(Updated February 18 2015.)
Over the last few years I've noticed five things that are easy for business owners to overlook when planning their new website and digital marketing strategy.
It's important to plan a website and digital marketing strategy that matches both your goals and your available resources.
5 questions to ask yourself when planning a business website
1. How are we going to keep the websites content up to date?
Websites with news sections, blog articles, or product details need to be kept fresh and up to date. New content might require additional photography, the creation of new graphics, or the production of new video content. Even websites without timely articles or product listings will eventually get stale and out of date.
You need a plan for reviewing existing content and creating new content.
2. Who will engage your customers on social media?
It's not enough to create a Facebook Page that sits there doing nothing. Your customers are already online and are already talking about you and you're missing out on a real opportunity if you don't participate in the conversation.
You need a plan for monitoring social media, answering questions from your customers, and responding to feedback.
3. Who will provide training and support to current and future staff?
Your new website comes with a content management system. Make sure your website project includes any initial training and support needed so that you can hit the ground running when your new website launches.
As your team grows and your business changes, ask your web design agency if they'll be available in the future for follow up training or refresher courses.
4. How are you going to measure the success of your digital marketing strategy?
One of the great things about online marketing is the potential to measure the actual performance and value of your efforts. When planning your next website, don't forget to decide what goals are going to be measured and whos job it will be to collect and present changes based on that information.
5. Websites are delivered by software running on a server. Who will be responsible for backups, security updates, and keeping things running smoothly?
It's important to establish a plan where your website agency performs regular maintenance and updates on the software behind your website to keep it secure and running smoothly.
Just like your work computer, the best protection for your website is performing regular backups so that the entire website can be restored at any time if needed. Ask your web agency who's responsible for making backups, where they are stored and what the process is for restoring if something goes wrong.
That's it. Got another question you'd like answered about planning your next website? Let us know using the social media buttons below.