Everyone thinks of putting something on the web nowadays. It’s the in-thing. Unfortunately, very few people have a clue what is required to keep a website going. Merely having a website is not good enough. The key principle is that a good plan will ultimately save time and energy and ensure that the web actually enriches and adds value to the organization. It’s about developing an online presence that not only looks good and works well, but continues to perform over its lifetime.
Step 1: Define Goals and Objectives
The first step is to define goals and objectives of having a web portal in the first instance. These goals and objectives will serve as guidance to ensure that what is featured on the website reflects a direction that creates value back to the organization. The goals and objectives should provide a clear and succinct representation of the raison d’être of the website.
Step 2: Focus on Target Audience (s)
There is a need to identify the target audience(s) of the website as this will determine the type and quality of content to be featured on the site. Utilizing a web-based survey tool like surveymonkey can help to identify the needs of current and potential audiences. It is important to define who the website is trying to reach and where they can be found online. Understanding your audience and managing their expectations is key to maximizing effectiveness. Questions include: Who are they? What are their expectations? Do they expect something of your brand? What are the top 10 things they are going to want to know about you? How can we add value to their experience? What do they need from you? What do we want them to know? How do we want them to interact with the site? How will we judge this website a success?
Step 3: Develop an overall communication plan
Developing an overall communication plan is a vital step in improving the management of a website. It is important to ascertain the following: Who are you advocating on behalf of? Who are you trying to reach? Establish metrics of success, and frequency of content updating?
Step 4: Content is King
Without content, the website is as good as dead. Content is king. And there is no two ways about it. It’s important to keep content simple, and engaging.
Step 5: Plan for Delivery
There should be a point person responsible for looking after the website. Learning HTML is critical for the current CMS.
Step 6. Establish visibility targets
This could include submitting content to web directories, social networking sites such as AIDSpace, and submitting URLs to other development oriented sites.