Web strategy: How To Build A Great Small Business Website

In our complete guide to a winning web marketing strategy, we walked you through every step of building a profitable web strategy, from defining your goals to analyzing your results. However, this guide is so detailed that your coffee will probably be lukewarm after you read it. And since all good pieces of content have a long version and a short version (cf. Lord of the Rings), we have prepared a compendium of these 13,000 words in 2000, in order to sum up everything you need to remember to build a winning web strategy for your SME.

What is a web strategy?

A web strategy is a short, medium and long term action plan that determines the actions to be taken in order to optimize a company’s online presence through different web marketing channels, in order to attract new customers.

How to build a web strategy?

Since 2015, we have supported more than 300 companies in the development and implementation of their web strategy. This experience allowed us to develop a proven model based on 4 distinct stages:

  • Define your business strategy
  • Build an optimized web presence
  • Generate and convert qualified traffic
  • Analyze the results and adapt the strategy accordingly

1. Define your business strategy

See your web strategy as an extension of your internet business strategy. Before talking about web strategy, you must therefore make sure that your company’s business strategy is clearly defined. To do this, you must ask yourself the following questions:

What are my strategic goals?

It will be impossible for you to calculate or verify the success of your web strategy without setting concrete business goals for the short, medium and long term. This step will allow you to determine the most suitable marketing channels for your objectives (SEO, SEM, Social Media), as well as the use you will make of them (visibility, traffic, conversion).

Here are some examples of business goals:

  • Increase my turnover by 100% in two years
  • Achieve an 18% profit margin this year
  • Go from 20 recurring customers to 30
  • Develop a new range of products
  • Reduce the cost of acquiring my clients by 30%

In what external environment does my company operate?

Your business operates within a market that you must analyze and understand as a whole before piloting your web strategy. You must therefore identify the characteristics specific to your customers (demand) and your competitors (supply).

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • In which market segment is my business operating? (B2B, B2C, both …)
  • What are the most important market segments in terms of number of potential customers?
  • What are the profiles of my target customers (also called “persona”)?
  • What are their needs and how does my offer meet them?
  • Who are my main competitors, their strengths and weaknesses compared to me?

Once you have a good understanding of your persona and your competition, you are ready to define your “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP or Unique Selling Proposition for West Island Bilinguals).

What unique value proposition is my web strategy based on?

Your unique value proposition should allow your target customer to understand what sets you apart from the competition, and why your service/product is what they need.

Your USP should highlight all the differentiators specific to your business, such as:

  • Your personality (if your customers choose you for your personality)
  • Your production process (if you produce local, organic, etc.)
  • Your rates and promotions (if you are the least expensive)
  • Your target customers (if you are the only one serving a specific segment)
  • Your location (if you are the only one serving a specific location)
  • Your product (if it has a unique characteristic)

These differentiating elements will be the pillars of your communication within your web strategy. You will need to convey your unique value proposition across all of the web marketing channels you use.

What is my business model?

It’s hard to develop a profitable web strategy without talking about a business model. It refers to how your business makes its profits. There are several ways to analyze your business model. A fairly useful tool is the “business model canvas”. Completing it will allow you to take stock of your business model (your costs, your income, your profits) and guide your web strategy.

In summary, before preparing your web strategy, make sure you have a “working” business model. This way, you will be able to develop a realistic web marketing strategy, based on your goals.

2. Build an optimized web presence

Before investing time and money in Google Adwords or Facebook or with your web marketing agency, you need to make sure that your web presence is on a solid foundation. It is a key step in your web strategy.s.

Conduct a study of your target market online

Before optimizing your website, the first step is to conduct an online market study or keyword study. Carrying out a keyword study is essential for your web strategy. This allows clear answers to the following questions:

  • How do people search for your products and services online?
  • How many queries related to your products and services are made every month?
  • Where and when are these requests made?

The end goal of this work is to position your website so that it responds perfectly to queries already made by users, and attracts qualified traffic that can generate sales opportunities for your business. 

Optimize your site plan for your web strategy

Before optimizing your website, the first step is to conduct an online market study or keyword study. Carrying out a keyword study is essential for your web strategy. This allows clear answers to the following questions:

  • How do people search for your products and services online?
  • How many queries related to your products and services are made every month?
  • Where and when are these requests made?

The end goal of this work is to position your website so that it responds perfectly to queries already made by users, and attracts qualified traffic that can generate sales opportunities for your business. 

Choose the right technological platform

Now that you have built an optimized architecture for your website, you will have to choose the appropriate technological platform for your web strategy. Depending on the objectives of your web strategy, you have the choice between:

  • The “landing pages” or (landing page) Often made up of a single page, these sites provide a quick online presence to promote a product or service.
  • The “showcase sites” A showcase site contains several pages and is intended to constitute a web asset optimized for SEO.
  • The “E-commerce sites” The purpose of an online sales or “e-commerce” site is to serve as an online catalogue of your products and services with the aim of making sales.

