A web strategy is a long-term strategic business plan indicating how to create and develop a company’s online presence adhering to the business development strategy.
Depending on the business maturity, immediate needs, and long-term goals, the programme should yield different results. e.g. if the business is only starting to tap into the online space, then the web strategy programme will outline how the business should position itself online, what online media it should use to spread its message, how it should communicate with the customers, what services and products it should provide online, and what supporting infrastructure for the online operation should be in place.
A web strategy is created by a highly skilled business professional, the web strategist, who is knowledgeable in online trends, business, design, user experience and technology concepts and principles.
Elements of a Web Strategy
According to Silicon Valley executive, Jeremiah Owyang, the three elements of a web strategy consist of the following:
1) User The Web Strategist must understand (by using a variety of techniques and tactics) what users want. This is commonly known as User Experience Research which will create and craft a ‘mental model’
2) Business A website that is not aligned to business or market objectives is ultimately doomed to fail. The User and Business requirements will often match, but will rarely ever be a perfect fit. The Web Strategist) will need to obtain business requirements from stakeholders, whether that be execs, sponsors, sales, or even shareholders. Understanding the market, competitors (and key milestones) and other external forces are also required –a business requirements model will be formed, these are you objectives.
3) Tools Lastly, a Web Strategist needs to know how each and every tool and technology work, they’ll need to know the strengths, benefits, limitations and costs. This also applies to human capital, and timelines. Often technical limitations will reduce the scope of User and Business needs, so you’ll need to incorporate this going forward.
Key Questions to Consider
Jeremiah Owyang also suggests that a web strategy should include answering these questions:
- How do we align our website with our corporate objecives?
- How do we spend our resources?
- How do we measure our return on investment? •How do our customers think of our website?
- How do I prioritize our projects?
- What future technologies do I need to be aware of?