Alan Lakein said; “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” That is the purpose of the web design situation analysis. You need to understand your present situation in order to better your future situation.
This is part 2 of Designing Successful Websites – Read Part 1
Doing a situation analysis is the first step in creating a web design strategy. It helps you understand where you are now so that you can define where you want to go.
There are several key factors to consider when doing a situational analysis. First thing to remember is that the situational analysis for a business type website of 10-20 pages will be radically different compared to an ecommerce website with thousands of products. You may consider similar key factors for each website but the depth and breadth will vary.
For example, the e-commerce website will require a much deeper level of thinking and analysis because you’ll delve deep into online consumer behavior to analyse what has been driving sales. While the business website may only be concerned with a certain type communication objective such as creating more brand awareness.
Here I’ve compiled a list of the key factors your business or organisation must consider when doing your situation analysis.
Albert Einstein said: “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” This is the perfect approach for defining your problem statement. You need to clearly understand and define why you want to design or re-design your website.
Allow a me a quick over simplified example: Let’s say an insurance company depends heavily on acquiring qualified leads through their website by means of prospects requesting quotes. The current website generates 50,000 visitors per month from which they generate 250 enquiries. That is a conversion rate of 0.5%. Lets assume only 10% of the 250 enquiries convert to paying customers, that would be 25 customers. Each customer has an average revenue value of $50 per month. That means the website is responsible for generating $1,250 (25 X $50) worth of revenue per month. What if the website could increase enquiries to 2000 while maintaining the same conversion ratios? That’s an increase from 25 paying customers to 200 paying customers or $1,250 to $10,000 in terms of revenue.
In this oversimplified example the problem statement is clear. This company wants to redesign their website to increase online conversions in order to increase revenue.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
If you have an existing website, chances are you have some marketing objectives defined. Now is time to closely examine whether your website is performing well and meeting your marketing objectives by looking at your key performance metrics. There are many metrics to be analysed. Determining which are important will help you to focus on what really matters to your business or marketing goals.
KPIs relate closely to goals, and answer the question, “What data do we need to look at to see if goals are being completed?” For example, if your objective is to increase website traffic, you may look at the number of website visitors, the percentage of new visitors, and how long users stay on the site.
Ah, the old trusty SWOT. One can always rely on a good old SWOT analysis to get you thinking strategically about your business. In our digital world your website and digital marketing endeavours plays an ever increasing role in helping your business to thrive. Having a great website could be the differentiating factor of clients & customers choosing you over your competitors. But you knew that.
Knowing that your website is an essential business tool, you need to perform a SWOT analysis that specifically looks at online factors that influence the success of your business. Think about your current online strengths and how you can promote it even more while you seek out opportunities that will leave your competitors in the dust of your heels. Then think about how you can minimise your threats and weaknesses
Figuratively speaking, you need to step back and take a 50,000 feet look at your business and online marketing world compared to the national and global economic environment. There may be external factors that potentially has a massive impact on your business and online marketing endeavours. Consider the political, economic, social and technological (PEST) factors your business and website must operate in to identify and minimize potential risks.
Keeping one eye on your business and one eye on competitors is a good strategy to stay ahead of the curve. This is especially true when assessing your online marketing endeavours. With so much clutter and content to deal with each day the scarcest resources these days are people’s time, focus and attention. You carefully need to consider what your competitors are doing to break through the clutter and earn people’s attention.