Optimize your website for search engines

For your website to be beneficial to your web strategy, your potential customers must be able to find it by entering a query related to your products/services on Google. To ensure that your website is visible to these qualified internet users, you will need to perform an SEO audit. There are 4 main disciplines to take into account in order to optimize your website for search engines:

  • The external environment of your site
  • The content of your website
  • The technical aspects of your website
  • The performance of your website

3. Generate and convert qualified traffic

Once your online presence is optimized, you can start developing your main marketing channels for your web strategy:

SEO

Natural referencing, or SEO, allows you to position your website in Google results for relevant keywords, without having to pay. SEO is essential if you want to develop a profitable and sustainable web strategy.

Here are the main actions to take regularly in order to optimize the natural referencing of your website:

  • Create inbound links to your website from quality sources

It is important to regularly create links to your website in order to strengthen its reputation in the eyes of Google. But be careful, these links must come from reputable sources.

  • Create and optimize your local natural referencing tools

Local SEO allows you to optimize the visibility of your website for localized queries. One of the major players in your local SEO is Google My Business. That’s good, here is your guide to Creating and configuring Google My Business!

  • Create optimized content

It is essential in your web marketing strategy to think about creating optimized content frequently on your website. This will allow you to benefit from more traffic by ranking on more and more keywords. That’s good (bis), here is your guide to writing optimized content on the web!

  • Optimize the technical elements of the website

The technical aspects of your website such as your redirects, your 404 pages, your updates, the loading speed, or even mobile adaptability, which is becoming essential:

  • Improve the user experience of the Internet user
    Important information on your website should remain easily and intuitively accessible at all times. Check that on each page your customers have the option to contact you, either with a call button or a contact form.

SEM, or paid referencing

Paid SEO or SEM (“Search Engine Marketing”, also called SEA for “Search Engine Acquisition”) is the element of a web strategy that consists of paying the Google AdWords advertising platform in exchange for immediate visibility. There are other platforms, like Bing Ads, but since Google accounts for 90% of the search engine market share in Canada, focus primarily on AdWords.

If you already have an AdWords account, follow our guide to doing a quick audit of your account and making sure it’s following best practices. If you don’t have one, start by calculating your AdWords budget. Then you or your AdWords expert can create your campaign.

In the long version of this article, we walk you through each of the steps involved in creating Google ads in detail:

Social media management
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube or Snapchat … Social networks represent a multitude of web marketing channels essential to your web marketing strategy.

To use your social networks in a relevant and profitable way, you will need to equip yourself with a robust and comprehensive strategy. 

Social media marketing strategy

Also consider advertising on social networks! Facebook advertising plays an increasingly important role in your web strategy.

Email Marketing

In an article dedicated to email marketing, we explain the benefits of this marketing channel as well as its best practices. Email marketing is one of the favorite web marketing channels for SMEs because of its low cost, and the ability it offers to target a clearly defined audience.

And like your web strategy, your email marketing strategy should start with:

1. Define your goals

Through your email campaigns, you can aim to:

  • Increase the conversions of a page on your website
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Promote an offer or event

2. Segment your emails to personalize your approach

As your customers may not all have the same characteristics and interests, it is important to segment your customer database into distinct groups based on criteria such as:

  • The professional activity sector
  • Client’s budget
  • Types of pages viewed

3. Use automated tools to save time

Without the right tools, email marketing becomes a real organizational headache. Tools like MailChimp will allow you to automate certain features and keep your database up to date.

4. Work on the content of your emails

Here are the decisive points to take into consideration when creating

The web content strategy

The content strategy makes it possible to base your company’s positioning on themes that are specific to it. It is essential to your web strategy. A good content strategy is based on 4 pillars:

Once created, your content can be served on a variety of relevant media, for example:

  • The blog section of your website
  • Your social media
  • Your Google My Business
  • Your Youtube channel
  • A newsletter

Making sure you translate your content in as many relevant forms as possible and distribute it effectively using all the platforms at your disposal will allow you to obtain the full value of your investment.

4. Analyze the results and adapt the web strategy

In order to ensure that your web strategy is profitable and successful, you need to keep track of your goals.

On the web, two flagship tools allow you to measure the results of your web marketing actions, Google Analytics and Google Data Studio.

These tools are essential because they give you a precise vision of the performance of your web strategy. You will have access to indicators such as:

  • The evolution of your website traffic
  • Your most viewed pages
  • Your number of conversions generated
  • The consultation time of your pages
  • The surfing behaviour of your visitors.

The identification and interpretation of this data will allow you to reorient your web strategy based on your performance. In addition to the performance of your website, also check the statistics of your social network pages and your Adwords account.

Web strategy: it's up to you!

We hope that this condensed guide to web strategy will allow you to create, supplement, or adjust your web marketing strategy in order to increase your profitability on the web! And if you want personalized advice, give us a call!

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