How many times have you seen your colleagues (or perhaps even your own business) invest substantial amounts into new website, social media presence, or other online platform with high hopes – only to scrap it a short time later, lose their investment, and start from the ground up?
The sad truth is that in many cases, when an online presence doesn’t “work”, it’s a tell-tale sign that a clear, well-designed foundation was never established to begin with! If you feel like you are getting nowhere with your online presence, here’s a roadmap to evaluate (or perhaps build) the foundation of your internet marketing efforts.
Is There A Specific Goal?
It might seem like the right thing to do, but launching a website or social media presence just for the sake of “doing it” will only cause you headaches and frustration down the road. If you don’t have a specific goal for anything you do online, it’s time to re-evaluate if you are spending unwisely or simply in need of a clear purpose.
Who is going to see the site? How will you drive traffic? What are these people looking for when they reach you? What information and content are you trying to provide them with?
Clarity of purpose will allow you to build every aspect of your online presence with the end in mind and avoid any wasted time, energy, or money!
What’s Going To Be Included?
With your goal and purpose in mind, it becomes easy to target the specific tasks your online presence is looking to accomplish – and for whom. From here, evaluate what exactly needs to be integrated into your online presence – and how you plan to structure it. Video, opt-in forms, sales pages, multimedia, ecommerce software…and the list goes on! Don’t let your online presence become an inefficient “buffet” of components…plan out what you’ll need from the very start!
Are You Designing for “Now” – Or For The Long-Term?
It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” design trends or trying to follow and model the site of a business you admire/aim to compete with, but step back for a moment.
By creating an online presence that simply follows “trends-of-the-moment”, when design concepts evolve and change, you’re going to be left with a site that looks both dated and perhaps even foolish.
By building an online presence around your visual communication guidelines and brand identity with a simple, streamlined layout you’ll keep your site relevant well into the future.
Has There Been Testing on Multiple Platforms?
There’s nothing worse than creating a magnificent website in one browser – only to find a cluttered, incoherent mess in another web browser or on a different operating system. On a similar note, if your “good-looking” site can’t be easily found by the search engines…there won’t be anyone to see your flashy new online presence!
For this very reason, a cross-platform CMS such as WordPress is a great option to keep your site looking uniform across all systems and browsers. By avoiding the use of Flash (or keeping it to a minimum) you’ll also optimize the search engine rankings of your online presence.
It takes planning, diligence, and strategy – but it’s highly worthwhile to ensure that your online presence is effective from the very start, to save yourself both money and headaches down the road! If you’re not sure how to create an effective online presence, a great first step may be to bring in some “expert eyes” to help you out by booking a Brand Strategy Call!