How Do You Figure Out a Strategy For Your Website?


Author: Marc Hyde
Published: April 24, 2024
Read Time: 8 Minutes

How Do You Figure Out A Strategy For Your Website?

What Is a Website Strategy?

To put it simply, a strategy is a roadmap/game plan to help you know where you’re going and how you plan on getting there. When a contractor is building a new building, they need to know the master plan for that building because you have to build a dentist office in a VERY different way than you would build a church. In the same way that a contractor needs to know the purpose of the building before they build, you as a business owner need to know what the purpose of the website will be before you start designing and developing. 

When it comes to a website strategy, you first need to figure out things like:

  • Do you need to sell products?
  • Do you want to be found locally or nationally?
  • Do you want to offer memberships?
  • Do you want to only display business information?
  • Do you need to integrate with any CRM or other marketing tool?
  • Do you need to be able to gather leads and filter them automatically?

Before you start building your website, you need to figure out the purpose (strategy) of the website.

Now, this is easier said than done, but this article is set up to walk you through why your website needs a strategy, questions to ask to figure out your website’s strategy, what happens if your website does not have a strategy, and a handful of case studies to help you see the value in having a strategic website.

Why Does Your Website Need a Strategy?

Although it may seem obvious at this point, the primary reason why you need a website strategy is to give your website a job and purpose because without the strategy, you won’t be able to determine if your website is successful and performing well. 

When you have an employee, you generally give them a job description so that they understand what is expected of them while working. You also have quarterly or yearly reviews, and you provide pointers to help perform better. If they aren’t performing well, you either fire them or help them grow into their position. 

Let’s apply that same thought to your website! Does your website have a job description? Does your website have benchmarks? This is your website’s strategy and why it’s so important for your website to have a strategy. Your website is your 24/7 online, digital employee and needs to have a job.

But there are many other reasons why your website needs a strategy. Here’s a few reasons:

  • Not knowing the purpose of your website can cause you to throw a ton of money down the drain because you spent a lot money on a pretty website that didn’t push your business forward.
  • When you piecemeal your website to constantly add on new features, you can end up with a very broken, slow, and unharmonious user experience.
  • Having an ideal customer in mind makes sure that the language you use and actions you ask people to take are correct. Speaking to the wrong customer base may lead to traffic on the website but zero conversions.

Having a strategy makes sure that you are putting your dollars in the right place, that you’re speaking to the correct audience, and calling your ideal customer to action. Without a strategy in place, you have no more than a digital business card (and we all know what people do with business cards . . . and it’s not good).

Strategic questions to ask to figure out how the website can serve your business

What is the primary job of your website?

Just like an employee can’t be successful if they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing for your business, the same goes for your website. Is your website supposed to gather leads, show up on Google for key search terms, distribute content like emails or podcasts, answer people’s questions? Your website’s work cannot be judged based on its quality if you haven’t provided a task or job description to assess it.

How do you plan on following up with those who land on your website and are interested in what you are offering?

I’ve read stats that around 90% of folks who visit a website aren’t ready to purchase — they’re simply researching or browsing. So how do you turn window shoppers into customers or clients?

Back in the day (and still in shop towns and malls), businesses would put up signs in the windows to entice people to enter. Signs such as “30% off all winter gear” or “free product with any purchase” are displayed, hoping to be a good enough reason for people to come in and shop. Even if the person doesn’t purchase what the sign was offering, business owners know that if they get someone in the store, that person is most likely to buy something!

So how does this work with your website? How do you get people to “step inside” your business? Simple, you have them give you their email address and in return, you give them something of value . . . for FREE! When someone gives you their email address, they are inviting you to speak to them (and eventually sell to them).  In case you didn’t know, based on what you read, the ROI of email marketing is between 40:1 and 45:1 In other words, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you make $40-45. That’s INCREDIBLE. 

If you’re curious about how to master email marketing and create an email lead magnet, here’s a few blog posts that you’ll enjoy.

What are the future dreams of the company, and how can the website help those dreams become a reality?

