Web Strategy 2008

For most businesses, January is often a quiet time when you get some solid work and planning done for the year. You’re probably thinking about what promotions or events you’ll run or even pondering how you’ll achieve your KPIs.

Do you actually plan your strategy on online for the year? Do you create an annual web strategy and review every month? If not, here are 12 ideas (one per month) to ensure your website stays top of mind throughout the year and not be forgotten.

Develop an Editorial Calender

Nearly every major publication in the world sits down and develops their twelve month editorial calender. You can identify the troughs and the peaks well in advance. The content could be for your blog, articles or featurs for your website.

A Floristry site might develop content around days like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Here is a good example of an Editorial Calender from Information Week.  Having an Editorial Calender as part of your web strategy will definitely place you ahead of your competitors.

Undertaking a Website Audit

A website audit is a comprehensive overview of your website. Think about all the areas of site which work and don’t work. Question the function and role of the site (ie Brochure site or E-commerce).

A website audit is an easy way to organise website maintenance with your web developer. So, here some questions to ask you and your team.

  • Is your site cross browser ( internet Explorer or Firefox) and cross platform (Mac or PC) compatible?
  • Does your video or audio stream successfully?
  • Does the site load all the images and flash correctly?
  • Do your visitors stay and transact or do they churn?
  • Does the site crash with too many users?
  • Is the navigation logically organised?
  • Is the site accessible?
  • Is the performance or speed of the site fast?
  • What content generates leads?
  • Does the site look aged?

Social Networking Strategies

Given the rise and popularity of social networking sites, do you have a strategy for maximising the opportunities in this rapidly growing market. Does your Managing Director have a profile on Linkedin, Facebook or Plaxo to network with possible clients online and generate leads.

Has your company established it’s own company profile or create a group to promote back links to your website. Has your company developed your own Facebook application ?


Does your website have a blog? There is no doubt that blogging allows businesses to easily communicate online with shareholders, customers and the public effectively, efficiently & transparently. Three elements to your corporate blogging strategy should be initially who will blog? how often? and what about? Also think about how you can promote your blog.

Search Engine Optimisation

  • How does your website rank in the major search engines like Google, Yahoo or Ninemsn?
  • Does your competitor out rank you when search for relevant terms and phrases?

Developing an SEO strategy can often be complicated, as they are often customised to not only the website, but the audience the site is being delivered to. Ranking in the top ten can mean the difference between sales and no sales. A good start is to implement a basic SEO package, then develop a more advance program of optimisation.

Competitor Analysis 

The competitor analysis is a very broad overview of not only your direct competitors locally but is there a competitor in the USA or Europe that has the same product of service as you.

  • Can you learn from these foreign competitors?
  • Do they have features which could be easily replicated or better still improved upon?
  • Where do your competitors appear in search results?
  • Better still should you be subscribing to their email news and RSS feeds?

Email Marketing

Modern style direct marketing at its best. If you don’t already have a mailing list, then start developing a strategy to build a few. Three mailing lists you should have are clients/customers, potential clients/customers and a media database. A good place to start is building a subscribe form directly off your website.

A faster method could be to acquire a mailing list through a reputable list broking service. Prices usually range from $75 - $250 for 1000 email addresses. Once you’ve got your mailing lists, you’ll need email marketing software to send the emails. 


Competitions and giveaways are a great way to drive traffic to your website and grow your mailing list. Depending on your type business you might want to giveaway one of your products or buy a prize depending on the aim of the competition.

There is a great deal of evidence that shows if you do a major giveaway opposed to a much smaller prize the response rates are much better. Have in your mind why you’re doing the giveaway. Is it to increase subscribers, promote your RSS feed or the product your giving away.

Referral Program

Major brands are now adding affiliate marketing to their overall online marketing strategy in order to compliment typical paid advertising on the internet. Affiliate marketing is a method of promoting an online retailer of products or services via a network of websites who endorse and promote the offering to their audience. Typically this could be via email, graphical advertisement or blog, however recently there has been growth of using videos as the promotional vehicle.

Many people refer to affiliate marketing as a cost effective solution, as affiliates are only paid after a sale has occurred. Affiliate marketing also reduces the risk associated with marketing.

Online Advertising

  • Do you currently do online advertising?
  • Could you generate more traffic and customers if you started online advertising?
  • Do you do flash advertising or textual advertising?
  • Should you be advertising on networks other than Google Adwords?
  • Does your adverting actually work?
  • Is the call to action clear and concise or is it misleading?
  • Should you be increasing or decreasing your budget?
  • Are you generating leads via your online advertising or just doing branding?
  • Are you advertising on keywords where you already have good organic search rankings?

There are plenty of advertising networks on the web, many targeting specific niche markets.

Lead Generation & Landing Pages

  • How do you generate leads?
  • Do you have a dedicated lead generation pages for specific market sectors?
  • When you run advertising do you send them to a fully customised landing page or just the homepage?
  • Are your landing pages transactional or reference based?
  • Are they visual stimulating or just lines and lines of text?
  • Do you measure your conversation rates?

Website Statistics

Do you have the intelligence behind where visitors come from how long they spend on your site? If not, you not only need to implement some sort of statistics package, but you need to learn about how to interpret the results.

Popular packages like Google Analytics allow you to create goals which allows you to measure the path of a user from when they come on the site to when they purchase a product or fill out a form. You can also get daily reports emailed to you each morning so you can monitor your sites performance. 

If you develop all these ideas over the next twelve months, you're sure to outperform in 2008.