The Hostway Blog

Setting Web Site Strategies

When developing a company Web site project, consider how Web site strategies are used to achieve Internet objectives. Formulating the proper strategy to achieve an Internet objective requires an examination of your target market, available technology and the rationale for the proposed strategy as it relates to alternatives, cost and support requirements.

Target market. For any strategy to be effective, the target market must contain an appropriate level of Internet users. The most effective Internet strategies will fail if the intended target markets are not online. Although Internet use is steadily increasing among nearly every conceivable target market, usage can vary greatly among target markets based on their demographics and their motives.

Patterns of Internet use should be identified as well. The lower the Internet use for target markets, the higher the benefit needs to be for using Internet media. Otherwise, users may continue to use other methods. For example, an online catalog may fail if Internet-wary users are satisfied with telephone orders. However, as benefits of online ordering surpass the benefits of ordering by telephone, the conversion rate for online orders should increase.

Technology and Infrastructure. Potentially effective Internet strategies are often delayed or quickly become cost-prohibitive because the technology and infrastructure required to implement the strategy are not present within the organization. For example, it may be desirable for a company to sell its products/services online. However, doing so requires the ability to update product information and process incoming orders.

Once implemented, Internet strategies may require ongoing support or third-party maintenance that needs to be considered.

Alternatives. When creating Internet strategies, it's important to consider alternative methods of achieving the desired objective. For each strategy, alternative strategies need to be considered. This includes non-Internet strategies that could achieve the same objective.

Rationale. After identifying the considerations for each proposed strategy, summarize the benefits of this strategy in comparison with others. Why is the proposed Internet strategy the best strategy for addressing the desired objective? How will it achieve the desired goal? What are the cost, technology and infrastructure advantages of this strategy as compared to alternatives?