In the same way that architects create master building plans that may or may not be built for years to come, you need a master plan for your business so that your website can be ready to serve that plan. If you know where your business is headed, you can plan your website around that destination. Sure, you don’t have to have your website built fully out to where you’re heading, but you can build the foundation for the website to grow for years to come. 

For example, if you’re working on becoming an industry thought leader in your space, you may want to start podcasting down the road. Knowing this, you can think through what type of podcast hosting you should use. If you’re on WordPress, you can have your website host and manage the podcast, not pay for another expensive hosting service. If you’re wanting to eventually have many landing or lead pages for different products, you can create a template to copy for each page. If you’re wanting to utilize email marketing, you should choose the email marketing system that provides the most room for growth.

Sure, this step shouldn’t make or break your entire flow (because you can always pivot down the road), but it’s definitely something to think about!

Case Studies on good strategic websites built by Marc Hyde Creative:

Laura Lives The Good Life

Laura Lives The Good Life 1

Laura approached me with the desire to grow her brand beyond social media. When we first chatted, she had a following 40K+ on instagram and a whole bunch of recipes listed as posts with captions, and she had a wildly successful cookbook but was losing a lot of revenue because it was being sold on someone else’s website. Her dream was to have her own website where she could completely own the selling, production, and shipping of her cookbook, post her recipes, post her favorite items (with affiliate links of course), collect email addresses, and eventually monetize her website by joining a top-tier ad network.

To reach these goals, we developed 2 phases to the project. Phase 1 was create a branding package for “Laura Lives the Good Life” and create a one page website where she could collect email addresses and sell her cookbook. In order to sell the cookbook, we utilized the e-commerce platform WooCommerce. Phase 2 was to build out a full website that included a place for her to blog wherever her thoughts led, post SEO focused and developed recipes, and design a “Laura’s Favorite” section where she can categorize all of her favorite things (this way, she can link to it on instagram and collect affiliate revenue). 

However, we knew that she wouldn’t JUST be selling one product, so we built her out an entire e-commerce platform that would be designed to house many products and handle the shipping. Then, when people make a purchase, they are added to her email list, they receive their digital download (if it’s digital), and then a week or two later, they receive an automated email asking for a review. All purchases are tagged with their specific product so that we can target specific customers with other offerings that they are likely to purchase.

Since the website launch, we have added a total of 7 products. This has resulted in over $60,000 in gross sales (not net) from January 2023 – March 2024. We had also added an affiliate program for Laura’s website, and we are currently being reviewed by one of the top ad agencies in the blogging game – Mediavine.

Click here to view Laura’s website & branding project.

Shandon Baptist Church

Shandon Baptist Church Website 1

Shandon Baptist Church’s website was a project completed in part with D373. Shandon Baptist Church’s old website was on a proprietary software that was extremely limited in what the church could and could not put on the website. Because of how difficult it was to update the website, the church had to rely on many images and little text to make it all look decent. However, it was extremely difficult for any update to be made, and church members had a hard time finding information on various ministries, events, and past sermons. 

What makes this website build different than other builds is that we needed to give certain people access to update certain pages – all with making sure that they couldn’t update other pages. Because they had a staff that desired to update text on the fly for their ministries, they didn’t want to be bogged down by putting in requests and waiting for the changes to happen. So, I had to create a protocol where, based on people’s login credentials, they were able to access ONLY the pages that we allow them to access. They cannot see or edit other pages on the backend, they can’t change any settings, and they ultimately cannot break the website.

Now, Shandon subscribes to my WordPress maintenance and support plan and since the website launched, we’ve already rebuilt parts of the homepage, added new podcast, and updated various pages here and there.

Click here to view Shandon Baptist Church’s website project.

Underground Laugh Lounge

Underground Laugh Laugh Hero

The Underground Laugh Lounge is the newest comedy scene in the South Bend area. Being up in Niles, MI, the opportunity for a comedy club, speak easy lounge, and meeting place was ripe, and Sheila and her husband stepped up to the plate. They purchased the historic Carnegie Library in Niles (the library moved to a modern location and left the building vacant), and started working on the property. They needed a website that would advertise shows, sell tickets, sell merchandise, and not look like the cheesy comedy club websites like most others in our area. 

