We all know that you can’t take short cuts when planning for or designing a website. Plan Plan Plan is always the manta for successful projects, and for a website it is no different. The real concern I have, as well as many of our customers, is the magnitude of the task and the inertia of having to allocate resources as well as assigning time to do it.
So is there an easier way that one can still follow the basic steps but fast track the whole process? In my previous articles I address some of the ways in which one can minimize some of the issues when dealing with your web developers. Fundamentally it is being prepared to provide your web team the strategic information and direction for your website.
Knowing what to get and to what level of detail is required is where many people hit the wall. In a large organization where there are resources and a large marketing and research team, it is easy to allocate resources to do this, however most of us can’t afford the resources nor do we have the expertise to do so. The end result is that we rely on our web developers to provide that service.
Here is the crux of the problem – the web developers, be they internal or external, do not have the expertise in your specific business. So if you rely on them to develop your business strategy then you will not get the website you envisioned. Provide that strategic direction they will create the website you want and then let them focus on the web strategy – which is their expertise.
One key philosophy that I like to apply is the familiar 80/20 rule – also known as the Pareto principle for you quality types. There are many variations, but it goes something like this – 20% of your customers generate 80% of your business. Using this approach, and there is a lot of truth in that, to fast track your strategic design you should concentrate on those 20% and focus your website on those. Later on you can fine tune your website to get the 80%, which more than likely would still benefit from your primary focus. Another variation of the 80/20 rule will come into play here also, 80% of the effort will go into the 20% of the business opportunity.
The fast track approach is to recognize this truism and focus on the customers that matter. The first step then is to identify who are these 20%.
Web-Insight has developed a solution to this problem by launching its Fast Track website. This site is designed for the website owner who wants to get insights into how their targeted market segment is responding to their existing website. Fast Track delivers a set of 4 analytical tools to help focus on what matters:
- First Impression of your current website – if your target customers don’t immediately recognize that your website will help them, they are gone
- Competitive Assessment – is your product or service sufficiently differentiated from your competitors so that your targeted customers will select your website from the search engines
- Visitor Behaviour Analysis – what information can you extract form your web log files that can tell you what your current website visitors are doing
- Quick profile of your primary targeted users in the form of a persona
The combination of these fast track analyzes will provide you a quick profile of your current strategic direction. Combine that with your knowledge of where you want your website to go, you have a very powerful direction for your web team to work with in developing your website. This results in a much faster design with minimal turnarounds and a customer focused website that can only grow your business.