Read the book “Winning the Website War” to Totally Understand the Four Step Process
“Proven processes work in business and in online marketing. Companies that follow the four- Step process get results, those that “wing-it” fall behind.” From “Winning the Website War” by Thomas Young
Introduction to the Four Steps
Meeting with a new client this morning reminded me how important the Four-Step Process is to strategic digital marketing. Here is a review of the Four-Steps from my new book “Winning the Website War.”
These four steps have been developed over the past fifteen years and are fundamental to website marketing success. The purpose of the four steps is to take the complex area of website marketing, with its many action items and options, and make it more simple and easy to follow. These steps form the foundation for how websites win online battles for market share and attract visitors that convert to sales.
The four steps can also be used as an outline for your strategic digital marketing plan. In fact, you will find that going through the Four-Step Process forces you to consider the focus and strategy of your current business and marketing plans in general. This speaks to the value and comprehensive nature of strategic digital marketing and how important it is to your company. In fact, your company website is like a business plan that is visible to the world!
Here is an overview and brief description of each step before going into greater detail in coming chapters.
Step One: Strategy
This first step sets the direction for all website marketing efforts. It is important to be clear on the objectives for the website and how conversions take place online. A written strategy that clearly defines the approaches to be taken by your marketing team is best. Strategy answers the all-important questions about why your company is marketing on the web and what you expect to gain. This strategic digital marketing strategy is spread across all strategic digital marketing channels and may also include offline strategies that coordinate with online marketing.
Step Two: Website Design and Development
Step two is the process of designing and developing your website and web presence. This step actually encompasses two areas: graphic design and the technology used to market online. These are combined into one step because they must work together to drive results and are both a tangible expression of your strategic digital marketing strategy.
Step Three: Traffic Generation
Step three comprises all the activities needed to bring visitors to your website. This step gets a lot of attention and many web marketers put step three at the top of the list of strategic digital marketing activities. In reality, there is no need to send traffic to a website until your strategy is well-defined and your website is a clear expression of that strategy. This is also important because driving traffic takes time and money.
Step Four: Monitoring Return on Investment (ROI) and Tracking Results
The final step brings the first three together and is the most important. This involves a process for tracking strategic digital marketing results in your web stats and meetings to review strategic digital marketing efforts, online conversions and a method for tracking ROI. From this step will come modifications to the strategic digital marketing strategies and action plans to improve conversions and drive a strong, measurable ROI. In this step the priorities are set for the team based on clear data and feedback from website users.
These four steps should become second nature to the business leadership and the strategic digital marketing team. It is best to commit them to memory and separate priorities and action items based on each step. Remember to follow these steps in order and to not put the cart before the horse and start driving traffic before you are ready to convert web traffic into customers and prospects. We will now dive deeper into each step and provide you with the tools necessary to succeed in online marketing and winning the website war.