An effective website is essentially about the convergence of two things: your business goals and the needs of your target market. Build something that aligns the two and you will end up with an effective website. Broken down like that it sounds simple, but achieving that convergence can be a tricky process – and a quick surf around the web will soon demonstrate that it is easier to get it wrong than to get it right.
You’ll note we used the word effective, rather than successful. For a website to be successful people need to be able to find it (which we cover in the next chapter), but if you build your site to cater for the right people’s needs you significantly increase the chance that, once they arrive, they will become more than just a passing statistic.
First, let’s state here and now that this is not a definitive guide to website development. This is a book about digital marketing. In this chapter we explore how to approach your website with digital marketing in mind. Our focus is to maximize the effectiveness of your website with a view to your digital marketing endeavors.
What follows is a high-level overview of the important elements to consider when designing your website from a digital marketing perspective. It is not meant to be an exhaustive guide. Most of the topics we touch on here would warrant an entire book to themselves. In fact, if you surf on Amazon you will find a swathe of titles available in each category.
You’ll also find an avalanche of relevant (and, of course, irrelevant) information on the web. Here, our aim is to arm you with the high-level knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your website design in a digital marketing context, and to communicate exactly what you need in order to engage with your web design partners when it is time to construct your digital hub.