If you create a website, you’re creating something with immense long-term potential. After all, no one creates a site with the intention for it to fail (unless you’re doing some website performance art). If you want your site to take off, you have to stick to conventional methods and fundamentals that will ensure success. Proven tactics are why so many sites dedicate themselves to improving SEO, tracking stats, and playing to algorithms. It all comes down to planning for success. Many of these steps can be taken after site publication. However, when it comes to starting a site, it’s also best to have a website strategy plan from the get-go.
Whether you’re running a personal or business site, it’s important to know some basic development strategies and tips. These strategies can include everything from site layout and themes, improving viewer engagement, or even just technical improvements. So whatever part of your site you have yet to plan or need to improve, we’ve got you covered here. You can stick to our outline or use the table of contents to jump to relevant info.
Table of Contents
1. Why You Need a Website Strategy Plan
Don’t assume that you can just wing it when running a site.
The first thing you need to know is why strategic planning is so important. Even the most experienced web designers will stick to a strategy plan for their sites. In fact, the more experience you get, the more you’ll appreciate the need for plans. Just last week we broke down a website design timeline, which showed that planning can take up almost half of the entire design phase. If you’re working professionally or with a large group, it can take weeks or even months to get a plan in place. Luckily, personal planning is much more straightforward.
In either case, it all comes down to saving time in the long run. Sure, putting together a plan takes some investment, but it will keep you from wasting time on site elements you might not use or find don’t meet your needs. But what exactly should you keep in mind when planning your site?
A good strategy plan should consider:
- Audience: You should get a feeling for who your website will appeal to.
- Brand: How you want people to perceive your site, products, or service.
- Content: What content you’ll produce for your site. How will you optimize it so that it can be found?
- Goals: What are your goals, short-term and long-term? This is the center of a good strategy plan as it will keep you focused on what all of your site elements are building towards.
If you still need some pointers, there are also plenty of website strategy plan templates you can find on various blogs or via a quick Google search. Now, let’s get into how your plan will feed into site content.
2. Keep Your Site Updated with Website Content Strategy Planning
Content is what keeps your site engaging, whether you’re running a personal site or a professional one.
Broadly, content refers to any data that makes up your site. When it comes to blogging sites, however, content can colloquially refer to the posts and updates you put out. Systems like WordPress even have a dedicated feature for easy blog posting for consistent updates. WordPress also has plenty of other features that can streamline site planning, but we’ll get to those later. For now, let’s get into the distinctions between what I’ll call “consistent” content and “recurrent” content and why planning for each is important to your site’s success.
As I discussed, content can refer to a couple of things when it comes to websites and online content production. Elements of your site’s content such as page layout, themes, and general designs are what I’m referring to as “consistent” content. This is because, outside of large updates or overhauls, themes, pages, colors, etc. are baked into your site’s identity and will be consistent across your site. Essentially, think of it as your site’s design language. You might have background images, colors, or other content you incorporate into this along with a selected theme.
This consistent content is super important since it essentially makes up most of your site’s identity. Along with a domain, your site’s theme, pages, and visual language will be inherently tied to your site’s brand and voice. So while it’s important to consider functionality in a theme, the custom touches you put on your site’s appearance can have just as much impact on site engagement. So brainstorm, plan a design, and stick to it in order to keep your audience engaged. Changing your mind and altering your site dramatically can confuse returning viewers. Make sure your early versions are effective from the get-go. There’s over 11,000 premade themes on WordPress to choose from, as well as the option to customize your own. With this range of options, WordPress can fit any site’s needs.
When it comes to blogging and similar sites, “content” has a slightly different context. Blog content is what we usually think of in terms of content production. This can refer to any type of consistent update, whether it’s new blog posts, photos, videos, or products for a store page. Even outside of a personal website, content production has become a massive online industry. Anyone who’s made money off of YouTube or Instagram can tell you as much. But it’s not easy to make the kind of money that the most successful content producers do. It’s not even easy to grow a viewership, especially without a plan in place.
If you’re building a website with a purpose in mind, there’s a good chance you know what type of content you want to deliver already. But that isn’t enough. When it comes to content delivery, there is one thing that matters more than anything else: consistency. Consistent, scheduled updates for a blog or site are the most effective way to get new viewers and keep your current ones around. That is to say, have a content plan. Schedule at least one day a week to deliver your content, then dedicate more time and produce more posts as you see fit. You can even go as far as plotting out which content you will post weeks- or months- in advance.
You can also use plugins and native SEO trackers on WordPress to improve your content, which we’ll also cover later. Now that we’ve covered content, let’s look at how strategy planning can improve your site’s monetization.
3. Generate Traffic and Revenue with a Website Marketing Strategy Plan
There are several website monetization strategies and marketing tactics available for a business site.
When running a site for business or marketing, many of the same strategies still apply. There are some, however, that can specifically help engagement for these types of sites. This is also another place where WordPress can help immensely.
Firstly, if you’re founding an eCommerce site, you should keep in mind the functionalities your site will need. This includes transactions, ledgers, storefront pages, etc. Once you know what you’ll need, you can browse through WordPress’s huge catalog of plugins, which features apps that can provide all of these functions and more. For sites that seek other sources of income, you can explore options for running ads on your site or, more directly, install blocks with links to revenue sources like Patreon.
Marketing websites can also be improved on WordPress. These types of sites focus on engagement and social media more so than any others and require planning around that. Some of the tactics for increasing engagement include:
- Email capture field forms so that your users can sign up for updates and newsletters
- Using plug-ins that track SEO
- Running surveys through Google Docs, Strawpoll, etc. to gauge visitors’ reactions and inquire about site improvements
- Create a landing page; this blog recently covered the importance of landing pages and how to create one
If you’re a marketing campaign site, you also won’t have to worry about recurrent content, since most of them run for limited time events or promotions. Conversely, all of these tactics can also be used to improve any other site. This means increased engagement and increased profits if implemented effectively.
4. Website Development Strategies for the Long-Run
WordPress is your best choice when it comes to executing a plan for your website. As you’ve seen, WordPress offers a variety of options and features which allow you to easily see your strategy plan through to completion. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these features.
We’ve talked about plugins a lot throughout this post. Essentially, WordPress features a huge library of optional apps and software which you can install directly from the dashboard. Each one is independently developed for specific use to introduce or expand specific site functions. We’ve already covered a few examples: landing page builders, SEO and analytics trackers, eCommerce apps, etc. All of these are possible- and accessible- thanks to the expansive WordPress plugin system.
There is one last thing you need to consider when planning any site: finding the right web host. A web host is in charge of hosting your site’s domain and its content. Since a web host provides servers for doing so, they are also in charge of said servers’ maintenance, security, and reliability. So finding a good one is pretty important. Without the right host, you might not have enough space for the content you planned on featuring, or you could be set behind schedule due to server downtime or security breaches. With WordPress, though, you have access to some of the best hosting options. WP Super Host provides the latest security, reliable uptime, and a great support team to help at any time. Like WordPress itself, WP Super Host is also affordable for anyone, with great plans and even a custom quote option you can view at this pricing page.
Final Steps and Final Thoughts
Now that you’ve got an idea of what makes a good website strategy plan, it’s time to make your own. Remember to plan around your audience, brand, content, and goals and to stick to that plan. After that, the next step is to get out there and start building your site with WordPress.