A brief overview of what web strategy is and what it includes.
For most people, it seems pretty obvious. Web strategy is the strategic approach your business takes to its presence on the Internet. If that’s all you need, there you go. 👋🏼
To take it a step further, web strategy is a holistic approach to how your business communicates online. It's not impossible to think that businesses and brands that are good at what they do could still use support when communicating the value they offer and connecting with site visitors.
Research suggests you have only seconds to get attention and less than a minute to keep it and convert. When you think about seconds as being all you have to communicate your value, convert someone from a prospect into a lead, or even convert someone from not knowing you to being a prospect, we have to approach our website with a ton of strategy.
Sharing what your visitor wants to know is the whole point of a website. We read their minds to make sure we communicate the value promptly. Imagine having a conversation with someone who knowingly needs your service, and all you can do is respond to their questions with a pre-written script. You want that script to cover all the essential things, not waste time and ultimately convert. That's how we approach web content.
If pictures say a thousand words, then every asset has the potential to communicate a ton of value. Outside of the content of a website, the ability to communicate value often lies with the design. The creative direction of a website can lend to hundreds of new clients every year with its engaging and resonant design.
“Great. So we have to quickly bring a ton of value, use pictures, not waste time, and be amazing. We are doomed.”
Not exactly! This is where a digital strategy really shines. Yes, we make great websites and digital creative, but we do so with attention to information architecture. Information Architecture (IA) is the organization of information on a page or in an experience with an intention to maximize user experience. When we think of the space of our websites, we should attribute money to each row of pixels. The further down on a page a piece of information is, the less likely it is to be seen, and as such, the less critical it needs to be to our visitors, the less likely we are to waste it. Like Money!
We used to make this a separate point in each section above. It got redundant, and we realized we lacked an opportunity to be blunt and concise. An overly complex website will fail. A website that is not to the point and wastes time WILL fail. Why? Well, it's time.
The more time it takes a user to find the value, the more we are betting on our visitor being resilient. If you could take five words to say something that was taking 30 words, take the 5. Give that time back so the user can protect their cognitive load. (Fancy word for our mental gas tanks)
How do I be clear?
Snag an audit and be sure to ask yourself, if someone with no idea what you did or how you did it was to visit your website, would you answer those questions?
Let’s be REAL for a minute. I don’t want to wait. I don't love lines. I don't love waitlists. I don't love a queue to buy tickets to Taylor Swift with my wife. People are not patient; we are losing patience with each new decade.
Just. Give. Me. My. Thing. Please.
When we evaluate a site's usability, we hope to be as close to honest with ourselves as possible. Site load speed, navigation timing, interactivity limitations, accessibility, and a user's general sentiment toward your brand are all elements that will lose you business.
How do I have a technically sound website?
Snag an audit from metriq. Watch your load speed. Update plugins (Or don't use WordPress at all….👀). Please don’t make too much of your site move when it doesn’t need to. Invest in decent hosting. (Most of you are OK with GoDaddy or Bluehost, but hosting locally can be a pain.) Pay attention to trends in the market if you have the resources to respond with your development team.
This might feel cheesy, but let’s make no mistake. You are only as good as your brand. People resonate with people. This is why some of the largest ad agencies in the world get to do some of the goofiest work. The brands and agencies both know people connect with the story. Giving your business a persona and someone for your audience to connect with WILL drive growth.
How do I have a story?
Tell one. Speak from your (ew) heart. Be human.
Okay. I'm bored. Let's wrap it up.
Digital strategy SHOULD be part of your business and marketing strategy. The digital era is not one that will be going anywhere anytime soon. Don't be the brand that gets snapped into history because you didn't prioritize meeting your users at their level.
If your team doesn't have the internal resources or acumen, you can always reach out to our team for an amazing free web audit, and maybe even do some business with us.'
If not, we got your back if Thanos pops out!
Shawn is the founding owner of metriq, a web strategy and design agency in Southern California, CA serving brands from local family-owned businesses all the way to billion-dollar corporations. His passions lie in design, psychology, and people.