I used to use the analogy that building a website was like building a house – it is important to do the planning so that the end result is right. However I’ve now revised my analogy, it’s more than building a house, it’s like building a resort. Let me explain.
When you build a resort, not only do you need to think about the planning, the layout, design, materials, development and furnishings and fittings but you need to think about what happens after the building is complete. How will you tell potential guests (or investors) about your resort? How will you look after them while they are there and how will you keep in touch with them once they leave?
The same questions apply when you’re building a website. In fact, there are several elements in the whole process where similarities can be drawn. Not only does the time and effort need to be spent to plan your website, decide what its going to look like, what people can do while they are there and how you will service them, but you also need a dedicated plan in place to get people there in the first case and to keep them coming back.
There are a whole range of tactics available online to achieve this and quite a few opportunities for thinking outside of the box. It’s important to realise that like anything, this doesn’t all happen overnight and that costs are involved due to the increasingly commercial nature of the Internet. But there are plenty of examples out there of companies doing it well. I’ll be bringing you some of those in future articles.