In order to meet these strategic goals, we utilize a calendar plugin that processed orders, managed available tickets, and connected to an email marketing platform so that they can continually reach past visitors with upcoming shows. We also utilized an e-commerce platform in order to sell merchandise that could be either shipped or picked up on arrival to the club. We also added a newsletter portal where every month, the manager is able to put in a newsletter than can be sent out as a link to their supporters.

Although it seems simple, there are a lot of moving pieces on the backend. To date, the website has processed over 3,500 individual orders/reservations, totaling around $184,000, all between September 2023-April 2024.

When you look at all three websites, each has a different strategy. Because they each have a different strategy, they all were built differently. One was to get people to the website and sell a ton of tickets. Another’s goal is to get folks off social media, collect their email addresses, and turn followers into paying customers. The other is trying to help visitors interact with a better website and get them to physically show up. 

Each website has a different purpose, but it all goes back to the strategy behind each website and company.

If you’re looking for website design services for your business, I would love to chat! We’ll figure out what problems you’re facing and how we can solve those using your website!

What Happens If Your Website Doesn’t Have a Strategy?

So here’s a fun question: “Does your website even need a strategy?” 

In one sense, you know what your business does and therefore, you know what your website needs to do, but in another sense, just because you have a website doesn’t mean that it’s helping you get found online and convert visitors to customers and clients. 

Here’s a few myths when it comes to any website:

  • If you have a website, people will come.
  • A bad website is better than no website.
  • People search social media more than Google.
  • You don’t have to update your websites very often.

Because people have these ideas (and maybe you believe some of these ideas), websites tend to fall to the wayside. However, since your business’ first impression is up to the website, you as a business owner, pastor, school administrator, etc., NEED to make sure that you know why you have a website, what it’s supposed to do, and how you will determine its effectiveness.

Does your website’s design matter when it comes to strategy?

Website design is much more than how a website looks—website design lays out the purpose of the website in a visually appealing way that is designed to be effective. A lot of business owners use DIY website builders to get something “up fast,” and don’t get me wrong, DIY builders have many templates to help you get your content up in a visually appealing way. However, when your website can make or break your business, you want to make sure that your website isn’t just a pretty template. You can want to make sure that it’s designed to win.

Go Gutters Case Study

Go Gutters WordPress Website Project 2

Recently, I just launched a new website for Go Gutters, a local company that does roofing, gutters, siding, and all the things in between. They had a website up and running, and they were wanting to run SEO, pay-per-click campaigns, and social media ads to drive traffic to the website. Since the owner is a friend of mine, he asked me to look over the website to see if it was ready for ads to boost their website traffic. After looking at the website, it was easy to say, “nope! This thing is not ready.”

Why was it not ready? There were no individual service pages, there was no text on the website to convince people that they were the best choice for the job, and the design looked like the company was just your neighbor’s hobby side-hustle more than a professional company. In just over a month, we were able to turn their simple DIY website into an optimized website that is designed to get traffic naturally and prepared to turn website visitors into leads.

How can you tell if your website’s strategy is correct?

The fast way to figure out if you have the correct website strategy is to ask one simple question: “Are people taking the action that you want them to take on your website?”

If you want contact form entries, are people filling out the contact form?

If you want to grow your email list, are people signing up to join it?

If you want people to purchase directly on your website, are people buying?

A website’s strategy is specific to each company, but each company needs to have a strategy in mind for their website.

What about you? 

Do you have a strategy for your website?

If you do not have a strategy for your website, if your website isn’t performing well, or if you aren’t sure what your website is even doing, I would love to chat with you all about it! Below, you’ll find a contact form. Put in your information, website, and what you’d like help with, and I will be sure to reach out and have a conversation with you about your website! And on the contact form, there’s a question asking you to sign up for my marketing minute which is a monthly newsletter that I send out to help you show up better online and help your website truly serve your business.

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Hi! I'm Marc.

I serve businesses, bloggers, and organizations by way of creating great websites that are able to be found online. Web design is a passion, but serving you is my joy.

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