Web Strategy? What’s that?

Check photo by mag3737 on Flickr

Photo by mag3737, Flickr, Available via Creative Commons License

Not so long ago, a small business that wanted to “get on the web,” had a simple project list:

  • Build a website.

Today, a small business that wants to “get on the web,” probably has a checklist that looks more like this:

  • Build a website.
  • Answer the question: To blog or not to blog?
  • Create a Facebook Page (and determine how to use it effectively).
  • Figure out Twitter (and decide if it’s right for the business).
  • Review analytics, determine which of the above are and aren’t working.
  • Prioritize objectives. Divvy up the work. Get busy. Your work on the web is never complete.

A web strategy is the project plan that guides you through the process of “getting on the web” and determining which of the above “To Do” items to tackle first.

Six months ago, I would have argued that every business should kick off its web strategy by building a website. Now, I believe there are cases when a small business can get started with a Facebook Page or a blog.

A website can make you look a great deal more official, but it generally costs you a fair amount of money. You can create a Facebook Page or a blog for free, but once you create them, what will you post to keep the content current, fresh and top-of-mind? Do you have the resources for managing a Facebook Page or writing a new blog post every week?

Maybe Twitter is your answer. You’re allowed only 140 characters per tweet. Coming up with succinct tweets has to be easier than generating 200-300 word blog posts, right? But then…you’d need to figure the whole Twitter thing out, including how to find people to follow and how to inspire people to follow you. Plus, are the people you’re trying to reach even on Twitter?

In today’s Web 2.0 world, there isn’t a one-solution-fits-all. You need a web strategy – a plan for “getting on the web” that is based on your content, your audience, your resources and your objectives.

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