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The Importance of Having an Online Strategy

  • The Importance of Having an Online Strategy

    Your website and email address form another shopfront, advertisement and contact point, through which you can make your information and services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the whole world.

    Consumers are looking to connect. They no longer trust bought advertising and turn off from ads on television. They are turning more and more to the referrals of ‘virtual’ friends and even strangers online. By passing on links and information, and sharing online experiences – the word of mouth phenomena or as it’s being referred to in marketing ‘word of mouse’ is louder and more widespread than ever. Through the internet, if your business isn’t online – you’re simply missing out on the many opportunities available to increase business build brand awareness and gain new clients through this medium.

    Before you even start working with a website designer on the ‘look’ of your website, it’s very important to have some very clear goals and strategies for your website. If you already have a live website, take a step back and review it using the following points.

    Potential cost savings

    A well planned, implemented and maintained website can provide numerous cost savings for your organisation. It can also reduce the time staff spend performing administrative tasks, freeing them up to concentrate on the things that really matter – such as servicing your members and clients. By taking your business online you may actually improve your overall business bottom line and reduce expenditure in areas you may not have considered.

    The ‘cost’ of not having a credible website or using email effectively can be measured in terms of lost opportunities to cut costs and deliver better services.

    Getting the strategy right

    The first thing to do is to ask yourself the following questions:

    What is the purpose of your website?

    Do you want to sell products or services, bring together people with a common interest, share information and resources, run a helpdesk, take online bookings or generate phone or email enquiries?

    What is your budget?

    Your online marketing strategy needs to be part of your overall business marketing strategy.

    1. What is your annual budget for advertising and marketing of your website?
    2. What budget will you put aside for the development of the site?
    3. What annual budget will you set aside for the ongoing hosting of the site

    What are the needs of your customers, and potential customers?

    You need to understand the needs of your customers before you can meet their needs online.

    1. Who is your target market?
    2. How do your current/potential customers currently use the web?
    3. Why do your current/potential customers currently use the web?
    4. Are they local, regional, global?
    5. Do they currently purchase similar products or services online through other providers?
    6. What will you offer your current and potential customers that your competitors can’t or don’t currently offer?
      (*be careful not to just offer a lower price point that won’t be sustainable for the long term) Think about the benefits your products or services provide or the problems they solve and create your Key Marketing Strategy for your website from that, then break that down to a short statement – this will be your USP – Unique Selling Proposition or Positioning Statement.
    7. What do your current customers want from your website? (Ask them!) Don’t be afraid to invite your best customers to be part of a focus group to help develop the website?

    Will an online presence grow your business?

    In what ways do you see that creating a website/online presence for your business will help grow your business.

    How far should you go?

    Bearing in mind that a user will automatically associate the quality of your website with the quality of your offer, business and services, you want to ensure that anything you put online regarding your business, represents your business in the best light possible. You only have a few seconds to make the right impression!

    It’s worth taking the time to thoroughly plan all the needs of your website and ensure that the development path you choose will take into account your future plans and requirements. You may not need to implement all the features you want upfront, but stagger the implementation allowing for budget and growth considerations.

    If you don’t get the right technology in place at the beginning, you may find you are unable to add the features you need later on and you may need to re-build the website from scratch. So when planning your site, think of every possible feature you may want and take the ‘wish list’ with you to your website developer.

    Talk to us today about how we can help with your strategy



    Breakout box/es:

    Trends, facts and figures[i]

    • In 2021, the number of internet users in Australia amount to an estimated 22.13 million. The online audience is projected to reach 23.36 million users by 2025.
    • Undeniably, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak has affected how Australians are using the internet. Online retail spending increased in almost every category, with the purchasing of games and toys, takeaway food, and grocery and liquor items from domestic retailers increasing by the largest margins. Aside from e-commerce, Australians are watching more shows or films on streaming services such as Netflix. With many people forced to work from home and businesses becoming accessible online, having reliable internet has been brought to the forefront of infrastructure development in the country. NBN Co. has indicated it will invest billions of Australian dollars to roll-out superfast broadband across the country. This move is crucial if the NBN wants to remain competitive with 5G mobile technology, which is also expanding its coverage across the nation.