytical data is important in all stages of a web strategy as it statistically identifies:
If you would like to learn more about how we implement analytical tools and create custom dashboards for our clients to provide them with an ongoing statistical analysis of their online presence, check this out!
SEO is a key component of any web strategy; the ability for customers to find your business online implies you need to rank well on search engines! There are numerous factors in achieving this including:
Some or all of these factors can be included in your web strategy, although some businesses prefer to have a separate SEO strategy. If this is the case, it’s imperative that the underlying goals, objectives, target audience identification & competitive landscape analysis are consistent with your web strategy.
It’s become increasingly clear that a businesses online presence is the most important aspect of how a business relates to its consumers. The increase in online sales, the higher demand for online services and the fact that nowadays if people need something, they Google it! Your online presence is what most of your new customers will judge you on, it will relay your professionalism, values, and trustworthiness.
Implementing a web strategy should be a core part of any businesses online presence. In the world of technology, no one can afford to be static. A web strategy provides short & long term objectives, making it abundantly clear the direction in which your business is going for your stakeholders, employees & consumers. Here is an outline of some of the key benefits your business will enjoy from a well structured and implemented web strategy:
It’s imperative in any web strategy that there is a long term plan, one that is intended to be ever-evolving and optimised based on trends and forecasts.
Analytical tools provide us with great insights into the current and past performance of different aspects of your online presence. Use these tools to stay ahead of competitors, keep up with current trends, remove aspects of your website that is not working & enhance the ones that are! Implementing a new web strategy can be a big undertaking, but optimising and maintaining it is not.
Every website, business or online store should have a web strategy, regardless of size or turnover. It’s imperative to outline the future goals and objectives of your online presence if it is to grow and succeed. So many aspects of design, SEO, navigation, content & visibility can be streamlined by creating a structured and competent web strategy, while keeping a clear line of communication between you and your stakeholders.
With Vidar’s broad experience with design and usability, he is responsible for strategising the use of digital design within Studio Vi.